minutes to hours to days

Posted in work by Kevin Vu on April 22, 2010

Brian at the beach to see if the waves are surfable. newport beach, california.
© kevin t vu

the days have gone by excruciatingly fast! i can’t believe may is almost upon us. I just finished a huge job w/ Frank. We shot the tv gallery for the show MADMEN. We had 8 assistants, 2 digital techs, and 48 profoto 7a packs! plus a 1,000 amp tow in generator. it was an 18 hr day that started at 5am. fun stuff!

its incredible the amount of skill, production, time and money it takes to do a shoot like that. and its incredible that i’m able to be a part of it! hopefully, one day, i’ll do the shooting instead of the assisting.

Work is still good and i’ve been able to buy some more gear. I just bought the canon 85mm f1.2, which is just a beauty of a lens.

The guys I work w/ are great and I feel like i’m really building a community here for myself in LA. I’m learning a tremendous amount and am making contacts w/ various producers, assistants, makeup artists, stylists and rental houses around the area. I’m making note of the people I like to work w/ so that when jobs come up, i’ll have a solid crew i can work with.

One of the things I’ve learned while assisting is that having a solid crew that you can trust will really help make the shoot day go smoothly. There are so many balls to juggle and you want to be confident in the people you work with.

“Their success is related to standing out, not  fitting in. Its a fad.  One wants to be the needle in the haystack, not the haystack!”

– Don Draper (MadMen)


good friends

Posted in personal by Kevin Vu on April 2, 2010

mike and jille at the beach. san clemente, california.
© kevin t vu

the more i progress, the more i realize that there isn’t anyone else but me in this race. i never ran cross-country in high school, but i always remember the coaches telling their runners that running is a mental game. you are only competing against yourself. its a combination of your desire and passion, training and commitment, and tenacity and sacrifice. no one else can make the choices given to you. some may try, but in the end, its up to you to choose where you want to go. in my experience, the right choices have always been the toughest to judge.

but i don’t think any path worth taking is ever gonna be easy. success isn’t a paved road, and it shouldn’t be. the bumps and challenges create the character of our being. it carves our understanding and vision of life. and so the story goes with photography. we don’t choose it because it’s an easy path. we choose it because there is no other way for us. its something that we just have to commit to.

“Me, I do not try to understand. For me, the most beautiful thing is to wake up, to go out, and to look. At everything. Without anyone telling me “You should look at this or that.” I look at everything and I try to find what interests me, because when I set out, I don’t yet know what will interest me. Sometimes I photograph things that others would find stupid, but with which I can play around. Henri as well says that before meeting a person, or seeing a country, he has to prepare himself. Not me, I try to react to what comes up. Afterwards, I may come back to it, perhaps every year, ten years in a row, and I will end by understanding.”

~ Josef Koudelka