Portrait Session in China

Xie Shiyong ist eine junge Aufstrebende Managerin im Chinesischen “Sillikon Valley” Shenzhen. Was ist das für eine junge Frau die selbstbewusst ein Fotograf aus Europa bucht um Bilder von Ihr zu machen dachte ich mir?


 Portraits Aufnahmen sind jedesmal eine Entdeckungsreise, speziell wenn man dafür noch in den Flieger steigt und einige Stunden richtig Zeit hat und sich Gedanken über die Person zu machen.
Xie Shiyong ist eine junge Aufstrebende Managerin im Chinesischen “Sillikon Valley” Shenzhen. Was ist das für eine junge Frau die selbstbewusst ein Fotograf aus Europa bucht um Bilder von Ihr zu machen dachte ich mir?
Nach einigen Stunden im Flieger, Zollkontrolle und einer kurzen Nacht ging es am anderen Tag in ein Fotostudio in Shenzhen. Traf sie wie meistens üblich in dieser 13 Mio. Grossstadt in einem nahe gelegenen Shoppingcenter. In Shenzhen Downtown gibt ja fast nur noch Büros, Wohnungen bzw. Wolkenkratzer und eben Shoppingcenters.
In den letzten drei Jahren habe ich gelernt, dass Chinesische Frauen sehr sensible sind wenn es um ihre Portraits Aufnahmen geht. Das Wort Nein existiert nicht, höchstens ein zurückhaltendes “maybe” was meistens genau “Nein” bedeutet und trotzdem verhandelt diese Junge Dame grosse Verträge für ein bekanntes Amerikanisches Internetunternehmen in China.
Der Nachmittag mit Xie im Studio werde ich nicht so schnell vergessen, am Anfang war sie recht zurückhaltend. Nach ein paar Aufnahmen stand sie im Profil vor der Kamera und als sie den Kopf noch hinten senkte wusste ich, dass dieses Shooting ein Erfolg wird.

Vor ein paar Tagen bekam ich via WeChat ein schönes Feedback.

Before this shooting, I felt nervous and not that confident, but after I saw your photos, I really feel like I’m a strong woman through your camera

Link zu den Bilder




International ausgezeichneter Fotograf, arbeitet in den Bereichen Commercial, Portrait, Business, Corporate, Firmen, Event, Jürg Kaufmann.
Portraitfotograf, Corporatefotograf in Zürich, Bern, Winterthur, Luzern, Basel, Interlaken, Thun, Gstaad, St. Moritz, Zug, Schweiz Photograper Switzerland


International honored corporate and portrait photographer
business, event based in Switzerland

1.3 Billion Individuals


China with his 1.3 billion habitants is the most populated country in
the world and its national population density (137/km2) is similar to
our Swiss density.

Looking at the numbers is impressive but never as much as watch-
ing the crowds in the big city. I sometimes have the feeling like
standing if front of  ant colony a formicary where the individual
seems to get’s lost. But if you pick out a few they are individuals like
we with there own dreams, hopes, friends etc.

In my next trips to China I will do more portraits and discover more
of this faces.

Discover their personality

Ecquipmnet used: Nikon D810 Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 Lens Elinchrome flash and sofbox

Volovo Ocean Race in China

A bit of sailingemotions from my last project in China Sanya with Team Alvimedica in Volvo Ocean Race.

Travel to China behind the big firewall



What works, what not and how to access LinkedIn, Facebook & Co during the time you travel in China. After years of business trips to China I found my solutions and work around.

My first contact with this system was during the 2008 Olympic games. Left home with plenty of good ideas, my blog was well prepared for it. Had a clear strategy with Facebook etc. but….
Once arrived in the Olympic village there was no way to get to on my Facebook
and WordPress blog event outside in town. After many useless discussion I allways got the same typical answer: “Sorry Sir not possible, becouse Beijing” and I gave up.

The solution came a few days later still during the Olympic Games with a young friendly Chinese who was looking at my photos the day before approaching me in the media center:
“Sir I can help for your internet, but please do not say….” VPN was the magic word ! At the end the solution was not really working it was way too to slow.

So what works and what doesn’t ?

Not working
– Google.com (all google services) gmail googledrive etc. even google map
– Twitter Facebook, youtube, vimeo

The following services work well even without VPN:
– Instagram, Skype, Facetime, Tumblr, linkedin, WhatsApp

Today it’s still the same you will not get access unless you install your VPN already at home. In the mean time there are plenty of VPN solutions you can buy online. You will find easy some free once but not sure if they work once you are in China. The question is more which one.

I have two criteria I generally apply in this web services:

Is it for free?
Why should I get anything for free? There must be a reason for that. It’s not going to cost a lot so I prefer to chose one I have to pay.

How long is the service around?
Don’t read the success stories but check our the reference list and how long is this operating.

From a technical point of view make sure it offers SSL Security, it will encrypt all the data during communication.

my brother used to be a former IT Manager of a Swiss Bank he installed a own VPN and this one is safe but there are public solutions who work fine:

Here area few:

The same applies for smart phones and tablets:

Personally I use the VPN Express:
fine, they are area few servers around the globe you can choose depending on the website you are accessing. Please remember the connection will slow down a bit.

