photographer chris chen

It's always great to hear about an assistant who goes on to make a name for themselves. Chris Chen started out working for leading Sydney photographer Petrina Tinslay (who I interviewed here), and is now an in-demand photographer in her own right. She regularly used by magazines such as Gourmet Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller and Jamie Magazine. Chris has also photographed cookbooks for high-profile chefs such as Manu Feildel and Matt Moran. Interestingly, Chris is part of a creative couple: she's married to photographer Dieu Tan.

Which five words best describe you? Easygoing, calm, determined, gentle, perfectionist.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I was fortunate enough to start out assisting food and lifestyle photographer Petrina Tinslay. When I was still assisting Vogue Entertaining Guide gave me my first shoot and I've loved working for magazines and publishers ever since.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Do whatever it is you love, you'll find a way to make it work for you.

What’s your proudest career achievement? I guess just being able to make a living from what I do.

What’s been your best decision? Marrying my husband! He's a photographer too so it's also great being able to talk shop together.

Who inspires you? People who overcome adversity, people who follow their own paths.

What are you passionate about? Travel, food, family, coffee.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? That's a hard one... perhaps Katharine Hepburn.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I'd love to spend a lot of time in Japan shooting - I love the country and Japanese aesthetics. I dream about shooting a book there.

What are you reading? The Vagrants by Yiyun Li. Set during the Cultural Revolution - it's incredibly sad.

images courtesy of chris chen