(By Blythe Liu)
Getting to know professional fashion photographer – An Le
An Le is a Vietnamese photographer who specializes in fashion and commercial photography. He came to the United States to pursue his dream at the age of 15, unable to speak a word of English. His work and talent has been featured in such high profile publications as Harper’s Bazaar and the fashion bible itself, Vogue. After graduating from Savannah College of Art Design (SCAD), Le continued his photography career and opened his own studio—An Le Studio. Asian Fusion caught up with Mr. Le one morning where we spent some time getting to know this talented photographer.
AF: Can you share with us how you go about creating your work?
AL: I like to make the best out of everything. I make the best of what I have with the resources that are available to me. Since I don’t have religion, I feel like I’m more complete to observe different perspectives, more different point of views, and to see the picture more completely. I like to embrace everything, to find the common ground. A little controversy is exactly what I like. Literature, painting, arts, philosophy, movies are all places where I draw inspiration from. When it comes to fashion, I will merge art into it, and add some depth. As for taking the picture, I always have to tell a story. The reason I like photography is because in each photo, there is a gap. I like a gap where the viewers have to fill it in with their own imagination. Every time before the photo shoot, I’ll do a storyboard, and stretch out about 80% of it. Most of the models I work with are nonprofessional models. I like shooting fresh faces, it is just like polishing a rough diamond. I like to create a dark and mysterious atmosphere. I will shoot black and white one day and in color the next.
AF: Who are the designers you would like to work with?
AL: I like Givenchy, and Valentino. Couture looks are very special because they have a story to tell, they’re one of a kind.
AF: Why are you here inNew York?
AL: New York always gives me so much energy and inspiration. Just like Vietnam, the city is so compact. I see all the people walking around, and I can feel the energy of the city. Good work, good people, and good food all make me feel happy. I recommend New York to the bold and daring artist.
AF: As a child did you dream of becoming a photographer?
AL: When I was in Vietnam, I painted a lot but I hated pictures and photography. Even now I don’t carry my camera anywhere I go. For me, I like to forget things, let it be just a memory and fade away over time. I like to have the point of view that a child would have, with the responsibilities and intellect of an adult.
AF: What kind of food do you like?
AL: I enjoy all kinds of food as long as it’s well made. When I cook, I create my own original recipe. When I’m older and more established, I want to open my own restaurant where creative and artistic people will be welcomed: philosophers, writers, and film directors. Each week or month there would be a theme, a set design to transform the space. We would welcome people to share their ideas. It would be a place where just artists would come and talk. Then hopefully a year from then, a movie or a book would come out as a result of their conversation.
After chatting with An Le, we realized he has so many creative ideas that he hopes to fulfill. In the near future, he hopes to expand his talents to include music video and film production.
For more information about An Le, please be sure to visit: anlestudio.com