automotive

08Sep

Fishing, like Marketing, is a Sport of Patience

One of my hobbies is fishing. There’s something about the calm I feel standing out on the ocean, smelling the salt water and reeling in a good catch. Even more than loving to fish, I dig seafood, specifically fish. Well, I love food in general! Just as some men are steak guys I appreciate a fresh catch. I’m Asian, what can I say?! Sometimes, my Snapper comes to me on a nice white platter with a side of grilled veggies. But most of the time, I have to check the tides, pack the cooler, bait the hook, stand around for hours (which is actually good alone time by the way) waiting for my catch, and then maybe, just maybe I’ll have a nice fish dinner. There are times when I go out and the tides just right, the fish are biting like crazy and I catch enough fish to stock up. Then there are the times when no matter how well I planned the fishing trip and prepared my line that I get nothing. The case is the same for any artist when trying to attract attention to their new business, new work or even to maintain a sharp presence on an agency’s or client’s radar that they’re already on. Being an artist is like fishing. You need patience, diligence, discipline and to keep on creating regardless if you get any bites or not. You have to market yourself.

Just like the fish see the bait on your line, if you’re continuously putting your work out there, the agencies, business and individuals that you’re targeting see your work…they just may not be hungry at the moment or have an immediate need for what you’re trying to feed them. Nevertheless, they see you and may even really like what you’ve put out, the time to bite just wasn’t there. There will also be times when you throw something random out there and the whole world seems to react by putting you on top…again, just like fishing. Marketing yourself as a creative is just like fishing.

It’s a waiting game that’s hard

Being a photographer is not an easy gig. The awards, accolades and recognition are amazing but most people don’t see or understand the effort that goes on behind the scenes so they think the results are instant (please don’t take offense, I’m speaking in general terms). If you put your best out there and have the patience to see it through you’ll reap the rewards in due time! It’s not easy to wait or to keep pushing forward when you receive no feedback, or worse, hear nothing at all. But it all comes back full force once you catch that first bite.

Be patient and calm – for no one can catch fish in anger.”

Herbert Hoover

As I sit here waiting for my fish to bite here’s a short clip and a little bit about the behind the scenes production on my 2014 Summer/Fall automotive marketing campaign:

I delivered a clean and simple mailer to my prospective clients and agencies that I would like to work with to not only show my creativity and skill set but to also pack as much visual stimulation and sense of quality as possible without making them go into sensory overload. In my former corporate life used to work in the marketing and media business, so I have a strong fascinating with papers, texture, font and all things digital. I also partnered with my artist rep and brand consultant over at SWP and Company for insight and guidance from an outsider’s perspective-you know that person that is detached from the work and can easily say yes or no to an image or idea.

On the outside, I started out with a smooth frosted satin envelop. Originally my thought was to go old school, something along the lines of a linen textured manila envelope but the clear envelop quickly develops a sense of transparent curiosity. You immediately see every bit of the contents packed. At this point, hopefully, I’ve got the interest of my fish intrigued.

Next, I personally wrote to all of the prospects on my list to give them a sense that these packages were not just made in a factory or by some random fellow busting copies out at FedEx/Kinkos Office. It is true that a handwritten note is not as clean or form fitted as a typed letter but I sent this mailer out to people who I would really like to work with and whose work I admire. I wanted to show to whoever opened this package that I am a hands on person. I not only want to work with these companies and individuals but create relationships that go beyond just one project. The paper I selected is a heavy cotton base paper that speaks to my appreciation of quality, especially in branding and all of the elements involved. It also gives the recipient that sense of texture I mentioned earlier.

