My name is Robin Chan, and I am currently a staff photographer for Gatehouse Media in Southeastern Massachusetts. I predominately cover Hingham, Cohasset, Norwell, and Scituate, but I also cover a number of different towns in the South Shore. As a photojournalist, I get to go on lobster boats, document the training of a National Guard unit, follow the trials and tribulations of high school teams as they try to become state champions, and witness a community fight for their church for the past 8 years. I started freelancing for the company in 2001 and was hired full time in 2005. I often get to observe and document people during a tiny sliver of their personal story, and I am blessed for it.
I was lucky that I had the opportunity to visit a number of National Parks during my vacations while I was growing up. I used a simple point and shoot film camera to document our trips, and I couldn't wait for the film to get back from the lab. I wanted to see if the different angles that I tried out made any difference. During a college interview, I noticed the framed photos that my interviewer displayed in his office. It inspired me to frame my own work.
During my undergraduate years at Boston College, I majored in Biology and minored in History. I spent more time doing research in a Biochemistry lab than I did in a darkroom. In fact, I only took one photography course in college because the course load for a Biology major was so demanding. After three years doing research in a lab, I realized that it wasn't for me. It was great to see how the things I learned in textbooks actually worked in the real world, but I didn't have the same passion for research as some of my classmates.
After graduation, I decided to take a year off and work in China as an English teacher at Foshan University. There I was able to travel even more and explore a part of the world that I didn't even really consider visiting before this opportunity. I was able to go to Thailand, Beijing, Tibet, Hong Kong, Jilin, Shanghai, Xian, and Hanghou/ Suzhou with my trusty camera around my shoulder.
During a retreat in Thailand, I woke up early to photograph the sunrise. I found a pair of umbrellas on the beach, and I set up camp behind it because I thought the silhouetted umbrellas would make an interesting foreground in contrast to the vermillion background. While waiting for the sunrise, I noticed a family walking up the beach. The father happened to stop right in between the umbrellas to pick up something to show his little daughter. I watched this entire scene transpire in my viewfinder, and I knew I potentially had a special picture. I pushed the shutter button, and the father stood up and the family continued on their way down the beach. I couldn't wait to get the film back to see if I did capture the moment. It was then that I realized that I wanted to pursue my passion for photography and do something that I loved.
In 2001, I returned to the States, and I contacted my local newspaper to see if I can start freelancing for them. Initially, I only got one assignment, and then I had two over a weekend before they trusted me enough to be a regular contributor. I learned a great deal about photography by working different angles and trying out different shutter speeds during those assignments. I pride myself in finding those quiet moments of sublime beauty by keeping a watchful eye on the scene.
My wedding photography has a photojournalistic style to it. I pride myself in finding candids that the bride and groom will cherish for years to come because of the happy memories that they elicit.
My work include abstract art that I find during my travels. I enjoy finding beauty in everyday life.
I hope that you find beauty in your own travels.