Portrait, Photographer Soo Hong 2023

 My name is James Arzente, a portrait photographer living in Bellevue, Washington, having moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2010 from Boston. I began my artistic career as a painter in 1992 after moving from France to the United States and attending the Museum School in Boston. My work is in various private and public collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon. In 2014 feeling that painting had run its course and wanting a new challenge, I turned to photography.
I'm a self-taught photographer who enjoys people, listening to their stories, and challenging myself to express that individual visually. My visual sensibilities come from travel, people I've met, and having worked in the fashion industry. A pivotal period in my life was living and working in France. I attended The Marchutz School of Fine Arts in Aix-en-Provence during this ten-year period. Upon completing school, I made my way back to Paris; with the help of a friend, I got employed painting backdrops for fashions shows at the Grand Palais and various venues in the Paris area for the couturier Kenzo Takada, also known as the brand Kenzo, a Japanese designer who's signature was mixing prints and materials in a Japanese inspired look. After several months I was hired as a textile assistant working there for three years.
  This experience, along with many others, formed both my personality as well as my visual sensibilities. It's said that one can only be who one is based on the experiences one brings to whatever work one pursue. "If you've lived a life of many experiences, you bring those experiences with you when you enter whatever occupation you choose; the opposite is also true." 
 Depending on the complexity, my shoots tend to be in a 4 or 5 hours range. The shoots begin by getting a sense of one another, reviewing concepts, shooting, reviewing images, editing images, and finally settling on the final prints the client desires. My studio setup is effortless: an eight-foot broad black background, various lights, a fan, reflectors, and several cameras. The reasoning behind this is that it gives the individual being photographed the ability to focus on form and very little else. There is no place to hide in that environment. I view each shoot on its own merits and each individual the same way. Modeling experience is desired but not necessary again, depending on the type of service needed. I'm looking for individuals that may have yet to have the freedom or opportunity to work in this manner. 
  This is who I am and how I perceive my working style; if you're interested in this way of working or have questions, please feel free to reach me through my website.