nam phan photography promo fall 2014 v1

The piéce de résistance, is of course, my magazine portfolio. It features all of my recent automotive projects in a full spread fashion. Over the last several months we explored several options for my marketing mailers. I liked the magazine option not only for the many images you can include within that one mailer, giving the recipient a good feel of my style, but also the clean cut feel that a magazine brings. I figured, if any of my targets would like to use me for a print campaign, let me show them my work in that form. I also, like every other business person out there, had a budget. I not only wanted to send this mailer out to potentially land jobs but to put more of my work out there and show a sign of appreciation. Going with a magazine format instead of a hardcover book or more costly mailer materials allowed me to send the mailer out to people who follow and support my work. Those are the individuals that are the true bread and butter of my business and at sometimes even a motivator or inspiration. Because they really dig what I do, they’re always mentioning my name or referring me, without my asking. I feel it only right to give them props and send them something!

nam phan photography promo mailer fall 2014

The second to last page (last fold of the magazine) is intentionally blank. Remember, I’m targeting creatives, artists, individuals working on projects and works that stimulate our senses in some way. I wanted to stimulate theirs. The last fold is blank on both sides for the recipient to imagine and image I captured for them, promoting their product or piece of work. Or maybe they just have a “what in the world?” reaction, either way, a reaction was made and the purpose served. On the back of the magazine I included a QR code, that when scanned, takes the recipient directly to my website in which case they can view my work digitally, see my online portfolio and have my contact information. It’s not only a “business card” but a call to action that directs traffic towards my website allowing them to see more work if they’d like. Every detail was considered for me to show what I can bring to the table, now they just have to bite!

And there you have it, fishing and marketing.


Lexus of Tampa Bay and I teamed up again for another round! The difference this time was instead of photographing just one individual car on for the shoot I covered multiple vehicles for the inaugural Lexus Owners Meet that took place on May 18th. By the end of the event, about 40 cars had rolled through, including a showing of 7 IS-F’s. I was in heaven. This is the beginning of many Lexus Owner Meets and Events beginning here in Tampa, Fl. The next meet will take place on the 8th of June at 6pm.

Lexus Owners Meet at Lexus of Tampa Bay

There were lot of great outfits that showed and here a few of my ultra favorites:

Clean and Static SC430
Lexus Owners Meet - Slammed SC430

Lexus Owners Meet - Slammed SC430

Lexus Owners Meet - Slammed SC430 - Junction Produce

Rotiform SNA on a Lexus? Why not?!
Lexus Owners Meet - is250 is350 on Rotiforms SNA

Lexus Owners Meet - is250 is350 on Rotiforms SNA - Rear Quarter Shot

Ultrasonic Blue anything is just heaven!
Lexus Owners Meet - Lexus ISF Ultra Sonic Blue Stanced
Lexus Owners Meet - Lexus ISF lowered with Toms Kit

A great example of my ideal IS250/IS350 rolling on some Works.
Lexus Owners Meet - Lexus IS250 IS350 slammed on Works

Lexus Owners Meet - Lexus IS250 IS350 slammed on Works

Lexus Owners Meet - Lexus ISF at Lexus of Tampa Bay

This one is pretty special and everyone smiled at this beauty. If your an enthusiast you can see why and the team over at Lexus of Tampa Bay was filled with pride as they did most, if not all, of the work to this IS-F. Upgrades include installing the full Tom’s kit, glazed headlamps, blackout to the front mesh and performance bolt-ons. The wheels are Vossen CV5’s with fitment help from Wheel Tec of Tampa.
Lexus Owners Meet - Lexus ISF rolling on Vossen CV5

Lexus Owners Meet - Lexus ISF rolling on Vossen CV5

Lexus Owners Meet - Lexus IS250 IS350 lowered on some Vossen Wheels

Lexus Owners Meet - Lexus ISF Ultrasonic Blue at Lexus of Tampa Bay

Lexus Owners Meet - Lexus of Tampa Bay

If you’re a fan of cars, Lexus, a die hard enthusiast or just want to look at some great outfits, show up at the next Lexus Owners Meet where I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.


