Born in San Francisco, Sean Marc Lee is a Taipei-based American photographer who captures his loved ones with analog photography. A film school graduate, Sean started taking photos for fun and then transitioned to full-time professional photography. His works shows playful, special moments in everyday life frozen in a cinematic frame. His love of photography and cinema he attributes to his father, whose Minolta camera was his first introduction to photography.
Currently, Sean is working on a photography project about his father titled daddy_lee. Sean says of his father, “Although he is ethnic Chinese, he was born in Japan in 1947, and immigrated to the U.S. late 1950 to early 1951 and has never traveled outside the U.S. since. Basically, I want him to meet his extended family that still resides in Japan and just take quirky fun photos. He’s been a cab driver in San Francisco for more than 40 years and is full of stories and has a child-like view of the world in terms of his energy and his love for Disneyland.”
“Film is love, digital is work,” Sean says. His peculiar taste in special moments are captured using a medium format and small compact film camera. “It’s all about something silly someone does, or something semi-provocative in some quirky way. Many times, it’s that half moment in between gestures someone does while posing or being ready to have their photograph taken. The biggest obsession that I have is mostly of my loved ones, whether it be my father, my girlfriend, or my cats. They are always the constant source of inspiration.”
Often featuring his girlfriend and friends, his cat, or moments of life in Asia, his body of work has a sense of humor and a storytelling aspect to it that is framed as if it were part of a movie scene. Sean says, “The simple approach of influences lies heavily in cinematic story telling, from Japanese films to the explosion of Asian New Wave cinema in the late 90s to early 2000s.”
Apart from daddy_lee, Sean is a full-time lifestyle and editorial photographer who has shot for clients such as Monocle, Hypebeast, VSCO and The New York Times, as well as on many film sets.