Pocket Size Bio: Aries, birthed in the year of the Dog, born and raised in Florida, loves food (not to be confused with being a self proclaimed Hipster Foodie), motorsports, fishing, Starbucks Mango Dragon Fruit Refresher (go light on the ice, please), photography and most importantly, I love my growing family.
The beginning of
This journey is
All about letting go
Growing up as a teenager did you ever wonder where you fit in? What's your calling? When is it your time? Well, that was me. I always had a camera growing up and always thought that I had some type of creative mojo deep inside and I longed for that little spark of encouragement to ignite the tinder. That spark was never lit, well, not until I was an adult. Growing up as a first generation Asian-American, I was one of many Asian children on that stereotypical Asian educational track: Doctor, Lawyer or Engineer. Ironically, my choices were starkly shorter than those on the menu at a corner Chinese take-out shop. I ultimately chose computer engineering as my college Asian track program. After a couple of years, I took a break from school feeling empty and soulless, not knowing what I really wanted to do, what I enjoyed doing in life and found myself seeking purpose.
Fast forward a few years, after working 10 years in the marketing department at Time Inc.,gaining a wealth of knowledge in the marketing and advertisement field and still carrying my camera around, my wife and I welcomed our first child into this world. A sweet baby girl named Liliana. She became my inspiration, a breathe of life who would ultimately encourage me to leave my comfortable corporate position to start anew. I decided to make photography (paired with marketing) my career and start my own studio. Only 3 months old, Liliana nudged me into the world of photography. With her bright eyes and drooling mouth, she answered all of my questions that I had as a teenager. She was my spark!
I started by watching YouTube videos and spending countless hours freeloading at Barnes and Nobles anything and everything about professional photography. I say professional to emphasize that I was no longer carrying my camera but needing it to carry me-Professional. Initially I was going to business as a wedding photographer...I scrapped that idea and decided to follow the genre I was really passionate about and to share what deeply interest me the most: Cars, People, Life!
In the first few months I took a lot of photos of my daughter so my wife was super happy. I got a lot of smiles, kisses, hugs and baby coos. My friends, family members and colleagues began to also take notice and I received a lot of free food, sometimes a drink or two and a lot of high fives.
Within the first two years, I was recognized by the Tampa Business Journal, in the top five I will add, as one of 'Tampa's Favorite Photographers'.
I began to work with more people, businesses and cars. More cars!
Photography for marketing and some advertisement gigs begin to come through.
I then had works featured in several galleries and private shows.
Then works published in various local and national publications.
I expand my home base to Boulder, Colorado.
Liliana has remained my spark along with two more flames Virginia Isabela and Luna. I take a lot of photos of them too.
I can't say it has been easy but it has been an amazing and rewarding journey.
Now, here I am. I professional commercial, automobile and lifestyle photographer! This trip is just getting started.
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