I recently watched this video from an amazing and most humble retoucher, Calvin Hollywood.

So, what do you think? Should a photographer show his or hers before and after images?

Calvin said it very well (and I’m going to paraphrase), if you’re soley a photographer, maybe it is a good idea that you don’t show your before and after photos. Once you open the doors to other avenues, you are not a photographer anymore by definition to your clients. Maybe to other professionals and colleagues you would still be considered a photographer but whatever your client thinks and considers you for is golden while everything else is just second place. Are you’re skills and capabilities not strong enough to capture the initial image from the get go? Are you a “photographer” or are you a “retoucher” and a “graphic artist”. Do your clients know why you retouch, if you do at all-better yet, do you know why you retouch? In other words, perception is EVERYTHING. Educating your clients and your audience is everything because it leads to how they perceive you, your product and your brand.

So, where does this notion place me in the midst of everything since I produce how-to videos via youtube on editing, pre and post production and just my life as a photographer for the whole world to learn from my experiences?

If you’re going to post anything online, whether it’s a simple twitter post, pictures or videos, it should be as polished and non-disruptive to your branding as possible. What would you think of me if you read a Facebook status from me such as, “Ima tryanna gonna drop this stuff rite awayz!” I mean, I’ll admit my English isn’t the best and I joke around but that is distracting for my audience.

So with the videos, posts and blogs that I put online, I make sure that they always accomplish three objectives: 1) Educate aspiring artists on creating complex images with straight forward workflows 2) Make sure the production fits my clean and simple branding 3) Always stays true to who I am and what I’m about as a creative and a person. Fulfilling those objectives allow me to let my clients and audience know what I do, how I do it and why I do it.

This video was food for thought. As for me, I will still post how-to and behind the scene videos and I encourage everybody to do the same whenever you have the opportunity to do so. With the technology we have today in being able to instantly reach someone, I believe that the internet, mobile devices and the million and one apps that exist are all awesome tools that we as artist and creatives have at our fingertips to reach the masses. It also allows my audience a sneak peak at a true sense of who I am and an insight to my personality behind the camera. With that said, just be cognizant and aware of what you post online, especially if you are trying to establish yourself as a professional. Be yourself and always keep your audience in mind.

Illusion is the first of all pleasures – Voltaire

An impromptu video of my coolest homies and brand new parents, the Ali’s. Just having fun in the kitchen and baking some cookies.

Music: The Golden Age by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

Shoeboxes for Seniors is a wrap (pun not intended)!

Let me bring it back. There are great programs out there to help and give back to the community during the holiday season but the light is a bit dim for the elderly. Shoeboxes for Seniors is a program started by the Gio Brothers to help enlighten and appreciate some of the forgotten seniors during the holiday season. Its fairly easy to show some love; just get a shoebox, throw in some of your basic toiletry items, knick knacks, Christmas Cards, wrap the closed shoebox and drop it off at any of the Gio Brothers restaurants or any of their Shoeboxes for Seniors drop-off locations. The boxes would then get delivered in conjunction with Meals on Wheels; a meal with a present, how much better can you get than that?!

The celebration started on the 15th of December at the Joia restaurant to say thank you to all of the participants, friends and families for donating their time and efforts for another successful drive. The numbers of shoeboxes haven’t been tallied yet, but we’re predicting that we’ve doubled the donations from the previous year. Now if you missed that party, you can take a little to party it up in Sarasota at any of the three restaurants throughout the evening.

As a freshly proud board member of the committee, I’m glad to have taken part of such an heartfelt effort. The program is still fairly young but anyone who I have asked for help, want to do more for 2013 (which we will)!

Go grab the December 2012 issue of Focus Magazine.

I had such an awesome opportunity to photograph this cover with the cutest kid winners of 2012. To everyone that is reading this, I challenge you to take a photo of five kids! Without the support group  and chaos control from Focus Magazine (thanks Mike and Aldo), Sharonne and the parents, this shoot would went down in flames.

