Short personal intro. Jeffrey Su (XiYang) (1995), A Chinese teenager who studied in UK for already 5 Years. Currently on an Architecture course in London University. When I was boy, the fact that my mom has a career as an interior designer made Art and design extremely close to my life. When other kids r playing with ready-made toys bought from a shop, I was putting Paints on Canvas and building my own toys out of wood pieces. Mom will also encourage me painting on the wall and creating news from the olds. I have always enjoyed creating things and express my emotions in many visual ways. I knew since ages ago that I have to live a life with creativity and Art, no matter what kinds of career it will be. A life without the freedom of creating is going be dead boring.
Your personal story with photography. I grew up with my Mother’s camera (film Nikon DSLR). She loves taking pictures of the family and things around her. Our family album is magnificent. Truly magnificent. However I intentionally started photography was about 5 years ago when I moved to UK. New environment and new country is perfect for getting inspired photographically, of course I didn’t know it back then, I just need to take pictures for my dad to see what was going on with my life. Later on photography just took off. Photography just feels natural for me. And many people around me supported my work. My family (especially my mother) loved my work and every holiday I would bring my recent work back to China and share with my friends and family. After 2 years of developing and exploring different kinds of photography, I finally realized that Street is where I truly belonged with my camera. After many times of talking to my father and showing him PPTs about the dream camera, I finally convinced my father investing in a Leica (m9p) for me. That summer in 2013 was the best summer in my life. I eat, sleep, dream with that Leica, and the quality of my shots has improved massively since the right gear came to my side. That was the first and only camera, which I had emotionally attached. Now in the first year of university, I moved to London town, this magical city filled with rich culture and amazing people. I’m really looking forward to see my future collaborations with this amazing place.
What do you want to achieve? I really want to be a good architecture student! Finishing all the work in time with high quality. Most importantly be truly myself as a teenager. Nowadays I see many people with the same age as me who doesn’t have a unique personality. They want to be rich, be cool, be popular. However they are not been who they really are. Find the one and only thing u love the most and live your life with it. That’s what I really want to achieve. Not being the person which others wants you to be.
Where do you think the wisdom and instinct for good photograph comes from? Emotions. 100% your own personal emotions and attachments. Shoot your family, your loved ones, all your friends. Make connection to the world, your street, and your city through your pictures. I always think photography as a way of connecting the inner self to the world outside, as a way of recognizing and realizing the facts of reality. Pieces by pieces, photograph per photograph. The single best thing to be a photographer that’s growing with your own work. Seeing your own personal work become who you are as a person.
The craziest thing you ever did as a photographer? Last summer back in China, I shot a guy on the street that works in a corner store. I went away with the snap shoot thinking he was fine with me taking the picture of him, however about 30s later he came up and attacked me from the back. Shouting and trying to grab my camera. I was trying to explain that I am a street photographer, but I don’t think he would understand why the hell a normal guy would carries a camera and walks on the street taking pictures of random people. This event ended by me giving him the roll of negative, and lots of people watching a street photographer been attached and no one said anything.
What’s in your camera bag? I set the goal of bring a camera with me no matter what happens on that day. Sometimes I cannot even shoot a single picture on that day, but it feels nice when you have a camera in you bag. I feel empowered and secured.
I force myself to take one camera out each day. no matter what happens.
One Leica M3 naked, one M9p ,one M6 classic, fuji GF 670 , Rollei FX, Ricoh GR, SX-70 and Sony A7s which i used to take the picture.
Beside one camera in my bag, I always have my cards holder, money clip, Chinese smoke + lighter, iPhone 6, extra film if I’m using film camera and of course LUMU. one sketchbook just like any architecture students. two LAMY pens (love them!)
Outside my bag but comes with me all the time is the Fixed gear bike.
If you could give one final advice to fellow photographers, what would it be? Shoot for yourself and no one else! Tell others about your life through photographs. Make your life interesting before making your shots interesting.