Happy Mother's DayI wanna wish all the Moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day today! Normally I’m the one behind the camera but it’s obvious I wasn’t here. I’m thankful for my mom and love her very much…now if only she was only internet savvy and could see this. I’m in serious debt to my mom for the lifetime of service I receive! She was the one that I ran to, as a little runt, when I got hurt or wasn’t feeling well. She was the one always looking over my shoulder, even when I didn’t think she was and up until this day she always wants to prepare my favorite dishes. Being a husband and a father has made me realize the work and rewards of being a parent, the work my mother put in and the love she got in return. And then there are times, I’m sure, like most parents, that she felt all of her efforts were unappreciated, unnoticed or forgotten. They weren’t Ma and I love you!

I also want to give a huge thumbs up to the mother of my daughter, my wife, who deserves thanks everyday for all that she does. I love this woman with all my heart I’m giving her a Supercell high-five for her Super Mom services. I’m realizing that women really do have superpowers, it’s not a myth or fantasy.

Wishing all the Moms out there Happy Mother’s Day!


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For the longest, I have wanted to photograph a Tesla Model S. For about a 3 month span, I looked high and low for a Model S like you do with a lost set of car keys. As I was turning over every box and couch cushion on this hunt the quandary that I was in hit me. I didn’t know someone that might know someone that hopefully knew a special someone with a trimmed out Tesla. Every other vehicle was available and offered up to me. I would ask for a Tesla and the response would be “No, but I can get you a Ferrari.” The whole Tesla project was pretty much turning into a unicorn hunt. I pretty much gave up. Then out of nowhere, Warren from Concavo Wheels contacted me to photograph a customer’s Tesla Model S repping a staggered set of CW-S5. At first, I thought he said a Mercedes since I had succumbed to the idea that Teslas are the unicorns of the automotive world. It was too good to be true, my hopes were fulfilled by the needs of my client’s. My personal project coincided with my assignment. This is what every photographer hopes for-to be able to shoot what you love and get paid to do it!

_MG_7165-proof-2

As I was waiting for the client at our hippy Tampa Heights randevú, a stunning white Model S rolling on the set Concavo CW-S5, that I mentioned earlier, appeared as it approached our meeting spot. My unicorn had arrived!

_MG_7173-proof-2

The location for the shoot took place in an area that I would consider Tampa’s equivalent to Portlandia. I’m surprised no one decided to put a ‘put a bird’ on the outside of this all electric vehicle ride.

_MG_7179-proof-2

_MG_7181-proof-2

_MG_7192-proof-2

-Equipment List-
Body: Canon 7D
Lens: Canon 17-55 f/2.8
Lighting: Alien Bees B800
Support: Manfrotto 055xb w/ Manfrotto 496rc2

_MG_7195-proof-2

_MG_7206-proof-2

_MG_7211-proof-2

_MG_7233-proof-2

Be sure to check out the rest of the line-up of wheels from Concavo at www.concavowheels.com and be on the lookout for these photos on their website and in future publications.


23Jan

PREVIEW 2 | Orlon Mix

PREVIEW 2 | Orlon Mix from nam phan on Vimeo.

Another trailer to the demo reel I have been working with Orlon which I creatively labeled it as “Preview 2”. (If you haven’t seen the World Premiere of “Preview 1”, check it out http://namphan.com/preview-orlon-mix/) Photographed on a cold and windy night somewhere around the University of South Florida. We actually stumbled upon this location after our regular spot at the Argos building was locked down with another large dance crew. Call it divine intervention or just call it just the best luck ever, the new location was a better fit.

Shot on a Canon 7d peering through a Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 while gliding around on a Pico Dolly. Post production was done through Adobe After Effects CS6 and Sony Vegas Pro 12.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. -Fredrick Douglass


Vote #61-> http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/promo/readerschoice

First and foremost, THANK YOU for helping me make the list last year. For 2013, I would like to notch it up higher but there’s a catch: there’s a slew of talented photographers nominated for the list this year. So I need as much help as possible. Please vote and if you can, promote this on your social media pages.

If you think I deserve your vote, please head to question #61 on the survey and put a little check mark on Nam Phan Photography. I greatly appreciate the support!

Vote #61-> http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/promo/readerschoice

Don’t forget to check out the other nominees for the other categories.

