As Seen on The Knot

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There’s this tradition in China called “Zhuazhou”, with the English translation “Birthday Grab”; it’s a ceremony that parents place an assortment of articles in front of their child who turns one year old, and the child is to choose from the articles, thus we predict the child’s future career. I don’t think my family did this ceremony for me, but imagine if they did, I probably would have picked up a camera or roll of film among the bunch.

My name is Fen, and I’ve been a film-buff since childhood. Growing up in Shanghai, my family first acquired a TV set (still a luxury item back in the early 80s) when I was 5. There were only 3 TV stations back then but they all played wonderful stuff. Among my favorites were lots of domestic and foreign films – Japanese tragedies, Bollywood love dramas, Soviet war films, and Chinese Kung-fu oldies. I indulged myself in those stories while being nourished in the humming sound of metropolitan Shanghai.

I moved to America after I finished high-school and had a rough couple of years making a living and supporting myself. Thinking back, those were the years that made me into an artist; hardship of life ignited poetry in me and I eventually developed a voice of my own and accumulated a body of work. In the meanwhile I also finished studying accounting in college and had a steady corporate job for a decade. In the back of my head, I always wanted to do creative things to make living, since different art forms all talk to each other, my vision in poetry found its sublet in camera and lens. In the summer of 2005, I shot my first wedding with a camcorder for an acquaintance’s wedding. I keep a note page of every couple who has trusted me to film their wedding, as of end of 2019, I’m looking at the number 195. This list makes me happy, it’s full of love and memories of so many families and couples, and I feel quite good since I’m the one who captured their most special days in life.

As I learned and improved myself in camera and editing work, I also studied film-making and screen-writing at NJ Film School. In my spare time, I never stopped learning online on my own. I’m still a film-buff up to this date, and further more, because of the camera technique and style I developed, I have joined a good amount of indie film projects as cinematographer and editor. My goal is to keep creating beautiful visuals for wedding couples and keep making indie films, to help more stories be told to the world in the art form of film.