Capturing the lifestyle
One time Justin Lim took a decision that changed his professional life forever. From following a more acceptable path as being a lawyer, he decided to follow his passion for photography and started working in the field that his heart feels right. And he was not wrong. Today he can call him self lifestyle, wedding, travel photographer and the founder of the company The Kandid. He enjoys the career, that has become a lifestyle constantly giving opportunities to see the world form the other side.
Could you give a short description about yourself and what you do?
My name is Justin, I am a Hong Kong/Asia-based photographer. My website is justlimphoto.com and my IG is @hurtingbombz. In my childhood, I spent time in Hong Kong, Malaysia, England and Australia. I now own a small studio in Hong Kong called The Kandid – it is a creative hub and location for people who want to collaborate. We also hold Instagram workshops and other activities based around social interaction. For example, we do #photojamming events, a little bit like a Photobooth but with more encouragement to people to learn about photographic skills and styling.
What was your career path? How did you get from being an aspiring photographer to actually doing it full time, for a living?
Initially I went to law school in England and even worked in law for a while. But I knew that one day I wanted to come back to photography (which I had started in my teenage years in England). It was not easy to do this in Hong Kong, where “traditional” jobs are favored, but I believe I made a good choice for my own happiness! But to do photography as a business, you definitely need to drive it and treat it like a real business, and not be too laid-back like a lot of creative people are!
What motivates you to continue taking pictures?
I think it’s the desire to convey things in this world that are beautiful, that show a different side to something. I believe there is a beauty in almost every human interaction and event.
Whose work has influenced you most?
I get inspiration from a lot of people. Many years ago, when I shot a lot of 35mm film, I always looked at Flickr for advice and guidance. Now I see great people doing fantastic stuff on IG and 500px. From a professional standpoint, I always liked Anton Corbijn’s style. I do prefer the artistic to the commercial side, but sometimes it can be hard to attain a balance when you shoot for clients.
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
How difficult some clients can be! But most of mine are happy!
Can You tell us about the project that you are working on now?
I’m doing a social media project which is a fashion campaign for a big brand here in Hong Kong. I like being able to shape and style the shoot. The importance of the photographer as a stylist has increased over the years.
Among your works, which one is your favorite or most memorable?
There are many shots I am happy with. It’s hard to pick just one, but I always liked the shots from my two trips to Iceland. The most recent time I went there, I caught a sun setting over a farm. It was just a quiet and peaceful moment I liked very much.
Wedding photography requires a certain eye, knowing how to represent this special event. What interests you in this form of photography?
It interests me, of course, because it’s a large professional component of my work. It’s highly competitive, but I want to create something unique and extraordinary for couples. I am sure many wedding photographers feel the same way!
Your personal work is quite different from your daily work.
I grew up taking street photos, but that has slowed down recently. But I do love architecture very much, and I especially love architecture when there is a human interaction – a shadow, a blur, a pose or some kind of human intervention.
What were the difficulties you encountered first starting photography?
I think you will always be asked why you gave up a job in law to do something that is ultimately not as stable a career! But I am proud of starting my own company.
Which process for you is the most interesting: to find the location, to think about how it will look, or maybe to see the people’s expressions when they first see the work?
I think discovering new things and locations which you didn’t know about before is the essence of what makes a good candid photograph.