A product of naysayers, Joe Chea has gone against the grain to pursue his love for photography.
Chea was first introduced to photography as an art during his freshman year at William Cullen Bryant High school in L.I.C., NY. His school's art program gave all photography students a Nikon F50 camera to complete the course work. He took that time, one year, to discover a new facet of creativity. The patience, technique and attention to detail required to mix the chemicals and prepare the darkroom was an art within itself. It kept Chea's interest. Just as he was preparing to share his new found love for photography, the program ended. Chea had to return the camera. 10 years went by before Joseph picked up another camera.
When he did pick up a camera again, he did so as a creative outlet. In an attempt to share his art with the world, Chea created Flight Crew Photography. He envisioned it would be an outlet for many photographers, not just himself. While building the reputation of Flight Crew Photography, Chea took the time to teach himself photography all over again and was introduced to Photoshop. During Chea's hiatus, Digital photography had risen to the forefront of the media world, and he had no experience with this genre. In time, Chea taught himself the ins and outs of this craft and began to gain recognition for his images of musicians on stage. (This lead to his relationship with Inked Magazine.) While working an event for Inked magazine, Chea was approached by an executive for Ralph Lauren and given some of the most valuable information he has received to date regarding his career. The gentleman told him that he spent too much time representing a group instead of representing himself. Not too long after, Chea disbanded Flight Crew Photography and rebranded himself and his work. Chea's work and business endeavors are now recognized by his birth name, Joe Chea.
After being laid off in May of 2013, Chea had no other option but to invest all that he had into his craft. Some may consider being laid off as misfortune, but he's made the best of it. Since being laid off, Chea has photographed some of pop's biggest names, including but not limited to, Rick Ross, Eminem, Melanie Fiona, Big Sean, Luke James, Bridget Kelly, Common, and Wale. A product of naysayers, Joe Chea has gone against the grain to pursue his love for photography. He’s more dedicated than ever and getting better day by day.