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I recently had the opportunity to meet and photograph one of China’s leading media women, Ms. Mei Yan of Viacom China. On assignment for the Brazilian magazine, Serafina, I met and photographed Mei Yan who runs MTV, amongst other media entities, at her office in central Beijing. I thought I would post a couple of the images from the afternoon here and give a small insight into the shoot.
The image above is the one that the magazine chose to run last weekend. You can see that this image was shot through a window, with Mei Yan standing on the inside while I stood outside. I was trying to get an interesting shot of her and I noticed that the harsh afternoon sunlight was creating some really interesting reflections. I asked Mei Yan to stand inside, making sure that the sunlight was hitting her face. I then proceeded to photograph her from the outside, making sure that I was getting her face against the black of the building. As the light was quite strong, I was under-exposing my a stop or two, to make sure her face wasn’t too overexposed.
The second shot was a little bit more straightforward however I again tried to use the harsh light and shadows to make the image a little more interesting. I under-exposed the image again to make the shadows very dark, almost black. As I was shooting, Mei Yan and I were talking and joking which meant I was able to get a very natural image of her smiling. I tried to balance to photo and make it a little bit more interesting by waiting for the cleaner to pass by on the left and place the plant on the opposite side. Altogether I was quite satisfied with this image and how we got a little bit of luck to make the portrait unique.
To learn more about Mei Yan, check out the article “A Censor’s Daughter Changes the System” on the Daily Best website.