Announcing Photography Lighting Workshop for June and July

Putting on a photography workshop is a lot of work, especially when it’s out of the comfort of my own backyard. I’ve been going back and forth on the pricing and ultimately the desire to teach people won over the desire to make a huge profit. So I decided to have it at a price point where it’s affordable, allow me to cover my travel, hire local talent and studio space, and still make a little bit of money to pay some bills.

How does $225 sound? It sounds dang good to me!

What I need from you to help keep the cost down and to keep me wanting to put on workshops is to spread the word. The more people register, the longer I can do these workshops at this price. Obviously I won’t have a huge network or following in your town, please share it with fellow photographers. Also, I’ll need recommendation on MUA, Hair and models in your town. Also, space is limited, so book fast. Future workshops will depend on how these two go.

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here’s a link to register:

For Seattle, June 29th
http://quavondoseattle.brownpapertickets.com/

For San Francisco, July 20th
http://quavondosanfrancisco.brownpapertickets.com/

I’m also available for one-on-one or smaller workshops up to 5 people. $750/person. Contact me for more info.

We’re All Amateurs

We all have to start somewhere. We were all amateurs. I was cleaning out my email and I came across this email from Craigslist. Oh it brings back memories. I had just decided that I was going to walk to the ledge and jump, be committed to photography 100%, no turning back. So I posted this on Craigslist to find a mentor. A few people reached out to me, but I didn’t stay with them long. Their styles were different than mine. I knew what I wanted to create in my head, I just didn’t know how to execute it.

Where it began

Now I’m blessed enough to be where I am in my career that I feel like I have something to offer back to the photography community. I try to always take on interns, so it doesn’t hurt to always check in with me. Also it took me a while to get settled into LA, but now I’m ready to put on workshops again. The first workshop will be in Seattle, June 29th, and the second workshop on the books is in San Fran, July 27th. More details to come.

Keep clickin’

I’m also available for one-on-one workshops in LA. Contact me if you’re interested.

How to Be a Happy Successful Photographer

Being successful in photography is, well, objective. We all have different definitions of success and we all have different goals. Am I a successful photographer? Some people think so, but if you put me next to Annie Leibovitz or 1/2 of the photographers out there, I pale in comparison. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of seeing my own work. I look at other photographer’s work and I’m just amazed. Sometimes it inspires me, sometimes it just puts me in a funk, not the type you wanna boogie down to. Over the course of time, I’ve learned a few things that has helped me with my success and happiness. I’m not saying this will work for you, but it has worked for me.

1) Everyone shoots shitty images. Everyone. Your job as the photographer is to be the gate keeper. If you’re going through and making selects of your shoot, don’t even show the client the images you don’t like, because they WILL pick them as the hero shots. Trust your eyes, they came to you for your expertise, if they were capable, they would have shot it themselves.

2) Do not throw pictures up on the internet and include a disclaimer (images are unretouched, straight out of camera). What is the f’in point? It’s not your best foot forward, so take the freaking time to edit the photo. Let’s say the model grabs the image, throws it on her site and gives you credit, next the makeup artist does the same, what happens in the end is that your image is going to be floating around the internet with credit to you and some potential client is going to see it and think, “Wow this guy doesn’t pay attention to the details, like that big zit on the model’s nose.” You think they will want to give you the $10k gig? Probably not.

3) Association. You hang out with crappy photographers, you will remain crappy. Just like anything else in life, you hang out with thieves, you’re most likely a thief. If you want to grow and improve as a photographer, surround yourself with photographers who inspire you, produce great work, people you can learn from. If you’re the top dog in your group, you won’t grow.

4) If you’re just starting out, don’t watermark your photos. No one wants to steal them. You think your images are great but just know that your taste will grow and your images will improve. What will happen is 3 years from now, you will do a google search on yourself and all these shitty images will pop up with your name on them. Once you start producing great work, people will know that it came from you.

5) You need a GREAT team. You can’t do it by yourself. If I gave you Annie’s team, including set design, do you think you can create stunning photos? I bet you could. Find these people, feed them, keep them happy.

6) Let go of your ego. No one likes working with know-it-alls or divas. Be humble, be hungry. Help other photographers, mentor them, assist them, it’s rewarding.

7) Make the money, but don’t forsaken everything else in chase of the paper. The best way to be happy is to live in the present. Don’t put things off til the future, the future may never come.

8) Shoot often.

 

 

Another Year Older

Yesterday was my birthday. Definitely mixed emotions. I’ve been on this planet for a while now, still searching and trying to find my way. Most of us spend our lives looking for something, a niche, a love, a passion, a career. I count my blessings that I’ve found my passion, but I’ve also lost a love, and my career is in my hands.

Time goes by so quickly, half a year is almost gone. I feel like I’m running out of time. Maybe I’m putting too much pressure on myself, but I think it was ingrained in me at an early age that I was going to be the one in the family to succeed in America and be the one to support the family. My mom’s birthday is two days before mine. She didn’t sound to well when I called her to wish her a happy birthday. It seems like she’s been getting sick a lot lately, so I have this inherent pressure that my time to succeed is running out. I want to provide my mom with everything that she wants and take her on as many trips as possible, but I’m a small fish in a big sea here in LA. How am I to get noticed, get known, get requested? I know that I have the talent, I just need the opportunity just like the rest of the talented people here in LA. What makes me any different? Does it come down to luck then? Who you know? Well God, let those people I must know meet me, bring them into my life, I want to succeed so badly for my mom. I want her to look at me and be proud. Proud of the son that she snuck out of Vietnam in the dead of night on a fishing boat. Proud of me. That’s my birthday wish for this year.