Posted in work by Kevin Vu on October 11, 2009

people relaxing by a tree. laguna beach, ca.
© kevin t vu

its been a consistent month of work for me and i’ve started to realize that i’ve made some in-roads in the photo community of LA. its been a bit arduous and slow, but i’m getting there.

as this is happening, i’ve also been in talks w/ a photographer in chicago who needs a full-time assistant. this is where the dilemma comes in. do i pick up and go or do i keep scratching and clawing here in LA. both offer great opportunities, but i need to see what’s best for my work and personality.

i cant complain as both are great options either way.

i’ve been reading rodney smith’s blog recently. if you dont know him, then go to his website now! his work is whimsical and has a timeless quality to it. the way he uses graphical/textual elements in his new book is wonderfully fluid!

there has been one entry that has really stuck w/ me.

“To say a photographer has a vision is to say the photographer has something unique to say about the world.  Why do some photographers have something unique to say, when so many others just shoot pictures that are general and lacking vision?  Most people would say it has to do with talent.  Maybe.  But maybe not.  Maybe it has nothing to do with talent.  Maybe it has to do with the ability to express one’s feelings.  The person who presents a strong vision has figured out a way to express his or her feelings, while others are struggling to do that.  Talent, then becomes not so much artistic talent, though that may be a good part of it, but rather emotional talent.”

What i have come to realize is that I could never be a documentary photographer.  I am run on my emotions.  People who meet me and who know my imagery find it perplexing.  They see a happy person and wonder why I have such dark imagery.  But that’s because they don’t know all the aspects of my personality.  The reason I shoot the way I do is because I’m traveling on this path that I have for myself, and it has, at times, been a very isolated road.  My work deals with personal issues in context to what is happening around me.  Its my view of how I see what is going on around me.  Seems a bit selfish, but I just can’t help it.  Its how I see the world.

6 Responses

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  1. paige green said, on October 12, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing Rodney Smith. I didn’t know his work, but just checked his website and I am a new fan.

    Go where your heart takes you. What story do you want to tell when you are sitting on the rocking chair 80 years from now?


  2. Jon 'theblog' Tonks said, on October 13, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Kevin……I know you’ll be amazed, but yes I have updated my blog. Well, I’ve at least said I will – but on my blog I said it. If you see what I mean.

    Chicago? How am I meant to visit LA if you’re in chuffin’ Chicago?

    I think ask yourself whether you want to be a full time assistant or not? Going to Chicago might give you more drive as you’ll be away from home, and you’ll learn lots more – really depends on what the next year will get you back in LA. Personally think you should move to London. That goes for Paige too. I miss you guys!

  3. Thomas said, on October 13, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Nicely put Kevino! Keep doing what you’re doing.

    If you wanna chat about the advantages and disadvantages of working as a full time assistant let me know. I have some stories from when I did it! It’s a tough decision to make, but nice to have the options.


  4. claudia said, on October 15, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    hey lovely

    you said both options are good and that you have found out for yourself that you or your decisions in photography are emotional – in that case i would recommend applying that to this decision too. Just go with what seems to be better for you right now. And I love that shot of the tree by the way.

    love from London

  5. grace said, on October 21, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    dude. chicago is cold duirng winter!!!!! 🙂

    miss you!!!!

  6. Lancey Poo said, on November 25, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Thanks for sharing your insights as well as other inspirations.

    I wish you luck in your future decisions and career.

    Take care,


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