Photo was taken at Christmas Lane in Dover (christmaslane.org). Pretty awesome place to take the kids and family as  it’s really off the beaten path as it’s not off of any major streets or highways. So now you know (and knowing is half the battle)!



Such a crazy Saturday but would do it all over again! Help Portrait was the best thing I have ever done. For most of us, having a cell phone and any type of camera, we take that for granted but within the slices of society, some have never ever have had a portrait of themselves or with their families.. ever!

Donating one day to produce a family’s first ever portrait will be their lifetime.

Some people from various forums asked me what entailed as a ‘simple’ edit to one of my recent bboy photo. Well, here’s a quick bts of the edit. Its not the actual edit to final production in this video capture but should give you an idea of what was involved.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication – Leonardo da Vinci

Come on out to The Rack in Brandon because 1) I’m going to be there and 2) it’s for a great cause which will benefits A Kid’s Place!

Donations are requested so check out the following link for more details.


The event kicks off today at 5:30pm and ends 8pm.

A couple weeks ago, I was invited by Lexus of Tampa Bay to photograph an astonishing car and fashion show known as Cars and Couture (http://www.vocessmag.com/CarsCouture.html). Taking place  in the hulk-sized hanger of the Tampa International Jet Center, overlooking the runways of Tampa International Airport, this is every kids dream of what their wish-list garage would be. The event displayed plenty of drooling exotics from McLaren MP4-12c to Alfa Romeo 8C but I have to say, my friends from Lexus took it home by displaying an ultra-rare ride, the LFA: carbon fiber galore, $350k, and 1 of 500 copies. Enough said.

Even though the show drew a massive crowd in attendance displaying cars, fashion and great vibes, the best part of the show was that it was benefiting for Autism Speaks. With that said, Lexus of Tampa Bay, sign me up for next year!

Thank you to the Art Lovers and Supporters!

The Premiere Show for PhotoCulture last night was a great success. Thank you for giving this on going project a huge jump start. We hope to continue building momentum and community involvement over time! Every piece was important in bringing the show together. We have to say thank you to everyone:

From all of you out there getting the word out to publicize the event and for coming out ti see amazing art.

The Artists, Bryant Martinez, Angel He, Erin McElhaney and Mike Smith. Thank you for creating phenomenal pieces of art that create conversation and engage the viewer!

To our local shops and sponsor for their donations (Publix for either raffle gifts or event items:Publix Winthrop, Acropolis Winthrop, Starbucks Winthrop, Downtown Divas, The Original Leena’s Chocolates, First Choice Haircutters, Winthrop Liquors, Orange and Cappy’s Pizzeria. Thank you for supporting the arts in our community and helping out to give back.

Bryant Martinez, for collaborating with me on crazy artistic ideas, opening your doors and being a raw artist. Sharonne Whittaker-Phan for organizing and producing the event and for loving and supporting this project.

Let’s keep creating art, never stop dreaming big, expose our children to the arts and create an art culture here in our backyards!


Favorite Professional Photography - Nam Phan Photography

Nam Phan Photography nominated and voted as Favorite Professional Photography by the Tampa Bay Business Journal 2012

Yes, you’re reading that right! The people has spoke and voted! We’ve made it to Tampa Bay’s Business Journal 2012 as Favorite Professional Photographer.

Professionally, I’ve been in this big dance less than two years but I love every minute of it that I’m in it to win it. I would never expected myself to make any list of some sorts. Anyone can shoot great photos but I try to do more than that by crafting lasting relationships with anybody and everybody no matter if they’re photographers or stay at home moms. Every businessman/businesswoman can scream that is rule #1 but that should be the golden rule as a caring human being.

Again, from the way bottom of my heart, like the bottom of the cereal bowl where all the nice bits sugar from the Frost Flakes is waiting for you to slurp down, THANK YOU!

With Much Love, Nam Phan!

P.S. Follow you dreams