family continued…

Posted in personal, projects by Kevin Vu on June 6, 2011

© kevin t vu



i went for a motorcycle ride up the pacific coast highway last weekend for the memorial day holiday.  i went to santa cruz to spend some quality time w/ jess, hank and rebecca.  i consider them family really.  these journal pages are a travelogue of the trip.




moving along…

Posted in personal, projects by Kevin Vu on May 6, 2011

© kevin t vu


the goal was comprehension, and the only way to comprehend the world was by making myself vulnerable to it so that it could change me. the challenge was to lay myself open to everybody and everything that came my way. the prize was to change and grow big enough to feel one with the whole world. the real danger was death by exposure.

~ ted simon \ jupiter’s travels


letting go…

Posted in personal, projects by Kevin Vu on March 27, 2011

vancouver, british columbia, canada.

© kevin t vu

its has been a while. and a lot of things have changed for me. i’ve come to realize that photography isn’t the end all for me. that the end all for me is how i live my life. so for the next 6-9 months, i’m gonna just put my head down and take every job that comes my way. be it cleaning toilets or lighting a celebrity, i’ll do it. i’m gonna save all of that money and cash out.

i bought a motorcycle. i have my m1 motorcycle license. now i just have to ride and get comfortable w/ the bike. cause come the end of the year, that bike is taking me south to tierra del fuego and back (i hope). i need to get out of the rat race. i need to leave all the pretensions behind. i need to get back to why i love being a photographer.

man.  because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.  then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.  and then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.

~ dalai lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity.

thanks for the quote embry.


Posted in personal, projects, work by Kevin Vu on October 26, 2009



portrait session w/ ana-Lauren at her home. orange, california.
© kevin t vu

its great to have friends that are patient and willing to give you the time of day to photograph them. ana-lauren and i had a great time during our portrait session. of course, it helps to bring some good music and a chilled bottle of white wine. i shot these on a 35mm and 6×6 film camera. normally, i would look at the 6×6 frame and think that i ruined the image by not properly advancing the film. but i realize that the uniqueness of ‘flaws’ is the reason why film is still so amazing! you never know for sure until the roll is processed. you just have to go with it and make it work for your visual style.

i shot some portraits for a non-profit last week with my film and digital camera. i had a small softbox to a profoto 7a pack. it was a very simple setup. i used the the softbox as a side light and let the left side of the face drop to black. i had my 35mm film camera hardsynced to the pack and shot most of the portraits on film. i used the digital more as a polaroid to check out my lighting. it was the first time i used the 35mm konica w/ a strobe pack so i wanted to make sure i had some stuff on the digital as well, just in case nothing comes out on film. luckily i did that because when i got the roll of film back from the lab, there was nothing on the negative. i shot two rolls and it looked like the lab just processed 2 rolls of unshot film. so its always smart to cover your bases, otherwise you can easily lose some clients.

if you’ve read my previous post, you would know that i had an opportunity to move to chicago for work. i’ve decided to keep pursuing my work here. i feel that i’m starting to build the foundations here in LA and it would be a shame to leave it now. The biggest markets in the US are LA and NYC and i’ve made some inroads to both. For now, i’ll keep investing my time and work in LA.

I’ll leave you w/ some quotes I’ve been chewing on:

“If I were to encapsulate what anyone must do, it would be to have a vision of life and depict that vision.”
-Joel Peter Witkin

“Never apologize for your own sense of beauty. Nobody can tell you what you should love. Do what you do brazenly and unapologetically. You cannot build your sense of aesthetics on a consensus.”

“Never compare your journey with someone else’s. It’s a marathon with no finish line. Someone else may start out faster than you, may seem to progress more quickly than you, but every runner has his/her own pace. Your journey is your journey, not a competition. You will never ‘arrive.’ No one ever does.”

“Embrace frustration. It pushes you to learn and grow, broadens your horizons and lights a fire under you when your work has gone cold. Nothing is more dangerous to an artist than complacency.”

– Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai

vision and solitude

Posted in projects, work by Kevin Vu on August 22, 2009





wild parrots, a gathering of artists and musicians performing their craft.
© kevin t vu

sorry for not updating in a while. i dont have much excuse because i do have the time. its more of a lack of inspiration due to how little i’ve been shooting recently.

i was able to photograph a wonderful event that gathered some amazing artists together. the above pictures are a sample from that night. there was such great creative energy in the forum and i was so glad to grab as much as i could.

work has been good, but inconsistent. it comes and it goes. you just have to ride with it. i am trying to figure out myself for the short term. would like to start another project so i’ve been playing w/ the idea of a roadtrip through baja. the whales come during the winter months so it would be fun to catch that while i work on my editorial portrait portfolio.

working w/ frank and art has been a tremendous learning experience. they are on different ends of the spectrum in their visual styles, but i love how they both use and search out natural light. we did an album shoot the other day at a beautiful beverly hills home and come 730pm, frank and an entourage of stylists, make-up artists, producers and assistants were busy running through the hills of LA searching for shafts of light before the sunset.  it was great to see that side of the shoot, especially since not a week ago we did a different shoot that used 32 profoto 7a packs.

well, i’ll leave you w/ some quotes i’ve read recently:

here’s the dilemma and the strength of photography.  its the easiest medium in which to be competent.  but, its the hardest medium in which to have personal vision that is readily identifiable.

– chuck close

we take pictures because of the kind of people we are.  we’re individuals.  and that’s why i take pictures the way i do.  i don’t say it’s the best way or the only way.  it’s just simply my way.

– arnold newman