Sunday, 27 November 2011

龍友 Lung Yau

龍友= lung yau: (literally) dragon friend

The term lung yau is often used to refer to very specific type of HK photographer. He (invariably) is the kind of guy who likes to take pictures of girls. You sometimes see them at beaches and other scenic spots, but not necessarily.

Before you say, hey, these are just guys getting a bit shutter-happy with their girlfriends, read the Four Commandments of the lung yaus, and look again. 

1. Thou shalt have a big camera, a huge flash (optional) and a whopping lens. Size does matter.
2. Thou shalt only photograph models that are younger than thee. By a (considerable) number of years.
3. Thou shalt only photograph models that are more attractive than than thee. By several degrees.
4. Thou shalt not hesitate to get up close and personal with thy models. Go forth now and capture.

Lung yaus take the commandments very seriously indeed, especially no.4, as you can see here:


Very close:

Focusing-distance-defyingly close:

Click here to see another category of camera-toting HK person.

All content © Emilie Pavey


  1. Well, "Lung Yau" is not limited to girl shooters. The term comes from Salon Photography, which has a specific set of aesthetics or taste. Salon is called "Sa Lung" in Cantonese, and "Lung Yau" means guys who practice this form of photography.

  2. Hi, thanks for that info! While preparing this post I asked different HK friends and some people thought it was a term for 'photographers' generally, but most seemed to think it was the ones who shoot girls. Maybe the usage is changing? Or maybe it's because shooting girls is so popular? It's very interesting to understand the background of the term though. Thanks a lot!

  3. The ones I see usually hunt in packs and it really is quite comical to watch them all clicking away with their *ahem* huge lenses.