CPA Ron Yue’s career has taken him on adventures throughout parts of Asia many never get to see (Photography by Alana Patterson)
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
When I took up photography, I contacted some professional photographers in Hong Kong and asked if I could follow along with them or watch them at work. Hong Kong is a very good place to try something new; people are always willing to give you a chance.
WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL?
Photography is 50 per cent your ability to shoot and deliver the goods. The rest is running a business.
WHO ARE YOUR CLIENTS?
I've led about 20 photography trips into the less frequently travelled, primarily rural areas of Western China and Tibet. [The trips can be] very demanding. My typical client would be a hard-working professional who’s very, very busy and doesn’t have time to organize their own trips, yet doesn’t want cookie-cutter itineraries.
HOW DID YOUR CPA DESIGNATION HELP?
The type of thinking I learned as an accountant—conservative, cost-conscious thinking—helped me a lot in terms of my work. That’s one of the most important elements of running and staying in business.
WHAT’S THE MOST EXCITING PART OF PHOTOGRAPHY?
Sometimes, the adventures just come to you. That’s probably why I never set up my own studio, because I really enjoy being a location-based photographer.
ANY NOTEWORTHY PROJECTS?
My most memorable projects include a 50-day documentary-style project in very remote areas around China and Tibet, and mountain-climbing photography in Denali in Alaska.
TELL US ABOUT ONE OF YOUR MORE ADVENTUROUS TRIPS
The project in China and Tibet was quite unusual. I drove around with a former race car driver in a bright yellow Caterham—a vintage-style sports car. We collected signatures on the car from anyone, even security guards at the Three Gorges Dam. If you’re talking about a real adventure and in terms of the unexpected, that project was it.
HOW ABOUT SOME PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS?
You often need to keep a photograph simple. The camera lens will capture everything you see in front of you—thousands of things—and then all of a sudden you have no focal point. You have to really learn to distill a picture down to a few key elements to capture a place’s essence.
TALK ABOUT THE BEHIND-THE-SCENES ASPECTS.
Sometimes, producing an image seems like a simple process, but there’s a lot of background work involved. I often do a lot of scouting legwork, even though it might just be for one photograph.
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