Kevin Tang unites many talents and activities in one person: first of all, he is a creative and busy photographer, then there’s the entrepreneur’s side as a co-founder of PhotoWhoa.com and recently he shines as the author of his newest book “Glamour Training Vol. 1” .
Of course I know PhotoWhoa ever since (I do my shopping there ; they always bait me with yet another great discounted offer…) – but I definitely got curious about Kevin when I saw his book being published.
Take a look at his classy glamour photography work. I am certain you will enjoy the insights and also greatly benefit from the amazing experience that Kevin has gathered in the course of his career.
Interview by Dan Hostettler
Where are you living now and for how long have you been a photographer?
I am currently moving back and forth between Los Angeles, CA and Dallas, TX. I’ve been a photographer for about 6 years now.
Did you go to school to study photography?
No, actually my focus in school was on film. But after I started taking photos I realized I like photography much more. I think one of the reasons is because I’m also very interested in digital art, and retouching is one of my favorite aspects of photography. It’s MUCH harder to edit moving images than it is to edit a still..
How would you describe your vision and visual signature of your style?
Well my style has evolved over the years and I’ve gone through moments of exploration of my own style. In general, I would say that I love bright and saturated colors. I love a photo that really pops – with high contrast.
What was the first photograph that meant something special to you (by you or anyone else), and why?
I can’t think of only one photo that meant something to me. Usually the way I look at photos is through the photographer. I prefer to say “that photographer influenced me” rather than saying “that photo influenced me.” I love the work of Joey L, Frank Doorhof, and Julia Kuzmenko. Those artists all made a big impact on my visual style.
How did you get started in shooting the beauty and glamour-oriented work that you are into right now?
When I did my first shoot I shadowed a local photographer in Austin Texas, and he was shooting a bikini model. It was really fun and the model and I actually became good friends. After that I knew I wanted to shoot beauty and glamour work. Being an extroverted person, I have a lot more fun collaborating with other people rather than other genres like landscapes.
How do you find the models to work on your projects?
Through a variety of ways. I work closely right now with a model management company that delivers me models all the time. Previously I used ModelMayhem quite a bit, but now in LA there are literally models on every street corner. I’ve met models while hitting up nightclubs. I’ve met models through Instagram. There’s just so many models everywhere that finding models is the easiest thing in the world.
How do models enjoy working with your style?
Confused by what you mean here? Are you asking me why models enjoy shooting glamour photography? Because you’d have to ask them about that, but I assume it’s because every girl likes looking sexy.
How do you – in today’s digital world – earn money with your sexy women photography, what has changed for you?
A lot of ways. I’ve taken photography clients in the past, but that’s not my main source of income anymore. Now I shoot for Amped Asia magazine [http://www.amepdasia.com ], which is an Asian American lifestyle magazine. I earn revenue from a percentage of whatever the magazine sells. I also earn a lot of money through PhotoWhoa , which is a company I founded that sells photography training materials.
Do you prefer shooting indoors, in a studio or rather outdoors?
I prefer shooting indoors still because I like to have control over all elements of my shoot and I don’t have to worry about things like weather, wind, etc. I’m also the most comfortable shooting indoors.
As mentioned, you are the co-founder of PhotoWhoa.com , a special interest site that offers informative photography products at discount prices. How did you get this great idea? (Editor’s note: The page is doing extremely well!)
Well the idea was inspired by an associate of mine in Austin named Noah Kagan. He started AppSumo which sold deals for designers and webmasters. My business partner and I saw how well his company was doing and decided to create one for the photography industry since both of us were photographers and there wasn’t really anything like that on the market except for a few small sites.
You recently released your eBook “Glamour Training Vol. 1” based on your extensive experience in glam-shoots. What’s your impetus for creating educational material for other photographers?
Well being the owner of PhotoWhoa, I was able to gauge what kind of products would sell the best. What kind of content would be interesting to photographers. What is something that photographers WANT to learn.
And after looking through over 200 products, I realized that there really aren’t that many great products on the market today. Most of them are outdated, or they don’t shoot in a style that I enjoy. So I wanted to see if there was a demand to learn about my particular style and how I shoot, and the result was that there was a lot of demand. Glamour Training sold very well and I’m already planning another book right now.
Tech QNA: Kevin’s Gear DNA
Do you work solely digital or also analog these days?
Only digital at the moment. I’ve always wanted to do more analog.
What type of camera(s) do you shoot with?
5d Mark III.
What lighting equipment do you set up for a shoot?
I have a set of StrobeLite studio strobes and also use manual flashes for certain shoots, especially if I have to travel.
How important is Photoshop for your final images?
Very important in some, and not so important in others. It just depends on the image and my vision. There are times when I shoot with Photoshop in mind, and other times I just want to shoot and make the photo look as natural as possible.
Are you rather a Mac or a PC lover?
MAC ALL DAY.
Kevin, thanks a lot for joining me and the time you dedicated to my readers!