Inspired by Todd Snyder’s decision to leave his job as a designer at J.Crew to start his own clothing line, this Field Guide series will outline the path of others who took a chance to make their dreams come true. Keep these nuggets in your back pocket and pull them out when in need of inspiration.
The first in our Field Guide series comes from photographer Justin Chung whose stellar work with companies such as Gant Rugger, ISAIA, Club Monaco, and Mark McNairy landed him in the pages of GQ, Esquire, and The New York Times.
What is your current job?
JC: I am a fashion and portrait photographer.
When did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?
JC: I started to realize my passion in photography probably the summer months before entering graduate school. I was about to start a masters program in the health sciences and got my first camera to document the life that I was about to embark upon. I immediately fell in love with the medium and ended up focusing my graduate thesis on photography and it’s benefits in public health. After graduation, I moved back home to San Francisco and started my photography career.
What steps did you take to achieve that goal?
JC: At first, I started off doing a lot of test shoots. I would stack my schedule to the point where I was shooting about 2-3 models a week. I was always trying to find ways to improve my book and refine my vision. In 2011, I made the move to New York and started a new chapter.
What's the most rewarding aspect of your job?
JC: To work with the people I admire.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a photographer?
JC: Follow your heart and your intuition.