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I am currently a high school senior and will be obtaining my community college Associates in Arts Degree. I currently work as a portrait photographer in Phoenix.
Currently, I am employed as a photographer assistant and photographer at professional Portraitefx for the past two years.
Photography means more to me than it does to typical photographers. I strive to use my work to capture the art in everyday lives, to capture the beauty that people typically overlook.
Would you like to complete our full Editorial interview or skip straight to uploading your photos? (12 more interview questions).
Our readers would love to get to know you more An. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
Something that is unique about me is that I strive to tell a story with each image that I produce. I want to create images that are meaningful to everyone. Often times, I tend to spend more time pre-planning and put in much more thought into every shoot.
An, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
My aspiration in life is to make the world a better place. I started out as a photographer because I wanted to find a way to express myself when words could not describe the emotions that I felt. It began when I wanted to use art to express the inner frustrations and emotions of pain that felt like could not be explained. Slowly from there, my photography began to evolve and encompassed a wider array of emotions.
Who is your inspiration in life An? How do you keep inspired?
My inspiration in life is my parents. The reason being is that they were bombarded with endless tribulations, they continued to pull through. My parents were able to overcome poverty, racism, and adversity. I keep myself inspired by observing all the details in the world. For example, the little sound of a water droplet hitting the floor may inspire me to create a theme around that. Being mindful of my surroundings allows me to find ideas in areas that are not typically profoundly significant to others.
We all make mistakes An, we wish we could take back. Please tell us about a time being a Photographer, you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
There was a time when I was not able to communicate to my colleague what image I had in my mind. I was so closed minded, I wasn't able to see how many other "right" way to do something. From this, I was able to learn how to look at my work as a group effort and find more colleagues to create incredible images with, instead of taking on all the work myself.
An, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
It is extremely difficult to do this, however, in order to deliver the best service to my clients, I set aside two hours every day to schedule everyone in a timely manner, and meet with clients prior to a shoot to have a consultation. By having a consultation, it allows me to be able to understand what the client wants, and how I am able to give the client the best possible product.
Please tell us An, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
A time that I had to be strategic was when I had to decide when I should or shouldn't pick up an unpaid shoot. I think that the most difficult thing as a budding photographer is not being able to do projects that will be able to be fully compensated for. Sometimes it seems as if there are floods of people who do not appreciate my work but simply want to squeeze out free services from me. I think that I have grown more mature and better at making strategic decisions. I am able to do this by choosing to do projects that support my artistic ambitions and will allow me to create images that personally satisfy my creative cravings.
An, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
While at work, there was a client that genuinely wanted to modify her body in photoshop. This was a dilemma for me because my motto is capturing the art in everyday lives. I was able to explain to the client that the way she naturally was enough to be presented in a beautiful photograph. In the end, the client began to see what I meant and accepted the idea that she did not need to be altered because her natural presence was artistic and intricately beautiful.
A please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
My proudest moment was when someone had told me that my work had inspired them to love life and was empowering for them. I think that this made me realize exactly why I decided to go into a profession that is so difficult and draining. The fact that my work was able to speak to someone made me appreciate the hard work that I put into photography. Being able to make someone feel how beautiful the world can be, and how life can be so amazing really made me appreciate what capturing art could do.
An, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I was able to creatively direct a fashion editorial that I put together. This was actually very exciting for me because, at the time, I felt like I was restrained by trends and high demands from clients. However, this shoot allowed me to explore the endless boundaries of what art could be, and allowed me to satisfy my artistic craving to create a set of images that spoke to me.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
If there was anything I wished someone had told me, it would be that at the end of it all, it is worth it. This industry definitely has opportunities to get ugly, and rejections come hand in hand with this field. It is easy to lose hope, confidence, and willpower to persevere through the trials that get thrown our way. At the end of the day, whether it is just one person, and millions, your work is worth something and adds color to a colorless world. Art is the reason this world is so colorful, can be found in places one least expects. No matter how many rejections you get, or how many times you get mistreated, it will all be worth it in the end.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands, and creatives? If yes, please state what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Clothing Collaborations, Make up collaborations, Fashion, fine art, conceptual art
Now for the best part An! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Photographer: An Phan @sun.beaming
Model: Sara Straub Instagram: @saradollface
Clothing: Prodigie Apparel ig: @prodigieapparel