Photography Is a Way of Life, Transporting Me to the Past and Future

An Interview With Jamie Lo, the Director of Hey!Cheese

3 people with each perspective, the different backgrounds generate their individual creativity. The one thing they have in common is that they all hold the persistence in the vision of a better life. 

We take this opportunity to ask these our friends a few questions, and how they think about light associating with their professionals.

A good design requires moving visual communication to inspire and captivate people with its beauty. Prior to a product launch, the design department works around the clock to plan the product photography that will take people’s breath away. Jamie plays this key role behind the scenes. The mutual understanding from more than ten years of collaboration is clearly depicted in the photos. His photography is detailed, rich in images, filled with stories, and presents everyday life. He captures the unique features of SEED’s lighting and takes you to another realm to feel the warm and delicate luminance.

Photography that reflects the way of life

In addition to lighting, the spatial imagery of Jamie’s photography often emanates the sentiment and warmth of life. It narrates the story of the scene more so than the image itself. “Every release of the shutter conveys the way of life behind the scene.” He mentioned that before telling a story, he must have relevant personal experience to be able to project it in photos that resonate with the viewer. As time goes by, it becomes the style and taste of the work. This is why many photographers blend work with life because “without living life, photography would not exist.”

▲ Design: INDOT Interior Design  Photo: Hey!Cheese

Echoing this philosophy, even in an era of rapid technological growth, Jamie still firmly believes in the authenticity and intrinsic value of creation. To him, photography is not only the convergence of creative energy but also a creative outlet: “I have made a habit of producing original works regularly.” When a new idea pops up or during emotional ups and downs, he records the moment with his camera. These moments enrich our lives, whether good or bad. When you look back at some point in the future, these photos are the keys that unlock the past, weaving threads of memories.

Observing the details in life, searching for elements of inspiration

Working in the advertising industry for many years has influenced Jamie’s creative thinking. His past training has made him a keen observer everywhere he goes and has helped him understand the cause-and-effect relationship. “Photography is so multifaceted. It is a way to ‘present yourself.’  So, I draw inspiration from my surroundings, whether it is strangers on the streets, movies, TV series, or magazines. It is how I internalize the creative energy, whether big or small. I believe new discoveries begin with observations of subtle details.” This is basically second nature to Jamie. He notices the interesting and unusual features in every place he visits. “When observation becomes a habit, you can piece the details together. If you can express them in photos, the impact will be profound.”

Pressing on towards the goal

Looking back on the many years of collaboration with SEED, he admitted: “In the beginning, we had to complete many tasks with limited resources. But I saw and felt everyone’s passion, so we gave it all we got and did our best. It is very uplifting to see a thirty-year-old Taiwanese brand with quite some history to be flexible and not old-fashioned, constantly making changes and improvements.” The new sparks in our collaboration have allowed Jamie to witness the beautiful impact of SEED between two generations. He said there is communication and struggles, but the fruits borne are astounding.

During the interview, Jamie introduced his philosophy: “To move people, you must first think about whose hearts you want to move.” When photography meets business, it becomes a visual art with marketing benefits. Even sentimental pictures contain elements of rational analysis. Learning how to be observant helps the photographer be on the same wavelength as the target audience so that the form of expression can “touch” their hearts.

Making your own imprint on social consciousness

Since the shooting location and work hours are different every day, it is difficult to establish a regular ritual. On the weekends, Jamie turns to activities outside of work to restore his mind and body. Before the pandemic, Jamie would often go hiking and camping. During the stay-at-home period, he started to grow plants and delved into cold brew coffee. His passion for trying new things is also deeply rooted in the Hey! Cheese company that he runs.

Besides photography, Hey! Cheese has branched out into many areas. The company also runs a platform of stories about designs. We were curious to know the reason behind this development. He said it is just like SEED burying the seed of lighting, promoting cultural aesthetics with your own effort. Even though it will take a long time to grow, Jamie believes that when more people start to pay attention to it, it will become the norm and eventually impact the next generation. The Taiwanese society in the future may truly have a certain degree of aesthetic perception. Isn’t this what we hope for?

Q & A

What do you think are the challenges for creators in the future?

With the ever-changing pace of the world, finding a distinct position is the most difficult. Perhaps they can consider the possibilities of different modes of operation and pursue the purest form of creation.

Do you use lamps to create different moods at home?

Yes. Many people care about the brightness of lamps. But I think lamps are more for creating an atmosphere, which is why I do not really care for the brightness. There are different lamps like chandeliers, table lamps, floor lamps, and camping lamps in almost every corner of our house. I make use of the features of each lamp and adjust the ambiance to my liking.

How does “lighting” affect spatial imagery?

Just put it in the right place! There is an appropriate lighting arrangement in every environment and country. You must fully understand how things are arranged in everyday life to create a good image. Sometimes, you may not know why the lighting looks beautiful. But when you put it in the wrong place, you know it does not work right away. I think “position” is the key for lighting in everyday life. Only the right position can touch people; the other elements are not as important.

▲ Design: DSEN  Photo: Hey!Cheese

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