LomoWomen: Haiyin Lin's Music and Photography


Lin Haiyin is a fashion photographer based in Beijing and New York. With her focus on portraiture, her work has been published in magazines like Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle Magazine, National Geographic, and more.

She tested our Petzval 55 MKII Art Lens. Aside from photography, she also shares guitar vocals, photography tips, travel records, and daily life through her Vlog.

Women photographers are no longer rare today. Today, more and more women are gradually becoming active in all walks of life that were once dominated by men. Get to know Haiyin better in our interview!

Lin Haiyin

Her Career

When did you decide to become a professional photographer?

Many times I decide to do one thing or want to try something, I don't think too much. At some point, a beam of light appears in front of your eyes, and all you have to do is to pursue it.

In 2012, I finished my first year of graduate school at Columbia University. At the time, I signed up for a summer internship in the United States, the Xi'an Beggar Survey in China, as a free fellow photographer. At that time, I just tried all kinds of experiments with enthusiasm, but I did not expect that this matter would have a great impact on my career as a professional photographer.

At that time, we encountered a woman named Li Hongfang on the streets of Xi'an. She had seven tumors on her face, and her face was severely deformed. Passers-by pointed at her and even a child threw stones at her. With a sense of care and sympathy, my companion and I went forward to talk to her and learned that she had a rare illness, and her two sons dropped out of school and secretly left her to go to work in order not to burden the family. We wanted to help her. So I suggested that I followed her back to the village and stayed at her house for two days to take a set of photos of her life. I hope someone will be willing to help her after these photos are posted online.

Lin Haiyin's early documentary work "Seven Tumors"

I followed Li Hongfang to her village, ate and stayed with Li Hongfang, and listened to her story. The shooting day is Mother's Day. I was particularly impressed, Li Hongfang burst into tears when she talked about her two sons. I was particularly touched by her experience, so I also took special care to shoot. After finishing the series of photos, I returned to my hometown of Fuzhou. I named the photo series "Seven Tumors" and posted it on the Internet. Once the series was published, it caused a huge response, causing various media-related reports. Some people have continuously raised donations and funding for Li Hongfang. The local government has also paid attention to the series of photos and saved her more than 600,000 medical expenses.

I was shocked by the spread and influence of the photos, and for the first time I felt the tremendous power of the images.

After that, I returned to the United States and started to take pictures of Seattle, and a Sina Fashion Internship to shoot New York Fashion Week. I also went to the streets to contact passersby to take street shots and go to take pictures of the students around me free of charge. That's it, soon enough, I started my photography career.

On Her Music and Photography

What are the similarities between music and photography?

I think there is a lot in common between music and photography. When I was playing the violin, I spent nearly 10,000 hours worth of practice. It is true that long-term focus on doing something can achieve excellence, but truly effective time accumulation can only be achieved in the "learning area". Just like finding a bad bow when practicing the violin, slow down and take more exercises, the same with photography.

Lin Haiyin with her violin.

Perhaps because of practicing the violin since I was young, I have a little more calmness and stability in my character, which is also reflected in my photography. At the same time, I think that music and photography need to be supplemented with emotions to be better. Neither of these can be improved only from the technical level. Sometimes, if a photo or a violin is invested more Emotions and effects are obviously different.

I think music and photography are very important and passionate things to me. Photography is my survival skill. Music relaxes me in my spare time.

On Evaluating Herself

How would you choose to describe yourself if you were a color, an animal, and a drink?

Blue. Because there is a "sea" in my name. Blue is the sea and the starry sky. It is an expression of emotion and a transfer of attitude. Blue is clear and calm. For me, blue is also the most romantic and warmest color.

A bird. The bird can fly freely on earth, without restriction and restriction. For me, I feel that I have been trying to move in the direction I love, not accepting the outside world's definition of myself, being a free and self-disciplined person, and trying to live the way I like.

Coke. In the past two years, some netizens have said that Coke is "Happy Water for Fat". I think this title is quite in line with Coke. In fact, I usually like drinking Coke. It relaxes me.

Her Partners

What equipment do you use often?

when go out to take photos, I would like to bring a variety of film machines and mobile phones. I also like to shoot with Lomo'Instant Automat. Then I usually like to use some small cameras when going out (there are many cameras at home, so depending on the mood of the day).

