Who the f*#k is Jay Gao?

img503That’s not him if you’re wondering. That’s Simon Lee, one of Jay’s best friends since junior high. (Leica M6 // Portra 400)

Well, if you read the about section [idiot! (jk, that’s a little rude)] you’d know who he is, but since this is his (my) first blog post, I’ll tell you a little something about myself.

I love film (not cinema, although I do love movies) I’m talking film photography! Analog! Forget digital (also jk, I do love digital too), but really. Why do I still shoot film in this modern day and age? To me, film is much more of an extensive process and though some people see this and think that’s inconvenient and annoying which well… it is. But that’s what makes it so much more interesting. With digital you snap a photograph and boom! it’s there, smack in yo face! That instantaneousness is great and all but to me, it seems to take away from the whole experience! With film, you gotta shoot it by the roll (or sheet if you wanna be fancy) and then you gotta develop it! This means you won’t be able to see your results until much later on depending on how lazy you are. But the moment you see the photographs in your negatives, that’s literally the best feeling ever. Something sentimental if you will…

img550(Hasselblad 500C/M // Expired Portra 400)

But yeah I’m primarily a film shooter, but sometimes I do get lazy and stick my toes into the digital world too. Other times, some work absolutely needs a digital camera, so I’m not left with much choice. Like this photo below.

sti-2-rig-edit-w-flamesRobert Soohoo Jr.’s 2016 Subaru STi (Fujifilm X-Pro1)

You tell me to replicate this photograph with a film camera and I’ll tell you to beat it.

I’m getting off track, I’m supposed to tell you about myself! Anyway I was born in China, I moved to America (Connecticut) when I was about 5 and jumped right into kindergarten, not knowing an ounce of English. That’s crazy right?! But I turned out alright. I basically grew up in Manchester, Connecticut where I graduated from Manchester High School. Somewhere in that timeline, I got into photography. From there, I enrolled in the School of Visual Arts as a BFA Photography Major where I studied for one year and decided, uhh.. no! $40k a damn year, nah man, no way. I dropped that so quick and went to work for a year to pay off some debt. And in the process, I got heavily into automotive photography and purchased my first tuner car, a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. She was gorgeous. (See below).

dscf1306My 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X (Fujifilm X-Pro1)

With her, I began to experiment in automotive photography and was able to fine tune my skills as a car photographer. This was very convenient since I had her at my disposal all the time. So there was always a “model” when I needed one.

I ended up totaling this baby in 2015. Where I then decided that I straight up suck. So then, I changed all my usernames on social media to JayGaoSucks (except Snapchat, cause they wanna be a PITA and not let you change your username). I dumped more than $8,000 in aftermarket parts into this damn thing, what a shame!

Anyway, since then I’ve reapplied to college at PennState Abington where I now pay $15,000 a year because I’m considered an in-state resident (parents moved here after my high school career) much better than $40,000 at art school in NYC, though that was a great year.

And that’s where I currently am. Basically. Now you essentially know my whole life story, well the important bits anyway. Currently I’m freelancing as a photographer and working my way through college and things are going pretty well.

Nice to meet you too, and welcome to my photography blog!

dscf1993Silhouette of my sister in a stairwell (Fujifilm X-Pro1)

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