Thanks again for the support!!


Peugeot 208 t16 Pikes Peak Morning Prep

Being in the element and photographing on location can be a tricky affair. Even more so when you need Mother Nature on your side and you’re trekking 9000+ feet of elevation! While I was preparing to shoot the Pikes Peak Test Run I had to pack some key essentials and, as I mentioned in my previous Blog, also mentally and physically prepare myself.

Here are my 5 key pieces to make my Early Morning Shoot, and I do mean Early Morning-3am, a bit easier for my body.

1. Wicking Base Layer Shirt – Shooting started around wee morning hours of 3am. Dressing in layers help to keep your body warm and comfy yet also makes it easy to stay cool by peeling off the layers as it warms up like an onion. It all starts with a wicking shirt as your base layer. A shirt that has the capability of wicking- Absorb or draw off (liquid). I personally like the ones from The North Face and Under Armour.

2. Various Munchies & Amp food (Energy food for me: Almonds, A couple Granola Bars, Smart Water, Unsalted and No Sugared Organic Trail Mix {no need to sugar shock or have salt dehydrate your body}, Bananas, Apples and if I need something sweet but natural small pieces of Dark Chocolate) and of course Liters of Water –Need to keep over hydrated. Drink about 2 bottles before even heading out…and leave ample time to relieve yourself!

3. Cross Training Shoes – Hiking boots might be a better option for some, but I feel most comfortable with my Nike Cross Trainers as they’re fairly light, provide a great amount of stability and pretty much match all of my workout and outdoor clothes. Yes Ladies, us men do look at our wardrobes too-We don’t need you clowning on us any more than you already do for looking like fools.

Peugeot 208 t16 Pikes Peak restaging

4. Radios – To keep in contact with your Shooting or Production Team (if you have one). If you don’t have a team it’s still a good idea to have one to tap into an Emergency Channel in the event you need it and you have no cell phone signal. And for those thinking that radios are a thing of the ancient past and still wanting to rely on cell phones, if you saw the title above, the word mountain is in there, the possibility of you being lost in an abyss without cellular signals is a pretty fair chance!

5. Stretches -Or for those like my wife-Yoga. Yes, you read that right. The movements you do before and after working out are what I’m referring to. You need to stretch your muscles for all the movements they will be doing-even the ones you haven’t thought of. Walking may not seem like much but at high altitudes with lower levels of oxygen, for extended amounts of time and moving over long distances, the long steps you have to make while walking takes a toll on your body, specifically your muscles and your lungs. Imagine this-Your standing on the side of the mountain swapping out batteries, drop it and while bending over to pick it up feel extremely nauseous, like you want to faint and there is a shot that you want to capture about to take place in less than 60 seconds. Now you feel like crap both mentally and physically not to mention you most likely blew your shot because you’re recovering from your exhaustion over picking up a freakin’ camera battery! That would suck. This has a little more to do with what I spoke about in the previous blog on being in shape and working out and I tie it in here with the stretches and yoga as one of the things you learn to do and put into practice when you incorporate this into your daily routine is breathe control. You learn how to relax when you’re stressing out and in a rush. You learn when and how to properly breathe slower or faster. You condition your body over time so that when you finally meet the elements it automatically knows what to do-you don’t have to think about it and definitely don’t overact or overexert yourself.

6. Bonus: Patience – This ties into point 5. Don’t rush to a spot so quickly. I have a 3 Year Old Tot at home and think back to her bedtime stories as I type this. Think about the “Tortoise and the Hare”. Plan out the shots you want-or at least try to anticipate them in order to be where you need to be when you need to be there. You might be a little slower in getting there but if you plan to be there and take your time getting there-pace yourself I don’t mean Sloth mode, you’ll be where you need to be (unless it’s some crazy unplanned action shot and well, you just better pray and hit the shutter). Also, there’s lots of loose gravel on the ground and when trekking at high grades while carrying an equipment bag on your back you don’t wanna go tumbling down the mountain side, I for sure as hell don’t.