Here area few more:

Social media in China:
a big thing, probably even bigger than what we expect. Just observe the young people in the subway or so and you will see how focussed they are.

Here are a few services you will probably come across one you are in China:

our Twitter, a micro blog but it’s way more advanced than our twitter, used to be top until 2 years ago but still working very well. Almost everybody is on weibo.

It replaces our WhatsApp and I recommend you to install it. It’s very popular to exchange the QR code when you meet someone to stay connected. Wechat is growing in popularity in these days.

This is the Chinese nr. one video platform and replaces our youtube and vimeo. Even with a VPN they are almost useless as it’s way to slow.

Mobile phone contracts & Wifi:
Data & voice roaming in China can be super expensive, it’s cheaper getting a second smart phone and get a local simcard if you stay longer than a few days. If not make sure you have turned off the data roamingservice.

However you will find a lot of free WIFI around in China mostly in all restaurants, airports etc. in the bigger cities they havea free wifi. Just ask and you will get the login and password.

Hope this information will make you stay in China more enjoyable.

Juerg Kaufmann

About me:
Since the 2008 Olympic games I have been back to China for job’s several times. Three years ago during a photoshooting I had the chance to meet a fantastic women. She did here Master thesis on the social media andhelped me to get into the Chinese way of thinking and working. In the mean time we are a couple.. 😉
My next photoshooting in China will be end of March and I’m already looking forward to it.


Make up and Light

Shooting out in the nature is complex, the light is not always as you would like to have it, the studio work should be simpler. You can adjust the light as you like as you have it in mind, the stylist prepare the model with as you discuss, the eyes, cheeks etc. Seems easy but it’s not. The light is something witch require patience and then you have it but the make-up part is a challenge. What if the model think the eyes should be less or more retouched? The time is flying, retouching, adjusting the light etc. and you are still looking for different positions.
The studio work is cool really like it and the winter is a good time to work on this. Looking forward to the next shooting in the studio.

Click on the photo to see more images from this shooting.

Xie Xie China

Xie Xie in mandarino significa grazie e si pronuncia “cie cie”, hanno dato tutto quello che potevano per trasformare queste Olimpiadi in una bella festa. Non per parlarne della cerimonia di chiusura che no ho vissuto in prima persona.

Sono sul viaggio di ritorno e mi sono fermato 2 giorni a Shanghai per vedere un po di China al di fuori dal villaggio Olimpico e di Qingdao. Sfortunatamente piove fortemente e cosi sono in albergo e scrivo un po.

Gli ultimi giorni a Qingdao erano particolarmente intensi, incominciando con la medal race di Flavio ed Enrico sulla Star: buona partenza, terzi alla boa di bolina, “ultimi” alla boa di poppa ed un recupero da eroi nella prossima bolina fino al secondo posto e poi finire sul scondo posto. La medaglia non ci e stata, gli punti persi nelle prime prove pesavano troppo pero bella prestazione. Bravi!!!

Il giorno della partenza da Qingdao era anche un po particolare. Dopo che gli Chinesi del centro stampa hanno scoperto che il mio volo era solo alle 23.00 non cera mezzo per evitare la cerminonia di chiusura di Qingdao, non so come mai ma dovevo scattare delle foto a tutti costi. Non mi dispiaceva perché gli unici fotografi rimasti era Carlo Borlenghi ed io cosi l’ho fatto assieme a Carlo.
Fino qui tutto bene, hanno organizzato tutta una serie di trasporti per fare in modo che la partenza dallo stadio, caricare le borse in albergo e poi portarmi in aeroporto doveva funzionare alla perfezione. Non fu cosi, l’ultimo trasporto era in ritardo e cosi ho perso la prima volta l’aereo. Per la manager (donna) del centro stampa era un disastro si e scusata in tutti modi possibili e quasi non osava più a guardarmi dalla vergogna. Pero quello che ne e uscito dopo era geniale.

Mi sono trovato in un vero KTV Chinese (Karaoke TV) con un gruppo di volontari del centro stampa e nel fra tempo mi hanno organizzato il nuovo volo, trasporto ed albergo per la notte.
Consequnza ho giocato una specie di indianata Chinese di birra con dei dadi tutta la notte con Chinesi nel KTV dove le ragezza del centro stampa continuavano a cantare in Chinese ed io bere Qingdao birra perche chairmente gli Chinesi erano piu bravi. Ogni tre po caraciavano la canzone “I am sailing I am sailing” per fare cantare pure me.
Per fortuna la nostra costituzione sopporta meglio l’ alcool dei Chinesi cosi ce l’ho fatta a sopravvivere più o meno bene la notte.

Il giorno dopo cioè un paio di ore dopo chiaramente mi hanno accompagnato in aereoporto. Stranamente mi hanno portato dritto all check in della first class, il resto si spiega da solo, peccato che il volo e durato poco meno di 2 ore.

Domani torno a casa per un fine settimana tranquillo perché il lunedì dopo si va a St. Moritz per il match race.

Saluti da Shangahi


PS: Qui a Shanghai ho trovato un bar che si chiama “Locarno” ed ha il caffe “Chiocco d’oro” e gli spagetti carbonara sono mica male.