People who stayed on the job during Spring Festival

China Daily | 2017-02-02 06:56
People who stayed on the job during Spring Festival

Zhao Heting, a photojournalist at Tencent News, with his 1-year-old daughter.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Journalist hopes to cover beauty in empty capital

While most people returned home during Spring Festival, Zhao Heting, 30, a photojournalist at Tencent News, snapped pictures in Beijing, documenting the "spring travel"-the world's largest annual human migration-and the empty capital it leaves behind.

The 30-year-old photojournalist at Tencent News was born in Liaoning province. He worked for a local newspaper in Hunan province for three years before coming to Beijing in 2015.

"This is my first time taking pictures of the empty capital," Zhao said. "I can't even imagine how surreal it must be to see the typically crowded subways, shopping malls and roads become hollow. You don't see scenes like these every day."

The scenes usually painted of the city are cold and unforgiving, Zhao said, but he wanted his pictures to portray a different tone.

"I want to prove that amid the empty buildings, there are still beauties to behold and stories to unfold," Zhao said. This was the reason for his staying in the city when millions of people returned home, he added.

"I looked forward to returning every year because it is a rare chance to escape the city life and reconnect with my family," he said.

Now, with Zhao's daughter turning one year old, he and his wife have anchored their lives in Beijing instead.

"Living in a big city is really challenging," he said. "But seeing my daughter grow up, I know everything will be worth it. I hope one day she will look at my pictures and be proud."

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