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Hubert Kang talks authentic and emotional photography and doing what he loves every

When Hubert Kang takes a photograph, he is always looking for moments and layers in an environment to build a visually rich image. He doesn’t ask for models to pose, he gives them a story and lets them act naturally. In that process, he captures something that’s believable and relatable, but yet at the same time useful to his client. His style is authentic and emotional, a hybrid of commercial and documentary photography; there will be imperfections and surprises, but in a good way.

This in demand photographer has had quite an esteemed career. From travelling the world with Fairmont hotels to travelling Canada for Globe and Mail, millions have seen and appreciated his work. He is known for his ability to tell a story with a single image, and popular companies seek him out to help rebrand their advertising image, such as Metropolis at Metrotown Mall, Vancouver’s largest shopping center, and Fairmont Royal York, one of the nation’s most prolific hotels.

“It’s easy for everyone to take a good photo once in a while, but what separates a professional from others is that a professional photographer always delivers on demand. The weather can be bad, or the logistics can be challenging, but these are no excuses for a professional photographer to not make a good image. You have to be tireless in your preparation. I am always preparing different options for different scenarios that can happen. I analyze and understand every project so that no matter what happens, I can produce something that answers to the essence of the brief, often times surprising the clients with something they had never imagined,” said Kang.

Kang’s first true taste of national success in his career was when he was hired by DDB Canada to photograph various tourism projects to promote Canada. Some of the cities and provinces he photographed include: Province of Ontario, City of Toronto, City of Montreal, City of Vancouver, and Province of British Columbia. His two more notable projects were for Keep Exploring and Discover Ontario.

The “Keep Exploring” campaign was photographed in Toronto and Montreal. It was the rebranding cornerstone that established Canadian Tourism’s visual style. The campaign included interactive digital walls in major cities in the United States, prints, and digital executions. It was the Applied Arts Integrated Campaign winner in 2010.

The “Discover Ontario” campaign was an immersion campaign that took over the Euston tube station in London, United Kingdom. Hundreds of Kang’s images were used to plaster all over the Underground station to promote travel to Ontario. Print and social media were also part of the execution. The Immersion Zone delivered huge impact, generating brand awareness among the 1.8 million who passed through the station during the two week campaign period, generating 9 million total impressions, over 90,000 clicks on the CTC/OTMP website (four times the amount projected) and a click through rate 500% higher than the average CTC campaign thanks to Kang’s work.

Looking at all the research DDB and Canadian Tourism have done, Kang identified that for the target demographics (travellers from the states and Europe), a road trip in Canada is a popular idea. He also identified that one of the reasons that Canada is attractive to visitors is the accessibility from major cities to beautiful nature. Interacting with Canadian people is also an attraction, as they are known for being hospitable and friendly. With these key points in mind, Kang came up with the road trip photography idea where his group visited interesting places in Ontario, Toronto, and Montreal. They also interacted with the locals a lot, as if they are getting the local knowledge on where to go.

“It was an amazing opportunity to help Canadian Tourism shape how the world views Canada. With Canada being my adopted country as I was born in Taiwan, I wanted to take the opportunity to show how much I love the country and all its diversity. I also wanted to make the contribution to introduce Canada to more people around the world. I was also really excited to work with the team at DDB Canada. I wanted to collaborate with them to work on its world class projects,” he said.

Throughout the entire process, Kang had to digest all the creative ideas, marketing strategies, and brand guidelines, and then translate them to beautiful photographs. He was vital in taking an intangible idea to a concrete, relatable product. The project was very successful because the images are attractive. They are right on target with the demographics that Canada Tourism wanted to speak to. The images tell a story that connects not only the visual level, but emotional as well. Knowing that he contributed to his adopted country was extremely rewarding for the photographer.

“I really enjoyed working with the team to take a challenging idea and make it a reality. The synergy was incredible. I also liked that it’s not a typical advertising project where everything is buttoned down and stiff. The images I created were fluid, authentic, and beautiful. It was really refreshing to work on a really great idea and make it even stronger. I also liked that I was able to help shape how the world views Canada. It’s more than just a typical commercial project. It was something that’s meaningful and could make lots of positive contribution to communities,” he concluded.

This project is just one of the many that Kang has worked on for DDB Canada and Canadian Tourism. He has since worked on a number of projects for Canadian Tourism in Ontario, Quebec, and BC. With DDB, he has also worked on major projects for organizations such a BC Hydro, Sport BC, BC Place, etc. Similarly, he has worked on other tourism projects for Destination BC and Travel Alberta.

Written by Annabelle Lee

Hubert Kang talks authentic and emotional photography and doing what he loves every Reviewed by JaamZIN on 7:38:00 AM Rating: 5
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