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.


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

heading out

Posted in personal, projects, work by Kevin Vu on July 1, 2009



summer in california. © kevin t vu

it’s summer and the 4th of july is this saturday. so i’m heading out. gonna drive to santa fe to visit some friends, do some odd jobs and celebrate the 4th. then i’m not sure where i’m heading next. might just drive back home or just keep going east.

i’ve switched back to film and will be shooting it on this trip. i have no idea what story i’ll be shooting, but i head out early tomorrow morning and all i have in mind is a photographic journal of my trip. i’m excited to be shooting on film again! it’s been a while. we’ll see how it turns out.

Barcelona amb la boja (Barcelona with the crazy one)

Posted in personal by Kevin Vu on October 1, 2007















© Kevin T. Vu

Hey hey hey!!! So i´ve been in Barcelona w/ nuria for the past week and it has been absolutely amazing!!! her family has been wonderfully terrific!! they have fed me some amazing catalan food and i have been able to learn a bit of catalan. the weather has been awesomely sunny!! nuria has introduced me to a lot of her family and friends and everyone has been gigantically kind to me. her mom has cooked some amazing catalan food! nuria cooked earlier tonight, and her dad is cooking tomorrow. so i´ve had it pretty good. i was able to cook for them one night as well. i cant stress enough how good the food has been! it was definitely a needed break from the london environment. and i am recharged to go back and do my work for the course. the above images have nothing to do w/ the course, but it was nice to explore something new. and the colors are amazing in barcelona. its a very dynamic city, but at the same time, very intimate. i can definitely live here. i dont think nuria and her family has come to the realization that because they have been so good to me, that i will be coming back. well, they’ll realize soon enough when i´m at their door knocking. haha! i´m sad to be leaving such a beautiful place, but i know i will come back.   woohoo for barcelona! boohoo for london!

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