The photographer who’s love for traveling led to his career in photography. Ted Sun travelled and visited over 70 countries spread over all 7 continents in a time stretch of only 5 years. It is exactly that curiosity, that hunger for knowledge and culture that we talk about when saying that creativity need to be fed.
Ted Sun started with his career in the professional environment of visual arts. Something he did study as well while attending college at Princeton. Ted worked at a number of agencies before becoming freelance.
(Ted Sun: The Photographer)
The sudden freedom he experienced led him to traveling which eventually opened his interest in photography. Capturing all those magical moments he lived during his travels and wanted to cherish became the start of what would eventually become a real career in photography.
Mainly based in LA these days, but back in NYC several times a year. Have studio spaces located in the Hollywood Hills, and in Chelsea. Have great outdoor spaces and rooftops to shoot from. But Ted also love location shoots so will gladly venture out... I am thrilled to finally interview one of the most-talked about photographer, Ted Sun! I have always admired your work I enjoyed working with you last fall. We are here together again and I’m about to interview you!
How did you get yourself into the World of photography?
2012 was a year of new starts. I had spent the last 5 years traveling and felt ready for a new journey; I had learned from my travels that I had a passion for photography. So I settled back into LA (my hometown), and focused on developing my new career.
In my sophomore year at Princeton, I took an introductory photography class, and fell in love with creating imagery. After that class, I explored film making and video art. Visual art was a new way of expressing myself, and of communicating.
After that first photography class however, more than a decade had passed before I picked up another SLR camera. My ‘schooling’ in photography came through traveling. I saw so many beautiful and amazing things, and I wanted to capture and share what I was seeing and experiencing.
How long have you been in photography?
I’ve been practicing in earnest since 2012.
How would you describe your style in photography?
My style of photography is clear, expressive imagery that is sensual, sensitive and at times avant garde. I aim for the images to be storytelling and its important that the images have emotional impact.
Did you grow up into reading Fashion magazine to inspire photography?
As a kid I had a subscription to Details magazine. I’ve always had an appreciation for beautiful design and a perspective on what fashion I like, but its over this past year (in developing editorials and working professionally with fashion) that I’m reading more fashion magazines and really appreciating the beauty and creativity of fashion, and discovering a whole new world to be inspired by.
Who are your favorite, inspiring photographers?
So many to name! I love the creativity and style of Erwin Olaf and Steven Klein… the clean powerful images of Herb Ritts… the intimacy of Wolfgang Tillmans and Krys Fox. The overall quality of work from Giuliano Bekor and Rodolfo Martinez inspires me.
You have done beautiful work with beautiful men, who are the easiest male models to work with and who is the hardest male models to work with?
The easiest models to work with are expressive and ready to connect with the lens. The enthusiasm I feel from the model can really inspire me to do my best work. It gets difficult when the model seems guarded, or too wrapped up in his own head. I’ve shot with models that didn’t care to carry a conversation - it just takes more effort to get something from the images.
Who is your Style Icon?
Alexander McQueen is mind-blowing genius. Also, I grew up very passionate about music, and one of my favorite artists - David Bowie – always had such an exciting fun sense of style. Milla Jovovich – I saw her perform with her band once in an LA parking lot in my early 20’s and have ever since thought she’s the coolest and sexiest girl I’d ever seen.
I love collaboration with talented people, and plan to keep developing stronger work with a great network of creative partners – designers, stylists, graphic artists, hair stylists, make-up artists and art directors. A real dream would be to shoot editorials with innovative concepts that are emotionally charged and storytelling for magazines like Hunger, V Magazine, AnOther, Hero, Fantastic Man… and of course, who wouldn’t dream of shooting for W Magazine someday.
Also, I recently had my first gallery-like exhibit with a group of other artists, and would love to do more conceptual art photography for gallery showings. And full circle, it would be great if my passion for photography could lead to more travel for assignments abroad – where I first came to love photography.
And want to thank you for your time with my interview and I look forward to seeing more of your amazing photography! And working with you again when you come back to New York!