Short and sweet, this couple's engagement took place during the Ultra Concert week in Miami, so the fact that we started earlier in the afternoon, and finished just at sunset was perfect for traffic and getting to the spots we needed to shoot. The majority of work I do is for old friends that I have gone to school with who have seen my photography on Facebook and like my work, other than that its current friends and referrals from those friends that get me work outside of the friend zone. I have been fortunate to be working for over seven years and continue to get jobs that I really enjoy doing. I really don't market or try to sell out my photography. There was a time where I heavily pursued, volunteered, and solicited work earlier in my just starting out days, and in that past few years with blog posting it was really a great platform to advertise my work as a service and a product. Now outside of posting in Facebook and the less than occasional blog posts I really do not actively pursue extra work anymore.
While posting about personal travels and family photos is pretty great marketing, and these blogs don't hurt either as far as people seeing my work, I seem to stay busy enough without the ambitious hustle I had at one time, working by word of mouth and friends has been just fine lately. The personal posts are just natural and a more organic way for me to share my work. Its a luxury really and I am grateful for the work I get, and happy that I don't have to be a salesman. I went to school with Minh at University of Miami, and it was the same for him when he asked me about taking photos for his wedding. His fiance on the other hand took some convincing probably not so much by me, but Minh for sure was laying it on her to like my photography and trust me when it came to taking her photos. This engagement photo session was probably more of an interview for their wedding than I knew it was, but I wasn't too worried about it. It was an honor to work with them and having them both be Vietnamese was special too since my mother is Vietnamese. My mom was thrilled I would be shooting a Vietnamese couple.
While I have learned so much since beginning photography in 2001, one common theme about the work aspect has been about fine tuning processes to become more efficient at the parts of the creative process that take time and are tedious. Post processing can be that black hole that photographers can get stuck in that eats up all of their time. From shot selection, editing, to finally publishing work either through print or some other online media, there is value in that time for each part of the creative post-process that excludes the actual photographing part. There are several solutions to those parts of photography, they can be outsourced, they can be automated, or even they can be learned and poured over so that every single photo can be treated as if it were a masterpiece. I have taken the longer route, but then have made every attempt to automate my processes and fine tune my post-processing to match my shooting style, and selectively choose which photos need or not need to be poured over as if they were a masterpieces.
I find great freedom in posting directly from my camera now-a-days, but I also enjoy the art of post-processing to make some really spectacular works of art whether it be of people, landscapes, sport, or wildlife. Currently with my blogging I am learning the short and sweet posting without spending too much time or thought. I use to spend weeks on planning, writing, and shot selection in a season where I was learning how to be great at blogging and really showcase my work. Now I am learning to be a factory that churns out a blog post in one 30 minute session from planning, shot selection/editing, to writing and posting every couple days. It is liberating, and I hope you enjoy the frequency and the journey as you follow my posts from the work I have done over the past year!