Chongqing - Urban Jungle
Chongqing, Western China, is the ultimate urban jungle. With a municipality covering the size of Austria and home to almost 30 milion people, some call it the world’s largest city. Eventhough most of its territorry and population are still rural, the urban core is under massive expansion and Chongqing is now the fastest growing city in the world. Yet this development is mostly wild and unregulated (the city is notorious for its corruption), which over the past years has led to an incredible forest of buildings taking over mountains and surrounding farm-lands, creating one of the most overwhelming urban landscapes on Earth. The hot and humid weather of Chongqing coupled with the total absence of coordinated landscape design allows for an abundant and lush vegetal wildlife to thrive everywhere in the city, taking over streets and buildings in a wonderfully chaotic way. This photo essay aims to show the unique scenery created by Chinese mass urbanization, endemic lawlessness, moutainous topography and subtropical climate, as a very organic urban sprawl out of a science fiction movie.
Corporate photography - Porsche Ocean Transporter
A recent corporate photography assignment I shot for WWL, ocean transporter for Porsche, delivering luxury cars in Shanghai and China. This story was published in WWL’s global corporate magazine.
A day at the sea, Naoshima, Japan
Outtakes from my latest trip to Japan
Burberry - London in Shanghai
Burberry just officially launched its new flagship store at Shanghai Kerry Center, the brand’s largest store in Asia. To celebrate this opening, a massive event was held this week in an old industrial shipyard specially dressed up for the occasion, featuring Cara Delevingne and Suki Waterhouse, in a spectacular show aiming to bring London to Shanghai for a night.
FMC Chemical Lab
Long time without updates. The past couple of months have been quite hectic and filled with a variety of projects mainly in the corporate and industrial fields. One of them was an assignment to shoot the new flagship corporate labs and offices of chemical firm FMC in Shanghai’s Pudong new development zone. These guys manufacture gummy bears and organize corporate ice-cream tastings in their lab… not really the idea people have of a chemical company in China.
Longjing Green Tea - Hangzhou
The Longjing Tea is a high-status Imperial Chinese green tea, originally grown in the Zhejiang Province of Eastern China. A recent photography assignment took me to Hangzhou to document and illustrate the cultivation process of the plant, as well as to explore the rich natural and cultural surroundings that make this tea such a treasure.
It’s amazing to find such fresh air, old temples and lush rolling hills only a couple of hours away from Shanghai, and staying there in a resort like Banyan Tree, Aman or Four Seasons makes for a very nice escape from the busy city life.
Hello 2014! I just came back from Korea where we spent the New Year’s Eve with some friends, but also used a bit of that time to work on shooting some urban landscape images. Seoul is a massive city with a urban population of over 25 million people, placing it in the list of the world’s largest mega-cities along with Tokyo and Shanghai. The geography of the city is very attractive with rivers and mountains separating different areas, while the architectural landscape is rich, dense, diverse and incredibly spread out. Seoul skyline is not very well known compared to other major Asian cities, but for me this is one of the most visually exiting cities in the area.
Shooting kids, BTS Video
This behind the scene video was made recently for a kids’ sunglasses campaign where I was assigned to produce all the still visuals. We worked with the full team of our recently opened company Propaganda Studio, and had overall a great time with the kids.
New Mini Cooper launch event Shanghai
Mini Cooper has just unveiled its latest car design in China after a series of launches in London and Los Angeles. Rock band Gossip followed them around this world-wide tour, performing live shows on stage as ambassadors of the brand. During this Shanghai edition, me and fellow photographer Tim Franco were assigned to capture key moments of the event in a documentary style showcasing cars, musicians, crowd and architectural environment since the venue was carefully selected to be in a designer’s hotel made from a restored warehouse on the cool docks of Shanghai.
Shanghai has suffered a wave of heavy smog recently with regular pollution peaks reaching over 300 on the AQI, a level considered hazardous.
