Photography

PICKING UP MY CAMERA

Today I am spending the day organizing my home (in anticipation of Vietnamese New Year tomorrow) and I took a break for some true throwback Thursday and reflect on my journey into wedding photography. It’s hard to believe almost 4 years ago I was still sitting at my corporate desk as a CPA. In early 2007, I bought a Canon 30D – a pretty nice (and expensive) camera for someone who didn’t even know how to use it for the hopes of taking some nice travel photos. I went to Europe for the first time a few months before and caught a serious case of the travel bug and was determined to take many more trips and document all of the amazing places and memories. When I got my camera, my photographer friend gave me a quick tutorial on how to use the camera and basic things like aperture, shutter speed and ISO. So then I started shooting everything and I mean everything. I remember every night for a few weeks, I would just photograph my roommate sitting on the couch watching tv. She thought I was so weird. Then I went to my mother’s house and photographed every plant and flower in her garden. She also thought I was so weird. I had no idea what I was doing but I knew I loved that I was able to capture so much beauty through my lens. I started joining photography forums and reading up on how to properly use my camera, basic editing techniques and how to start my own blog. I spent most of my free time after work, just reading and shooting in my apartment. My sister was planning for her wedding right about the same time and since I had a fancy camera, she made me take photos of her bridal shower and rehearsal dinner (I was the maid of honor for her wedding). And so I happily clicked away hoping the images were not too terrible. She shared the images with other brides she had met on theknot.com and then miraculously one of them hired me to do their rehearsal dinner! It was my first booking as a photographer and the first time I thought I could actually turn this into something. I was so nervous before the shoot. I remember arriving 2 hours early and just sitting in the parking lot to calm myself down. And then they told me they loved their photos! I will never forget how wonderful I felt at that moment – I felt so honored that they trusted me with capturing such an important time for them and how amazing it felt that they loved what I created for them. It was definitely a turning point in my life and I was determined to just kept shooting every opportunity I got. I would actually work my accounting job from 9-8pm (we had long hours) and then go home, eat dinner quickly and edit from 10pm-2am. I read so many things online and in books but for me, the best learning for me was the experience. I learned that I loved shooting people. I loved connecting with them and capturing their essence and relationships on my camera. And as a girly girl, I learned I love weddings. Every detail was so pretty. Every moment was so magical. I knew I had found my calling. I took a leap of faith and decided to pursue wedding photography as a full time job in the summer of 2009. I was so scared because at that point I only had five weddings booked. But I knew if I ever wanted to be really successful at it, I had to give it my 110%. Somehow the number jumped to 30 weddings and I knew I was on the right path. And a few months later I met a handsome and tall wedding photographer at a destination wedding and now he’s my husband (a pretty awesome work related perk =)). I feel life gives you opportunities and sometimes you just need to see the signs. I can’t wait for all the new opportunities that come my way. I don’t know what will happen but I know passion and determination will get you far.

Click HERE to see my work as wedding photographer. Here’s a throw back Thursday photo from when we went to Paris to shoot a wedding. Definitely #blessed.

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P.S. Sorry for the long rambling today!

 

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18 Comments

  • Reply Mary January 30, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    LOVED reading this! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Mary
    http://www.pretty-obsessed.com/

    • Reply lace February 2, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      Thank you Mary! Thank you for reading my post! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Kim January 30, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    What a nice read and “bravo” to you for following through with your passion!

    • Reply lace February 2, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      Thank you Kim! It means a lot!

  • Reply Ivette Martinez January 30, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    So inspirational! Good for you missy!

    • Reply lace February 2, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      Awww thank you sweetie!

  • Reply Denise Chan January 30, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Hey there — your story is such an inspiration! I work a corporate job as well but love shooting on my free time. I wish I could take the leap to shoot full time but I’m way too scared! Any books you recommend to help me polish the more technical skills of photography? Also, if you have time I’d love if you could check out my portfolio and give pointers! πŸ™‚

    http://www.denise-chan.squarespace.com/

    • Reply lace February 2, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      Hi Denise! Thank you for the comment! There is a good book out there by Scott Kelby called The Digital Photography Book. I saw your portfolio and you have a great eye! Just keep shooting and experimenting with composition and light!

      • Reply Denise Chan February 3, 2014 at 10:25 am

        Thanks Kim! I’ll have to check that book out :). In the meantime you’ve gained a new blog/instagram follower!

  • Reply Michelle February 3, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I was just in LA over the weekend and was discussing the
    worrisome and stress about starting my own business. Reading this assures someone like myself that not only do we all have to take a leap of faith sometimes to fulfill our true calling, but the reward for all the hard work and time dedicated to it is worth it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Reply Elle February 3, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I was just in LA this past weekend discussing the stress and worrisome I have about starting my own business. The constant worry of failure and not excelling at your passion is a constant scare, but we never know what we have in store for us until we do it. Your leap of faith blog came to me at the right time. Thanks for the inspiration! !!

    • Reply lace February 5, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      Awww you are welcome Elle! I am so happy to read this comment! Would love to hear what happens with your future business πŸ™‚

  • Reply genesis aguilar February 5, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Wow this is so inspiring and I’m happy you went after your passion,
    not many people can say they have actually done that! Congrats πŸ™‚
    I recently started my fashion blog and I’m still getting the hang of things
    but fashion is always something I’ve been obsessed with since I was a little girl.
    I follow you both on instagram and your blog and I love your style!
    If you get a chance I would love you to check mine out, it would mean so much πŸ™‚
    genesisfashioncloset.blogspot.com
    thanks πŸ™‚

    • Reply lace February 5, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      Hi Genesis! Thank you for the comment and kind words! I checked out your blog and I love your style! Keep up the good work and all your hard work will pay off :).

  • Reply Fashion Spotlight: Lace and Locks « Sheer Embellished February 7, 2014 at 10:21 am

    […] world of photography. Be sure to check out her inspiring story about her courageous career move (here). You can follow Kim on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter to stay informed about the new […]

  • Reply Tiffie February 7, 2014 at 11:48 am

    You are so inspiring Kim Le! I hope I can soon take that leap of faith to leave my own Big4 job and pursue weddings full-time, too! πŸ˜€

  • Reply Tina February 8, 2014 at 9:29 am

    So inspiring Kim! Remembering meeting you in summer 2010 when I went to the wine party. I was so surprised at that time hearing your stories. Hope I can find my dream job and leave my big 4 job. lol

  • Reply lace and locks blog, petite fashion blogger, lifestyle blog, los angeles blogger | Lace and Locks February 18, 2014 at 8:51 am

    […] for today’s post!!! It felt amazing to get such incredible feedback from my post about how I got started in wedding photography (thank you so much to all of you who commented and messaged me) – I didn’t think my […]

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