We had the good fortune of connecting with Sunny and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sunny, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started exploring cinematography at Florida State Film school and then continued at the UCLA extension program. This was where I fell in love with the art of photography. I then began working as a Director of Photography for film, where I learned how to light in different scenarios and create cinematic looks for diverse scenes. I believe lighting is one of the most powerful ways to tell a visually interesting story. I had heard over the years that many people avoided featuring darker skin tones, as more nuance is required to do so. This inspired me to lean into that focus in hopes of making a difference. During this process, I learned that film stock was originally designed to take pictures of Caucasian skin; which is insane to consider, but indicative of the limitations the industry used to place on itself. In January 2020, I opened my photo studio in Los Angeles. My subjects are often models with darker skin tone, and I now have the confidence and skillset to bring out their best presence with my signature projector lighting.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a fashion, portrait, and editorial photographer based in Los Angeles, California. I specialize in projector photography; and my focus is capturing dreamy and soulful portraits that celebrate the beauty of darker skin. My specialty is using mood and light to capture the essence of a character, and tell a story with cinematic lighting. What sets me apart from others is that I use all in camera effects to achieve my unique looks without ever touching photoshop.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The people who have played a big role in my success of the business are the talented individuals and artists who understand my vision and have helped me achieve my goals. There are so many people to thank for this! A lot of them are also my loyal followers on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. I want to thank them all here because they are not only my biggest fans, but also continue to inspire me with their own creative work.

Website: https://www.chiayilin.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sunnycyl

Image Credits

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