Walter Chin was born in Montego Bay, Jamaica to a Chinese family, and grew up there and in Canada. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree from Ryerson University in photographic arts, Chin moved to Paris, where as professional fashion photographer, he worked mainly for French Elle, before relocating to New York in 1990.
Chin’s work has been published in many magazines, including Allure, several international Vogues, Glamour, GQ, Interview, and Vanity Fair. He has also photographed advertising campaigns for designers such as Chanel, Valentino, Tommy Hilfigar, Missoni, Gap and Lancome. In addition, Neiman Marcus has selected him for many seasons to photograph their annual Art of Fashion Campaign.
Chin was listed as one of the most important people in current photography by a panel of curators, dealers, editors, and industry insiders for American Photo Magazine. His inclusion on the list cited his modernism, use of color and graphic form, and tight image cropping. The way in which his sitters appear to be constantly in motion, draws parallels with Richard Avedon and Martin Munkacsi. The first collection of his photographic work published is Work in Progress it was noted to be influential. He also published a second book, which was equally noteworthy: After Shoot.
One of Chin’s best known images, of a nude Gisele Bundchen on horseback, was published in Vanity Fair and subsequently featured in an exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery in London.