finding balance

Posted in personal by Kevin Vu on April 17, 2011

picnic at lauren’s place.

los angeles, california.

© kevin t vu


i’m dedicating this year to finding BALANCE in my life.



   life is no straight and easy corridor along

which we travel free and unhampered,

but a maze of passages,

through which we must seek our way,

lost and confused, now and again

checked in a blind alley.

But always, if we have faith,

a door will open for us,

not perhaps one that we ourselves

would ever have thought of,

but one that will utimately

prove good for us.

~ a.j. cronin


balancing act

Posted in personal by Kevin Vu on January 19, 2010

aiden in the morning. orange, california.
© kevin t vu

it has been a hectic start to the new year. work definitely kicked in right when the holidays ended. and on top of that, some of my favorite people from allover happened to be in southern california.

there definitely was a lot on my plate and it was hard to juggle everything. i was working everyday and making very little time for the people that i haven’t seen in months, let alone years.

friends from santa cruz, petaluma, santa fe and torino italy all happened to convene in los angeles, all in the same weekend. it was a frenetic weekend squeezing work and friends together.

but i loved it! it was so great to see everyone! i felt so refreshed reminiscing over good food and good conversation. life can’t get any better than that!

“…it is important to do work that you care about and have a passion for, and then to get it out into the world in any venue possible. If the images are good and the work is meaningful to you, the high quality and passion will come through and clients will want to work with you. So doing work you’re passionate about not only feeds your soul, it turns out that it’s also good for your business.”

~ paula lerner

to the new year!

Posted in personal, work by Kevin Vu on December 25, 2009

lauren in the garden. santa fe, new mexico.
© kevin t vu

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope this holiday season finds you all w/ those you love and cherish!

As for me, It’s been an absolute hectic winter season. Work has been relentless and consistent. I’m working and making contacts w/ some great people and i am moving forward in my own work everyday. The year has flown by and it has been an utter roller coaster ride.

I finally saved enough money to buy the canon 5d mk ii w/ the 50mm 1.2f lens. its being delivered as we speak and i cant wait to get my hands on it. my next lens will be the 24mm 1.4f, but i will have to work a little more in order to get that bad boy. i’ve fallen in love with prime lenses and i dont think i could go back to a zoom. but we know that all this gear and technical stuff is always secondary to one’s creative vision.

working w/ frank these last couple of months has taught me an incredible amount in photography. w/ frank, light is a conversation. each shaft of light is a sentence. and we piece all those sentences together to start the conversation w/ the viewer. its the suggestion of his portraits that make them so powerful.

and he’s been absolutely gracious! he’s helped w/ my photographic vision and has helped me to get shooting and assisting work w/ other photographers. and he’s giving me a print of my choice for a christmas present. i’ve narrowed it down to three and am gonna let him make the final choice of which one he wants to give me.

so if you happen to be in LA, i would suggest 2 current exhibitions on display that you dont want to miss! the first is irving penn at the getty center. and the 2nd is frank’s at the icon.  you can see some images of franks exhibition on his website.

cheers to a new year!! i hope it brings us all success, in every capacity of the word!

stepping back

Posted in personal, work by Kevin Vu on November 12, 2009

lauren putting on makeup. santa fe, new mexico.
© kevin t vu

having a photographic vision is definitely something that i am consistently thinking of. and as i reflect more on it, i realize that my photographic vision comes from who i am as a person, and not who i am as a photographer.

by taking a step back, i am better able to look at myself comprehensively. the decisions on who i surround myself with, what foods i enjoy eating, what clothes i wear, what type of art i’m interested in, etc. all have an impact on who i am. and i ask myself, why do i wear those clothes, why do i hang out w/ those people, why do i eat what i eat, why do i like that genre of art? my answers define the quality of life that i live and in turn define the quality of imagery that i put out.

the food that i enjoy eating elicit an emotion from me. when i plow into a good bowl of soulful chicken soup, i’m instantly taken home. the clothes that i wear are clean, simple and classic, i try not to follow the short-term cultural trends.  i love the visceral despair, ecstasy and drama of a caravaggio painting.  my close friends are amazingly loyal, trustworthy and deeply passionate about life.  (the words in bold are parameters for my vision and my brand)

you have to take the step back and see what you are saying with your life, only then can you really say anything with your photography.  this is where i want my vision to be.  my vision is a record of how i live my life.  i only hope that i can refine my vision enough to run parallel w/ how i live life and vice versa.

“I remember one of my friends saying to me ‘oh yeah, you just went to ny, you got lucky right?  you just got lucky?’  and he’s a photographer too and that comment gets me! There’s no such thing as luck for a start, you create your own. i just thought, well, you could look at it that way, but it wasn’t and you should try it and see…  You gotta be passionate about what you do, you really do.  Cause people notice it.. and they respect it. Its a very powerful drive to have.  It makes you sleep well at night if you do stuff you’re happy with that you’re making and achieving.”

– ben watts

creative outlets

Posted in personal by Kevin Vu on September 13, 2009


lauren being patient and letting me photograph her. santa cruz, california.
© kevin t vu

i’ve been fairly consistent w/ work this month and it hasn’t given me the opportunity to shoot any of my work. so i decided to do a quick trip up to coast to visit lauren and her family for a creative weekend. i had a great time that really helped me to explore my creativity. we created meals that told stories, painted, drew, photographed and i was able to just let go of all the pressures that i’ve felt for the past year. i had an amazing time and am absolutely refreshed!

i wanted to add a little more about creative inspiration. as photographers, i think that we shouldn’t put all of our focus on the practice of photography. i think that one needs different creative outlets in order to approach and understand the world and one’s place within it. for me, i get so intwined into reading industry magazines and blogs, i’m consistently on the computer for ours. and its unfortunate because the world around me is such an inspiration. and i’m learning to be creative in different ways, not just through photography. these other approaches, be it cooking, sports, reading, drawing or painting, helps me to interpret my place within this world and in turn helps me with my approach towards my photographic vision. look at the masters; picasso, leonardo, michaelangelo, bernini, etc. they all had different pursuits that helped them in their art .