The Fashion Photographer With The Artistic Bent

As part of our Independent Issue this month, we chronicle four of the most budding and creative fashion photographers around. We speak to Gary Chew, the lensman with the artistic touch.

fashion photographer

Gary Chew

As with most talents these days, we first stumbled upon the works of this Ipoh-born graphic designer/photographer, not in some gallery or art show, but you’ve guessed it, Instagram. What first drew us to his style of photography (all self-taught) is the mixed media approach he takes (cue acrylic paint, collages, Polaroids, and graphic illustrations).

And then of course, there are the romantic touch he lends to almost every shot. It could vary from dreamy Vermeer-like finishes to a sentimental mood captured in the images. Which explains why he was our first pick to interpret the works of the great master painters into a fashion editorial for our January issue.

For the red-themed editorial in June, Chew turned to another artist for inspiration: the famed sculpture Chen Wenling whose known for the impish Red Boys sculptures. The result is a set of child-like portraitures that would put a smile on your face.

fashion photographer

Chen Wenling’s Red Boys sculptures inspired the all-red fashion editorial in Female’s June issue.

I choose photography as my medium of expression because… photography freezes a moment — that moment that I want to share with others.

Good photography is… memorable and timeless.

fashion photographer

Flowers pop up almost always in his pictures. His latest photography project saw him shooting his subjects with orchids.

Three words I would use to describe my images are… experimental, romantic and artistic.

My style of photography is… often described by others as full of romanticism. But I don’t think I have any particular style.

fashion photographer

Chew experiments with plenty of old photography styles by shooting on film and Polaroids.

The subjects I always photograph are… humans and flowers. I don’t know why a flower almost always appears in my photographs even when I did not plan it.

The cameras I use are… Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM2, Pentax PC35AF, Mamiya Universal, Mamiya RZ67, Polaroid Land Camera, Polaroid SX70, Fuji Instax Wide 300, and the Polaroid Big Shot.

fashion photographer

Chew’s the multi-disciplinary photographer, and employs techniques like illustration and graphic design into his photos.

 My photography heroes are… Paolo Roversi and Tim Walker.

One person I would love to photograph… my grandpa. He passed away before I picked up photography,

I’m currently working on… colour tinting photography treatments.

Like this? Meet the female photographer with the cinematic flair, here are the most stylish items to covet this week, and we suss out the most Instgram-worthy spots at Chanel’s Ephemeral boutique.