Sam Chen first became intrigued with photography at the tender age of 5 when he picked up his father’s vintage Minolta rangefinder camera. He was quickly told that it wasn’t a toy and that he should keep his grubby little hands off of it. After several years of photo-abstinence, Sam’s curiosity was finally fulfilled when he got a job in high school and saved up enough money to buy his very own SLR film camera – a Minolta Maxxum 5000. It was love at first sight.
But like a good Asian son, instead of fulfilling his dream to become a photographer for National Geographic, he got his degree in Computer Science & Engineering and proceeded to spend the next 10 years of his life working for a Fortune500 company in the heart of Silicon Valley.
During the dotcom boom, he abandoned the high-tech industry and dove headfirst into animation filmmaking resulting in several award-winning films. To help finance his own indie filmmaking projects, Sam taught several college courses ranging from digital cinematography, character animation, to CG lighting at a local art school.
It was then that Sam started experimenting with aerial photography using the Phantom 1 + GoPro camera to capture everything from triathletes, cruise ships, to surfers riding waves. As one of the early adopters of consumer drones for real estate & architectural applications, Sam has continued to push aerial cinematography and post-processing techniques. His photos (both aerial & ground-based) regularly grace the covers and pages of luxury home & lifestyle magazines.