9 January 2017

Fashion portraits and Chicago sidewalks, photography by Jingyu Lin

Fashion, donut shops and avocados --->

[J]ingyu Lin is a fashion photographer working out of Chicago. As well as ethereal fashion portraits, though, she photographs avocados and late night donut shops in her home city. This week we’ll be featuring her intimate portraits of a series of Chicago creatives who are all set to bring the city right back to the world stage.

For now, Jingyu tells us a little bit about the city and introduces us to her beautiful lo-fi photography. Follow Jingyu here.

Hi Jingyu, what kind of people do you like to shoot?

Anyone with personality! I adore photographing models because they can be incredible at bringing your story and vision to life, but my favorite experience has definitely been shooting musicians. Music has always been a deeply personal and important thing in my life, and there’s an unmatched fulfillment that comes with reaching into that world and making some of it my own. I’m also obsessed with portraiture, especially of other creatives and people who mean a lot to me – it’s a strange kind of intimacy that I’ve become addicted to, and what I consider the purest form of collaboration.

Who is your favourite photographer?

My two current favourites are Jamie Hawkesworth and Harley Weir. They both have such a vision.

Can you tell us an image that has had a major impact on you?

One of the first fashion documentaries I ever watched was “In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye”, and in the film they spoke about one of Irving Penn’s portraits of Nicole Kidman (the one where her hand is lifted to her face with her thumb tucked under her top lip), an image that has really just stuck with me since. It was just completely fascinating to me because despite that fact that she’s clearly been made up, she still looks so raw. It’s just a really honest and pure moment.

What does Chicago have that nowhere else does?

The ability to nurture. We can be seen as quite commercial from the outsider’s perspective, and while that’s also accurate, the amount of creative freedom and growth I have experienced and witnessed here for burgeoning artists is unparalleled. This city is so open to giving budding creatives the chance and the resources to find their own voice, myself included. The stylists, makeup artists, and model agents that I’ve worked with have always encouraged my creativity and run with my ideas (no matter how insane they seem). If I had made my start in one of the big fashion hubs of the world instead of Chicago, I’m not sure I would be here right now.

What does Chicago need?

More recognition!

Where’s your favourite place in the city?

On South Halsted St. in Pilsen right outside of my old studio – I don’t shoot there anymore but it’s the place where I first really started to find myself as an artist. I spent so much time shooting and hanging out in that area, those couple of blocks will always be nostalgic.

Who’s your favourite person in the city?

The adorable old man that I take my film to get developed.

We’ve got 24 in Chicago, what are we doing?

I’m obligated to say that we have to walk down State St. and then Michigan Ave. first if you’ve never been to Chicago before, but if we have time left over we’re hitting Au Cheval for the best burger in the world and hanging out in some of the cozy hidden gem bars/pubs near the west side.