Model Mayhem #:
Last Activity:
Apr 15, 2019
Very Experienced
Paid Assignments Only
Mar 05, 2007

About Me

It takes a keen eye to understand the subtle balance between photography and design, but NYC-based, Taipei-born, Hawaiian-raised Howard Huang has embraced both with a deft hand.  In the last eight years, Huang’s unique mix of a sharp creative vision and veteran technical prowess has catapulted him to become one of commercial photography’s fastest-rising stars, with his stylish photos gracing an impressive range of media -- from magazine covers and celebrity fashion layouts to national advertising campaigns for Fortune 500 companies.

The best word to describe Huang’s trademark style?  As he puts it:  “moody.”  Huang’s photographs create a fantasyland that moves easily from the highly dramatic to the subtly enhanced.  His models appear warm and sexy, with a lingering touch of glamour and drama.  If nothing else, Huang’s world is a visually arresting one:  one look and you’re mesmerized.
“Images with a story behind them are definitely the most interesting,” says Huang.  “I am always thinking of a narrative behind the shoot, because I prefer creating images with a powerful emotional impact.  It has to be something that makes you feel a sensation:  whether it’s sexy or surprising, or even a disgusting feeling.  But no matter what, it has to attract the eye instantaneously.”
As a Bachelors of Fine Arts graduate from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, Huang’s training is firmly rooted in a traditional photography background.  “I remember my first basic photography courses, and the process just amazed me.  It’s like magic when you first see your image appearing in the darkroom.”  Like every top photographer, technical skills are just the building blocks of Huang’s expertise.  However, unlike other photographers, Huang delved deep into every detailed aspect of the complete process himself. 
“I was hungry to do it all:  from developing to printing, and also alternative processes like cross processes, cyanotypes, brown types, selenium tones, and Polaroid transfers.  I have always wanted my own shop to be able to produce the entire process, from start to finish,” explains Huang.  “Then, after I was introduced to digital imaging and Photoshop, I was hooked.  In the last ten years, technology has evolved to the point where now, we can do it all better and faster -- exerting much more control over each individual aspect of the finished work.”
Also unlike other photographers, Huang retouches all of his images himself.  Trained under commercial photography pioneer Michel Tcherevkoff (a disciple of one of the industry’s most respected masters, Pete Turner), Huang was schooled in digitally manipulated imagery and “composite work,” or images that are combined together and digitally tweaked to form a single, vivid image.  “Many people don’t realize that today, most darkroom work is done digitally in the computer -- including color correction, touch ups, contrast cropping, and so forth -- whether you shoot on digital capture or conventional film,” explains Huang.  “In particular, all commercial photography images are nearly always digitally manipulated, in addition to composite work.”
“The trick is to rework an image so that the treatment is not obvious,” Huang continues.  “The point of digital manipulation and composite work is to enhance the photographer’s vision, and render the photograph into a stronger image.  These days, many images appear very ‘Photoshop-like’:  where you aren’t looking at the actual photograph, but instead its cheesy special effects.  It’s important to realize that dramatic special effects don’t necessarily offer a more stronger image.”
Huang’s impressive list of client work ranges from commercial product photography for corporations such as Panasonic and Nintendo to national advertisements for Verizon, Southpole, Lot29, Mecca Femme to celebrity, fashion, and editorial layouts for fashion, music, and other magazines -- each of whom have found Huang’s additional background training in graphic design very useful.  “My clients often tell me that they appreciate the dramatic way I execute an idea within the tight framework of the pre-press publication process,” notes Huang.  “I try to follow a layout very closely, while at the same time extrapolate the Art Director’s idea into a vivid, pulsing image with a sense of depth.” 
There’s no question, however, that Huang’s forte is the human element.  “I think the reason why I love fashion photography precisely because fashion is not realistic,” he says.  “Fashion is about creating an illusion and fantasy, but very much built around the human factor.  That’s why I think I find interaction with models the most fulfilling, because I tell them a story and they react to that.  I look at models as beautiful creatures,” he adds, laughing:  “They aren’t really human, you know.”
In the end, it’s the magic of the single image that moves Huang.  “Only the photographer really knows what he or she wants out of every image,” he muses.  “It’s like you’re a movie director, but for one frame only -- and there’s a tale to tell behind every still frame.”  He pauses for a moment.  “I fell in love with the whole photographic process a long time ago,” he says, “and I just kept on shooting.”

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Credit Notes

Published Magazines:
Seventeen, Teen Vogue, XXL, King, The Source, Smooth, VIBE, URB, Urban Latino, ReMix, Industry, Mass Appeal, Today’s Black Woman, BlackMen, SSX, OYE, Maxim, The Village Voice, In New York, New Yorker.
Publishers: Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Random House.
Celebrities / Musicians: Nicki Minaj, Keyshia Cole, Daniel Gibson, Keri Hilson, Ludacris, Akon, Nelly, Ashanti, Busta Rhymes, Bow Wow, Flo Rida, Jim Jones, Soulja Boy, Lil Wayne, Wiz Kahlifa, Pleasure P, J Blue, Mya, Nick Cannon, Mario, Cassidy, Juelz Santana, Marques Houston, Tony Yayo, Young Buck, Trey Songz, Lloyd, One12, Ying Yang Twins, Pitbull, The Game, Lauren London, Cassidy, Jacki-O Trina, Talisa Soto, Patricia Velasquez, DJ Kay Slay, Papoose, Rah Digga, Gang Starr, Timbaland, Magoo, Afrika Bambaataa, Ice-T, Remy Ma, Tego Calderon, Chad Hugo, FatBoy Slim, Paul Oakenfold, Peaches, Princess Super Starr,  Amanda Diva, KD Aubert, Nicole Wray, Derrick Carter, Teedra Moses, DJ Enuff, Amanda Diva, Su-Chin Pack, Paula Jay Parker, Esther Baxter, Tamala Jones, Jessica White, Just Blaze, Melissa Ford, Vida Guerra, (American's Next Top Model: Jaslene Gonzoles, Naima, Nick, Jade, Camille McDonald ) Chad Ochocinco.

Digital Composite, Fashion, Urban, Celebrity, Music, Commercial, Advertising, Life Style, Fantasy, Swim Suit, Photography