What is the essence of portrait photography?
Dingji Photography has been pondering this question for the last 11 years due to its focus on excellence and the pursuit of the highest standards. Having established 7 professional portrait photography agencies in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou, each with a different style, Dingji put forward a new concept for its eighth establishment: a space, Huangya Art Space, that explores the art of portraiture without being profit-oriented.
Commenting on the initiative, Luo Zhenhua from WIT Design explains “As a visitor who has been to numerous art spaces, I was immediately moved after hearing about this concept from the founder of Dingji. At a time of fierce competition and uncertainty (during the planning phase) due to the pandemic, Dingji persists in resolutely ‘discussing art’. This practice seems far from commercial interests, yet it truly perfects the production of portrait photography and this is commendable.”
Despite this pursuit of art, the average transaction value at the new store is 5 to 10 times higher than that of Dingji’s regular stores, and the new studio continues to be widely loved.
The Portrait Database Administrator in the Era of Cloud Computing
Is art so distant?
It is well known that the mechanical part of many products in China is on par with top Western brands, yet there is still a gap in terms of pricing. Perhaps what China is lacking is a thorough understanding of art and design.
Luo has never considered the studio to be an ordinary photographic studio producing ordinary portrait photography. Yet the art presented is far from being exclusive and for a select few. Instead, Dingji has always been dedicated to provide a photography art of service which is timeless, and continues to perfect and develop the art of portraiture.
Within the corridors of the studio’s exhibition hall, a scene of mechanical aesthetics unfolds. It seems as if customers have been frozen and captured by the mechanical shutter in a millisecond and then the photos processed, uploaded and downloaded in real-time. Dingji’s artistic output is not akin to either the oil portraits of the 16th century Renaissance or the slow imaging of cameras in the 19th century. It exists within a futuristic realm of silver and metallic textures, where capturing, storing, and managing photos online is unrestricted by technology, and photos never fade or get lost.
The Huanya Art Space, the eighth Dingji photography establishment, provides customers with a scenario of the future: Dingji not only serves as a photographer for clients, but also acts as their portrait database administrator in the era of cloud data.
Dingji also displays large-scale interactive installations in the exhibition hall, showcasing the power of the studio’s advanced backend technologies.
Architect Antoni Gaudí once said, “The straight line belongs to humankinds, the curved one to God.” If there were a “Heavenly Photographic Studio,” it would most probably be curved in design, as is he exhibition hall of this space.
Photo exhibitions are regularly held in the exhibition hall, aiming to promote the studio itself. of Dingji through the showcased works. Additionally, the art corridor is divided into sections by mechanical shutter shapes, each section documenting a story and a scene captured by Dingji.
Autonomous Transformation of the Brand
The studio combines portrait consultant, art exploration and an homage to the future image. Returning to the commercial space itself, this project has gained a significant number of customers since the pandemic, and the average transaction value is 5 to 10 times higher than that of Dingji’s regular stores, which has promoted a lot including business and the brand.
The observation and exploration of the future carried out in this modern photography space, which is presented directly through space design and has received positive responses from customers.
For Luo, there is a particularly moving story which illustrates the professionalism of the studio staff. A client wanted to have her photograph taken at sunrise. When she arrived at the outdoor set promptly at 6 a.m., Dingji’s business team kindly offered her tea. The makeup team were waiting for her outdoors and had already prepared everything. The camera equipment and lighting had also been perfectly set up in advance by the photography team. The customer’s experience was further enhanced as the shoot was accompanied by the warm rays of the rising sun.”
Returning to the commercial space itself, this project has gained a significant number of clients since the pandemic.
Clients are received not by a single bleary-eyed independent photographer, but by a fully-fledged team systematically pursuing artistic outcomes. As a result, a set of customized artistic portraits with a characteristic of the era is produced.
Project Location: Beijing, China
Project Area: 1500 square meters
Interior Design: WIT Fangxia Design
Design Team: Luo Zhenhua, Niu Qianxuan, Tao Rui, Zhao Gongpu, Zhang Yanli, Tian Changxin, Chen Wenyi
Lighting Design: TS Lighting
Interactive Design: Fun Theory
Project Photography: Simon
Copywriting Planning: Narjeeling
Project Planning: Le Brand Strategy Agency