Peugeot  208 t16 Pikes Peak


I was riding out with my brother in downtown one night and I received an unexpected Facebook message through my phone asking, “Hey are you down doing a photoshoot with an Audi?” I love cars and I love photography, so you know that I’m always down to fuse awesomeness. The shoot was for Concavo Wheels showing off a set of 20×10.5 Concavo CW-12 with BC coilovers holding  the ultra clean white Audi A5 from peeling the pavement. The shoot took place in the extended evening near the Tampa International Airport just right outside the taxiway. In my previous blog I touched on the importance of post production and how it has it’s place in Photography-specifically Commercial and Lifestyle Photography. Well for this, the stress points are natural lighting and location. Realtors use that term ‘Location, Location, Location”, well that should be in the the photographers manual as well. Whenever I’m out, believe it or not, I’m scouting locations and taking mental notes. I look at the sun and the lighting that the area gets, shadows are important too-more on that later. So, pick an awesome location that’s relevant to the visual message you (or your client) want to convey to your audience, think of the style and setting of the shoot and you’ll see what it does for the photo and the subject.

Audi_A5_Concavo_blog_1

Audi_A5_Concavo_blog_2

Audi_A5_Concavo_blog_3

Audi_A5_Concavo_blog_4

Audi_A5_Concavo_blog_5

You can view the full set and the wheels lineup offering from Concavo: http://concavowheels.com/portfolio/audi-a5-on-cw-12/


I honestly don’t know what drove me to do this, but a few weeks back I decided to rehash my photos from a shoot I did around June ’11 (Oh and if you want to view the suspect image, its right here -> http://namphan813.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/mg_7402.jpg).

Looking back, I couldn’t believe that I would release this one particular photo. I’m not speaking about the composition or accuracy in settings of the shot, I’m speaking in terms of the post production. So I did a re-edit of the jpeg file from my old blog and here’s my 2013 take on it..

What was I thinking back in 2011? I released the photo pretty much as is, my thoughts? I wish I could tell you, but I really don’t remember. Maturing in the fields of photography I dabble in and refining my post production skills over time has brought me to another level in my aesthetic for design philosophy. What do I mean by this? It’s simple…but complicated, so I’ll make it simple. Instead of treating them as two separate talents (which I know they are) I realized that they are married. I had to master both of them or find someone to marry (other than Sharonne) that was the other half. The two are actually one-given the circumstances require them. I’ll state that I do believe that a photographer should be able to capture a shot, composition and accuracy wise, from the beginning-in other words, pre-Photoshop. However, depending on the genre(s) of photography you shoot in, the post production process is greatly needed and I have found myself with a greater appreciation of it. There are a lot of shots I take where Photoshop is not needed and I refuse it because of the “feel” that I’m looking for. Which brings me to my point. Being a commercial and lifestyle photographer I photograph a couple different genres and love all of them. However, I have come to learn and experience, that a photographer is not just a person with a camera pushing a button who then hands their files over the the retoucher or graphic designer. A photographer is a script writer, a producer and a director. This applies to all fields of photography especially commercial and lifestyle-used for commercial use. You have to be able to see the big picture in order to capture the one in front of you. If I have a client I have to see the picture before it is even captured. Depending on what the end use of the images you have to be able to determine how to shoot the photo in the present for what it is going to be used for in the future. Sometimes that requires some crazy epic photoshoping of the images shot on set and a lot of times it doesn’t. Nevertheless, I have to be open to my clients needs, the creativity of the project and my vision as a photographer. Most of all I have to keep the integrity of the image and the artistry of the project.

Looking back on all the images that I have had both the honor and pleasure of capturing, I remember the most important things of all, gratitude and humility. My appreciation for the results of the hard work I have invested into learning and pushing myself towards the edge of the earth for that enrichment of wisdom leads to talent. But without the pieces and moments that make up of our lives, what would I have to capture.

Geez, I have come a long way! 🙂


Sometimes its best to stay out of dark alleys.