Huge in China

I’m huge in China because the average height of a Chinese male is 5 foot 5 inches tall, and I’m 6 foot tall, right on the dot.

Trivia aside, the Chinese periodical PhotoWorld China just rolled out a 5,000 word story featuring yours truly. I normally don’t put these things in the regular blog, and instead put this stuff in the press page at This is a little different, however, so let me explain: I figured the interview from 6 months ago would yield a standard 4 paragraph puff piece. FWIW, the first half kinda does read like the typical feature highlighting any photographer (trademark style, background, blah, blah), but the second half of this piece reveals the kind of stuff that I’m actually proud of. Stuff that–given my druthers–is how more profiles would read about other photogs, painters, artist, whomever…. Stuff about the art, influence, method, psychosis, habits, personal stuff, etc. It’s the sort of stuff that I think people care about. Sure the language is too flowery and the details engorged, but I like the heart of it – the art and mentality behind it – which is why I’m sharing it here. I have a feeling that the writer, Ethan Salwen, went to bat back in China for those bits that are rare to this sort of article. Thanks Ethan, you’re a great journalist.

HTML link in English -> Chase Jarvis: The Philosophy of Creating Unexpected Images. Photo World Magazine China.

Download PDF in Chinese -> Chase Jarvis: The Philosophy of Creating Unexpected Images. Photo World Magazine China.

[When you’re done reading the Chinese version, take heed of the wikipedia list of average heights for males and females, by country:]

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Chase Jarvis says:

I’ve chimed in on this before, but it’s so relevant that I’ve got to re-iterate it here: the irony of these stories of your being inspired (plus the fact that the average male in the Netherlands is .2 inches taller than me ;) is that I derive an intense inspiration from your stories. Thank you all for the kind words, and most of all, the sharing of your personal goals/battles/missions… These are the kinds of things that will propel the photographic community at large to higher heights.

twan says:

hi chase,

just read the article… so insightful and inspiring, the journalist really nailed it here.

on a personal note, i’ve been debating for some time which way to go… as a graphic and interactive designer i started up a web-design company a couple of years ago with a friend, and although business is going really well right now, i feel my heart does not belong there…

for some reason i feel i’m always drawn back into photography, but up till now this has manifested itself in fine art photography (with an occasional exhibition), and once in a while i land a commercial assignment but i’ve never pursued really diving in because…

…well, because, basically, i’m scared: there are sooooo many photographers out there, all equally talented. will there be room for me? will i be able to make a living? will i be *good* enough?

i must say, the interview has pushed me over the edge. for some reason i feel much more confident now, i know what i can do and more importantly what i cannot, and finding my way in professional photography will come along the road i suppose.

He who does not dare, always looses, right? I’m just lucky right now that i have been intensely involved in a lot of location and studio fashion shoots, so i have some experience as to the level of professionality, organisation, planning and teamwork required…

so thank you chase, i’m gonna go for it. last week i landed my first “real” assignment, i’m marking it my first professional assignment :-)

fingers crossed, breath holding, diving into the deep…

wish me luck.

dovlove says:

Very insightful article. Love all the tid-bits on your backstory. Love your whole philosophy and perspective on photography. Not many photographers know how to verbally express what you’ve expressed. Much like myself, you’re truly passionate about what you do and how you think out a story and concept for an image. You think outside the box which is what I admire most about you.
You were an inspiration yesterday. Now you’re above an beyond. Thank you for sharing Chase.


Terrence says:

Great article. Quite refreshing to read something real with substance about someone.

Thank you for sharing this and for being so open abou who you are and how you make things happen. Your writing, videos and interviews are more informative on the creative process than anything I’ve seen.

I’m inspired to totally change my life and go after my passion for photography, but the mortgage and baby clothes keep getting in the way!


I think this is the most in deep extensive article I have read about you and your work.
And what I find more attractive is that it does not relate solely and strictly to photography, but further more to intellectual thinking and inner conceptions.
Photography is not only pressing the shutter of a camera but a evolution of ideas and a reflection of your background, your experience in life and your thoughts. And that, for me, is always interesting and rewarding. I’m quite busy today and I have a lot of work to do but I couldn’t wait to the end of the day and read the article. A break for a coffee was my perfect excuse to enjoy 15 minutes of enjoyable reading.
By the way, pass my compliments to Ethan as his done a great job.

drmauro says:

i’m 26. in some ways this is very similar to my life (i’m almost a doctor), except for the success!

if you’ll be near italy, could be great to follow one of your shooting day!

Barak says:

Inspiring article Chase. Makes me think.

Clint says:

I didn’t see a listing for Lake Wobegon on the chart…

I’m sooo stoked that the average mexican is 5ft 2inc. At 5ft 7in i’m really tall but shouldn’t other parts of my body also be bigger????

Ray Medina says:

Hi Chase,

I was just starting to read the article, but I took a quick glance at it and found that in the “The birth of a unique photographic version” section, by the bottom of the picture, the text is kinda scrambled. You can see where here

Garrison Keillor says:

Well, Chase, you’re just average in the Netherlands.

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