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


from the OC to NYC to DC

Posted in personal, work by Kevin Vu on March 11, 2009

Adriel, Mignon’s son, sitting in the car. El Dorado, New Mexico.
© kevin t vu

i’ve been home for barely a week and i’m off again. heading to new york city to get my feet wet, hopefully i wont drown. then i’m gonna hit the nation’s capitol! never been, so it should be a great exploration! hopefully, i can turn this trip into some kind of project as well. maybe i can find something when i get there.

mignon gave me a great idea. i should document/video myself and call it ‘the couch-surfing cook.’ post it on youtube and hope it goes viral. great idea!

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Posted in personal, work by Kevin Vu on March 9, 2009

lauren and alyssa at the railyard restaurant. santa fe, new mexico.

mignon in her kitchen. el dorado, new mexico.

renie in her home office. arroyo hondo, new mexico.

nerissa at the cowgirl bar. santa fe, new mexico.
© kevin t vu

these unbelievable women have been my family for the last month that i was in santa fe. they were kind in so many ways. they opened their homes to me, fed me, found me work, gotten me in contact w/ amazing photographers/editors, and pushed me to be a better person and photographer. their strength, confidence and warmth have been an inspiration for me!!! i only hope they know how much love and respect i have for them all!!

it has been quite a hectic couple of weeks, and it seemed to come at me all at once. i left santa fe last wed. I came home and went to an assisting gig for O’neill w/ Embry Rucker. A day later, I had to wake up at the butt crack of dawn to do a shoot for a buddy of mine.

I will be going to the nyc on wed. to go get my portfolio reviewed w/ Stephen Mayes, who is the new managing director for vii. I have no expectations, all i hope is stephen will endow me with some great advice so i can make millions and millions of dollars! haha!

i also got in contact w/ brenna britton, who’s the deputy photo editor of people magazine, to see some of my new work as well. she’s from california and i met her at the workshops. she’s an absolute professional and i know i’ll get some great feedback!

i’ll be in nyc for 2 weeks and fly back to santa fe, where i’ll be taking a workshop w/ Gillian Laub and Kira Pollack, who is the deputy photo editor for the ny times magazine.

so its gonna be quite a hectic month for me, but i am breathing every second of it in.

passing time

Posted in personal, projects, work by Kevin Vu on September 5, 2008

self-portrait, no photoshop. santa fe, new mexico.
© kevin t vu

donnor, good friend, great shooter. el dorado, new mexico.
© kevin t vu

ella, the cutest little girl that i have ever known. fort collins, colorado.
© kevin t vu

mignon ohmura, one of my favorite people in the world! el dorado, new mexico.
© kevin t vu

so its been an absolute while since i have written on the blog. i’ve wanted to for so long, but its just been quite hectic. closing week for the workshops was unbelievably busy. we had to ship hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment back to vendors and/or participants who purchased gear. and we had to repackage everything. so it was quite a tedious and daunting task for me and the gang. but it was accomplished and i’m a more relaxed man for it.

right when the workshop ended, my friend lauren and i headed straight up to fort collins, about an hour north of denver and about an 8 hour drive from santa fe, to meet with my amazing irish friend anne, with whom i went to school with in london. her family had taken a vacation and i wanted to catch them before they left the states. so we had about an hour and a half to catch up before their ride picked them up for the airport. it was so good to see her and the family again. i love them dearly, as i consider them family. all in all, lauren and i drove about 16 hours to have an hour and a half lunch. but it was all worth it! lauren and i then decided to hang out in denver before we headed back. denver seemed like a lovely city with a lot of things going on. would have loved to stay a little longer to explore the place, but i needed to get back.

once i got back to santa fe, i had one sunday to pack up all my gear because i needed to be out of my flat. so i packed everything and left my car at my buddy’s mike sakas’ place. his roommate, donnor, and i drove across country to buffalo, new york. we had a great time! we slept in a skeazy motel and i had the best fried chicken of my life in memphis. and the back roads from memphis to tennessee were absolutely amazing! it made me want to move to tennessee. i stayed in buffalo for about two weeks. donnor’s family has a cabin up there so i was able to unwind, which meant we were tubing, floating on the pond, jet skiing, eating, photographing and drinking very heavily. his family was downright awesome! i felt like a son, even though there was a confederate flag flying about. and i was able to pull a photo essay out of his family which i will incorporate into my ‘home’ project. i will post it up w/in the next week or so to get some feedback.

i have written quite a novel today so i will end it here and continue tomorrow. hope that will suffice for u paige green. miss ya!

Portraits of Santa Fe

Posted in personal, projects, work by Kevin Vu on August 3, 2008

Drinks at the Pink Adobe. Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Summer’s evening by the fire. El Dorado, New Mexico.

New Mexican summer’s night. El Dorado, New Mexico.

Brunch on a lovely summer’s Sunday. Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Its been an absolutely arduous and demanding season! I’ve made contacts, slept very little and drank my liver to the ground. I’ve learned exponentially about lighting, but what I’ve received mostly is the clear idea of what kind of a photographer I want to be and not be. Photography is a people business and I dont understand the, sometimes, blatant disregard for a person and their dignity, be it they are staff, participants or people w/in the community opening their time and space up for us to shoot. So, pretty much, I realized that I dont want to become a dick.

We have one week left of workshops left, and then cleanup week starts. From there, I will probably head up straight to Colorado to meet with my good friend Anne and her family who are visiting from London. After that, I will be doing another roadtrip w/ my buddy Donner (pictured in the top image). We’ll be headed to Buffalo, New York. I’ve never been, but it should be a great opportunity to get some images of America.

I’m still working w/ the idea of ‘home’ for my current documentary story. I haven’t had a chance to develop it further considering my time constraints. But it is still in my head and I’m developing it slowly.