Images by Jonathan Yip
[Shelby Loasby | Head of Print]
The University of Hertfordshire’s own alumni, Jonathan Yip, has been busy making a name for himself over recent years. Despite only graduating this summer at just 20 years old, Yip is the CEO and founder of IMVA Studios and YKT clothing line, as well as a renowned photographer with a residency at The Forum Hertfordshire.
You may have seen his name plastered on the walls of The Forum, and you probably feature in one of his many clubnight albums on Facebook. But what’s the story behind the lens?
Where did it all begin?
Yip started photography in 2010, when he was just 15 years old. Himself and a couple of friends got together to start IMVA studios, where they set up their own space for photo shoots, and saw an instant success with a long list of clients. Whilst the original idea involved a studio space, most of the IMVA clients outsourced the team to do on-site photography for things like corporate events and live music.
Yip said, “I didn’t really utilise the studio and equipment, so my partners and I decided to shut the physical studio and invest the money into more high end photography equipment.” The business has since blossomed and is still a strong earner for the photographers.
This was just the start for Jonathan Yip. In 2013 he started to dabble in the world of clothing, with his own clothing line; YKT Clothing Co.. It kicked off with a huge reception and was supported by local and international celebrities, from as far as Australia, Hong Kong and the Netherlands, and is even supported by many public figures in and out of Malaysia.
The clothing company was also interviewed in the national newspaper in Malaysia in 2014 and made several cameos on TV and in local music videos. One of the notable finalists of Miss Universe Malaysia is also a loyal supporter of the label.
The most important supporter however, was of course Yips mum. “Yes my mum wears my brand too,” Yip proudly said, “especially when i’m going out with her.” He added, “I make sure to wear the same tee as her. I wear my own brand often.”
Yip went on to say that he hand picks the material before the clothing is custom made. Want to get your hands on your own YKT merchandise? Click here!
Being a ProTog
Not only does he have entrepreneurial success, Yip has established himself as a talented professional photographer, specialising in EDM, nightlife and live music. He has shot hundreds of artists in his short career so far and has brushed shoulders with the likes of Swedish House Mafia, Armin van Burren, Steve Aoki, and Ciara – to name a few.
One of Yip’s favourite events has been the Mysterious Festival in Malaysia. “I had the opportunity to be flown around, stay in luxury hotels with an allocated room tab, and mingle with the biggest EDM artists backstage – all in the name of the job.”
With his interest in the EDM scene, Yip is heavily influenced by photographers Rukes and Rudgr, and he regularly follows their festival photos for new creative ideas. “They are my main source of inspiration and motivation to become a better photographer.” Yip said. “Hopefully I’ll be following in their footsteps and going on tour with artists and festivals around the world in the future.”