howard HuangPhotographer Male Brooklyn, New York, US
My Website: Howard Huang Photography LLC.My MM URL: http://www.modelmayhem.com/howardhuang
Mayhem # 359274
It takes a keen eye to understand the subtle balance between photography and design, but NYC-based, Taipei-born, Hawaiian-raised Howard Huang has embraced both with a deft hand. In the last eight years, Huangâs unique mix of a sharp creative vision and veteran technical prowess has catapulted him to become one of commercial photographyâs fastest-rising stars, with his stylish photos gracing an impressive range of media -- from magazine covers and celebrity fashion layouts to national advertising campaigns for Fortune 500 companies.
The best word to describe Huangâs trademark style? As he puts it: âmoody.â Huangâs photographs create a fantasyland that moves easily from the highly dramatic to the subtly enhanced. His models appear warm and sexy, with a lingering touch of glamour and drama. If nothing else, Huangâs world is a visually arresting one: one look and youâre mesmerized.
âImages with a story behind them are definitely the most interesting,â says Huang. âI am always thinking of a narrative behind the shoot, because I prefer creating images with a powerful emotional impact. It has to be something that makes you feel a sensation: whether itâs sexy or surprising, or even a disgusting feeling. But no matter what, it has to attract the eye instantaneously.â
As a Bachelors of Fine Arts graduate from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, Huangâs training is firmly rooted in a traditional photography background. âI remember my first basic photography courses, and the process just amazed me. Itâs like magic when you first see your image appearing in the darkroom.â Like every top photographer, technical skills are just the building blocks of Huangâs expertise. However, unlike other photographers, Huang delved deep into every detailed aspect of the complete process himself.
âI was hungry to do it all: from developing to printing, and also alternative processes like cross processes, cyanotypes, brown types, selenium tones, and Polaroid transfers. I have always wanted my own shop to be able to produce the entire process, from start to finish,â explains Huang. âThen, after I was introduced to digital imaging and Photoshop, I was hooked. In the last ten years, technology has evolved to the point where now, we can do it all better and faster -- exerting much more control over each individual aspect of the finished work.â
Also unlike other photographers, Huang retouches all of his images himself. Trained under commercial photography pioneer Michel Tcherevkoff (a disciple of one of the industryâs most respected masters, Pete Turner), Huang was schooled in digitally manipulated imagery and âcomposite work,â or images that are combined together and digitally tweaked to form a single, vivid image. âMany people donât realize that today, most darkroom work is done digitally in the computer -- including color correction, touch ups, contrast cropping, and so forth -- whether you shoot on digital capture or conventional film,â explains Huang. âIn particular, all commercial photography images are nearly always digitally manipulated, in addition to composite work.â
âThe trick is to rework an image so that the treatment is not obvious,â Huang continues. âThe point of digital manipulation and composite work is to enhance the photographerâs vision, and render the photograph into a stronger image. These days, many images appear very âPhotoshop-likeâ: where you arenât looking at the actual photograph, but instead its cheesy special effects. Itâs important to realize that dramatic special effects donât necessarily offer a more stronger image.â
Huangâs impressive list of client work ranges from commercial product photography for corporations such as Panasonic and Nintendo to national advertisements for Verizon, Southpole, Lot29, Mecca Femme to celebrity, fashion, and editorial layouts for fashion, music, and other magazines -- each of whom have found Huangâs additional background training in graphic design very useful. âMy clients often tell me that they appreciate the dramatic way I execute an idea within the tight framework of the pre-press publication process,â notes Huang. âI try to follow a layout very closely, while at the same time extrapolate the Art Directorâs idea into a vivid, pulsing image with a sense of depth.â
Thereâs no question, however, that Huangâs forte is the human element. âI think the reason why I love fashion photography precisely because fashion is not realistic,â he says. âFashion is about creating an illusion and fantasy, but very much built around the human factor. Thatâs why I think I find interaction with models the most fulfilling, because I tell them a story and they react to that. I look at models as beautiful creatures,â he adds, laughing: âThey arenât really human, you know.â
In the end, itâs the magic of the single image that moves Huang. âOnly the photographer really knows what he or she wants out of every image,â he muses. âItâs like youâre a movie director, but for one frame only -- and thereâs a tale to tell behind every still frame.â He pauses for a moment. âI fell in love with the whole photographic process a long time ago,â he says, âand I just kept on shooting.â
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Publishers: Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Random House.
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Digital Composite, Fashion, Urban, Celebrity, Music, Commercial, Advertising, Life Style, Fantasy, Swim Suit, Photography