Over this time I have been covering few events and shooting corporate portraits in Shanghai’s city centre. Mainly inside high-rise buildings, I could catch a few images of this apocalyptic vision which is now so common in Chinese cities.
As winter is quickly approaching in China, the coal burning industry is intensifying across the country to provide heating for millions of homes. This phenomenon is largely responsible for many smog alerts, and the results are visually alarming.
Documentary gone wrong turned into hotel photography. I recently went on a self-funded trip to Yunnan where I was looking to start a personal research and short documentary about coffee production in the area. Unfortunately once I arrived in the Xishuangbanna region, where most of the coffee farming is done, I got trapped in terrible weather conditions as the remains of a tropical typhoon were still casting continuous rain showers over the hilly countryside.
So, after several days of waiting for the sun to shine again, I eventually got tired and decided to leave it at that for the time being. Looked up tickets online for another destination, changed my plan, and finally decided to head off to Lijiang up in the mountains.
Thanks to some good connections and a bit of right timing, I was able to get myself a private villa at the amazing Pullman Resort & Spa for a week, which is probably one of the nicest hotels of this kind in China. Fresh air, quiet mornings and beautiful autumn colors… it was a bliss staying there so here are a few previews.
Love the unexpected. Just a few days ago I am walking the quiet lanes of Shanghai, minding my own business, when suddenly a friend calls me and asks if I’m available for an urgent photo shoot. How urgent? I ask. Tomorrow. Ok, so what’s the story? We need to shoot a private jade collection for a high-end client, and she wants to shoot it on a black girl.
So here I am, at 7.00pm during Chinese National Holidays, looking for a black model in Shanghai, calling everyone I know, in a mild state of panic. Finally things work out for the best and we manage to gather a production team together in less than 3 hours. I meet the client at 1.00am in a rum bar, we get drunk, we agree on a budget. I get home very late.
Next day finally everyone makes it on time, we are at Shanghai’s Peninsula Hotel on the Bund and get the shoot going. All is working smoothly, I’m dead tired, the model is awesome, the client very happy. It’s like a miracle.
Sometimes the best things in life happen just like that, without notice, so quickly that afterwards you are left wondering if this really just happened.
Agency 5 years anniversary
Happy news! My first ever representation agency Noi Pictures are now celebrating their 5 years anniversary. They were the first people to trust me and give me a chance in the world of professional photography back in 2008, allowing me to quit my office job and become a full time member in their roaster of talented photographers.
Since then it has been a long way for me as well as for them, and we have all grown in many directions for the better. I am proud to be standing along today with all the amazing, talented and beautiful people who are now making the agency what it is, and forever thankful to them for all their continued efforts and support during all these years.
I wish you all the best Noi Pictures, you are who you are, and I hope to see you rock for many more years across Asia and beyond.
End of summer days
Well, here we are, finally back in my Shanghai photographer’s daily routine after a long, hot and busy summer. The month of July was pretty much just non-stop shootings including corporate stories, industrial sites, architecture projects and some events, all under Shanghai’s summer sweltering heat. August was a bit more chilled as I traveled to Bali where I shot a luxury resort amidst beautiful rice terraces in Ubud, and shared a very cool co-working space called Hubud. Then it was time to get back to China where I got busy moving to a new apartment, which is now a completed task after weeks of running around. All in all, I didn’t get much time to update the news on my website and now to be honest i don’t really know where to start.
Let’s just go with the Bali pictures I guess, as it was clearly the highlight of my summe. Chapung Sebali is a boutique resort made of eight privates villas surrounded by lush tropical gardens, all featuring high-end designer’s furniture and independent swimming pool. There is also an outdoor spa and a chef’s restaurant serving fresh locally grown foods. Needless to say, shooting this kind of place is the type of job that I wouldn’t mind doing more often.
Corporate Shooting - Behind the scene
Out-takes and behind the scene shots from a recent industrial assignment in Suzhou.