For my professional photography, the most commonly used cameras are the Sony A7R3 and A7R4, which are lighter and smarter, and then I use different lenses depending on the creative needs, such as Sony's G Master lens, etc. However, I use the Lomography Petzval 55 lens for portraiture.

Haiyin shoot with Lomography Petzval 55 Art Lens

When I create, I usually pay more attention to the fit of the work and the theme, as well as the style of the work I want to present when the project is produced. I usually spend a lot of time discussing the proposal and preparing the scenery and shooting props for each creation.

It will be more casual when I travel or go out with friends. More random creations will be made according to the weather conditions and shooting scenes of the day.

Haiyin with Lomo'Instant Automat

Her Shooting Story

In your mind, what elements do you need to consider a shoot a success? Can you share an impressive shot?

In my mind, a good piece of work needs to stand the test of time. After a few years, I still look good after looking back.

One of my most impressive shots was a group of portraits previously taken in the Ulan Butong grassland of Inner Mongolia. I used the beautiful grassland scenery as the background. The weather was very cold and it was raining lightly on that day. The model walked on the grassland with a horse and later went to flowerbed for the shoot.

That set of portraits is a combination of natural scenery and traditional culture. In contrast, when I was in New York, I took pictures of urban style. And this set of photos I took in China made me feel closer to the traditional culture and national characteristics of China. The combination of photography and culture also made this a very memorable shoot.

Photography has taken me to different corners of the world, witnessing and recording many beautiful pictures, which is why I love the photography profession.

Her Shooting Habits

How will you bring the atmosphere during the shooting?

During the shooting, I think it ’s very important to interact with the model. Before I start shooting, I ’m used to talking with the model about some more relaxed and lifelike topics and giving each other a relaxed atmosphere. During the shooting process, I will play some music and actively communicate with the model, give encouragement and praise. In fact, female photographers will be more delicate in their interactions with models, especially in terms of shooting makeup and shooting poses, and will be more conducive to interaction and guidance on the set.

For creative or commercial shooting, I will develop a shooting plan in advance to clarify the theme and style. In order to ensure that the model and the subject matter match, I usually contact the model company in advance to invite them to interview in the studio. In this way, I can choose the right model based on the needs of the theme and style. Of course, I will also perform some live real-time creation based on the temperament and characteristics of the shooting model itself (for example, if the model is good at dancing, I will encourage her to show some poses, etc.).

About Her Girls

Is there anything to say to the girls in your lens and the girls who love photography?

In the past few years, I have shot many stars, entertainers, and many different models. I also often receive questions from netizens and friends around me, such as how can I make myself more beautiful in front of the camera.

But I most want to tell the girls under the camera that each girl has her own most beautiful side, and self-confidence is the best way to show herself. Your precipitation will be revealed from your behavior, smiles, and eyes, so as long as you appear in front of the camera with sufficient confidence, you can show the best look.

Haiyin's film works

Photography colleagues will know that photographers never distinguish between men and women, the effort behind taking a picture is the same.

Of course, photography, especially in the fashion photography world, is being updated very quickly.

So for those who love photography and want to take photography as a profession, I think it is very important to force yourself to receive the latest information every day so that you are in a state of progress or new knowledge.

On Her Future Plans

Any future projects?

In recent years, I have been mainly focusing on commercial photography of fashion portraits. Every year, I arrange a time to shoot subjects other than fashion portraits. For example, in the past year, I went to Xinjiang twice to shoot a lot of local humanities and customs. I think subjects relate to Human culture are meaningful and attractive, so I hope to continue to have this kind of shooting this year.

Haiyin in Xinjiang

Her Portrait Work

Chinese female writer Bi Shumin once said "We all age, but confidence is not inversely proportional to age; courage is not stored in the face, but in our own hands."

Thanks to Haiyin's sharing! If you want to see more, just find her Instagram and Weibo 林海音Haiyin .

written by gavintang on 2020-03-29

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One Comment

  1. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    Wow is that Maggie Cheung on her first portrait photo? She's my lovely actress back in primary school at 90s era 💖👸🏮

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