At beijingkids, we take pride in our magazine covers. They are the culmination of weeks or sometimes even months of planning. We do our best to visually represent the concepts covered throughout our issues, however deep or abstract they may be, and to do so with just a couple of artistic snaps. While they don’t always go to plan, it is always an enjoyable experience, and we rely a lot on the talented efforts of our collaborating photographers and editorial team to get it done right.
This month’s issue explores “Global Citizenship”. How do you visually represent such a complicated and essential topic? Our original idea was to have Third Culture Kids, or kids of mixed heritage, come together and express themselves through Chinese calligraphy, using characters that they felt defined them as a person.
Luckily, we also had at our service the amazingly talented Dave Hanssen of Dave’s Studio, to help us along and provide us with some much-needed guidance throughout this creative process.
We also enlisted two fantastic young ladies, Lin and Hailey from Beijing City International School (BCIS), to be the face of this issue. Besides both of them being obsessed with cats, both are also children of parents that come from different cultures, which perfectly represents the theme we were trying to explore in this magazine.
Throughout the photo shoot, it turned out that perfect calligraphy is a difficult skill to master. We did our best using tracing techniques and eventually decided on writing out the word for “Identity” in multiple languages (Chinese, Korean, and English) so that we could express the complexities these kids face in communicating themselves in their multilingual social and academic environments in Beijing.
Together with Hanssen, we decided also to take some auxiliary shots to make sure we got the best cover possible. Eventually, we landed on an idea of blowing up the Chinese characters for identity, běnzhí (本质), to provide a dramatic backdrop for our young models to strike a pose with, and the result ended up being just what we were looking for!
Here are the remarkable results after about four hours of hard work!
With a wealth of experience and background in producing photos for various commercial brands, Dave Hanssen is a dab hand at creating some of the most stylistically creative and memorable images of kids and their parents. Back in 2010 as a first-time father Hanssen went about capturing every moment of his newborn son’s life and so his passion for photographing children and families began.
Prices start from RMB 1,000 for a one-hour session, and families can choose from a number of different packages to suit their needs. (WeChat ID: dlhzao, 139 1026 8205)
Photos: Dave’s Studio