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


The New Year Came in Screaming!!

Posted in work by Kevin Vu on January 25, 2011

Anna in her studio. Downtown Los Angeles, CA
© kevin t vu

Man!! The year came in kickin’ me right over the head!!! I’ve been filling in for my good friend Elaine Brown, who’s Art Streiber’s first assistant. She’s been back in Ireland for most of January and I’ve been in San Francisco, Seattle and Miami. And I’ll be heading to NYC tomorrow morning.  I’m not sure if I want to leave this 80 degree fahrenheit sunny weather in Southern California for NYC weather!

Being Art’s first has taught me a tremendous amount!! That man has his, excuse my language, sh*znit down!! That’s probably why he can have 3 back to back shoots a week!!! Crazy!!! And he’s been absolutely lovely to work for and with!! He respects everyone on his crew and definitely takes care of all of us! He’s what I call good people!! You keep those guys around you, that’s for sure!!!




Posted in work by Kevin Vu on December 18, 2010

fashion designer anna lynette. downtown los angeles, california.
© kevin t vu

i am still in awe that we are already at the end of 2010! its really unfathomable to me! i’m so excited for what 2011 has in store!

it has been a whirlwind. i’ve been jumping around for a bit and 2 weeks ago, i was able to go to hawaii for my very first time. what a beautiful place!! i went w/ robert maxwell and we stayed in the north shore.  it was mostly all work and very little play, but when your office is in paradise, you don’t really have a right to complain.  i had 5 min. in the water during our lunch break, but i’m happy i got to experience it on someone’s else’s dime.

after that, i came right back to LA and started assisting nadav kander on a 5 day ad gig.  i’ve always wanted to work w/ him.  i find his imagery amazing!  so it was a great experience to go thru and see his process of shooting.

i’ve had some days off now and have been catching up on my lack of sleep.  i’ve also gotten a chance to do all my holiday shopping.  i’m gonna take the time i have off to do some more tests.  i updated my website recently w/ some new work.  but adding new work makes me wanna have more work to put on.  its an endless cycle.  and i want to be a part of the cycle if i want to stay relevant.

“i never want to take this for granted, so i try to keep my motivations simple, real and positive.  if i only scrape a living, at least it’s a living worth scraping.  if there’s no future in it, at least its a present worth remembering… i feel genuinely lucky to hand on heart say i love doing what i do.  and though i may never be a rich man, for if i live long enough, i certainly have a tale or two for the nephews.”

~ mickey smith

dark side of the lens

keeping focus

Posted in work by Kevin Vu on November 15, 2010

portrait of jess. los angeles, ca.
© kevin t vu

i feel like i’m a headless chicken at times, running around working for so many different photographers. i find that as i get busier assisting photographers, i begin to lose touch with my own work. so i’ve started to commit more to myself and my own work. i can only assist for so long and that so long is getting shorter each day.

its so easy to get into a routine, but you have to remind yourself to shake it up here and there. to stay fresh. to stay driven.

i force myself to stop every so often ( but not enough) so that i can take a step back, and evaluate how far i’ve come and how far i still have to go. there is still so much to accomplish. and i’m super excited for what the future holds!

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)