Do Not Worry

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Nathan’s favorite quote from the Bible

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life. Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” Luke 12:22

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Nathan wants to be a barber, but his parents want him to go into dentistry because he can make more money that way. Sound familiar? I know it’s easy to say to other people to go for their dreams, but it is hard when you are the main character of your own narrative.

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We all have fears that hold us back from doing what we truly want to do. We want to have a secure life with shelters, food, and other necessities. That’s understandable. But maybe we are not asking enough, not demanding enough. We live in an abundant world. Ask you shall receive. It seems that we are not really afraid that our dreams never come true. We are afraid that our dreams do come true. Can it be? Can life be this good? What’s the catch? Even we are doing what we love, there is still this fear. What’s out there to get me?

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If you can’t take control of your mind, it will take control of you. If you can’t take control of your own destiny, it will take control of you. Don’t settle. DON’T BE AFRAID. Be brave, be bold, be courageous. It is all yours if you would accept it, take it, and own it.

Photo Shoot with Hannah

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Hannah is a fashion and lifestyle blogger based in East Bay, California. We met from an event I put together a few months ago about blogging and photography. Hannah has only been blogging for a year and half but has been showcasing her outfits since 2014 on Instagram.

Hannah is only 19 years old, but she has become a huge inspiration of mine. She said,

“Treat your dream like a job. I would rather give my 100% and fail than half ass succeed.”

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She has planned out her content two months in advance on her blog. Respect. That’s all I can say.

When it comes to fashion advice, she says, “Don’t just follow trend, find pieces you like to create your own unique style.”

Meet Michelle

Michelle is my friend. I ran into her on the street right after work. Michelle is one of the most bad ass people I know. If you want to know how badass she is, she stopped a bus to get my lens cap that I dropped in the middle of the road.

Here she is on her way to a concert. Michelle writes poetry and likes to make music. I’m waiting to share one of her poetry pieces on the blog. 🙂

My Advice to Beginner Street Photographers

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My two cents on street photography or any creative pursuit really. Don’t be afraid to shoot!! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes!

There are multiple times I went out last year on the street and realized I didn’t bring a memory card. I had to buy a memory card on the spot. You bet that I will have that memory card now when I go out and shoot. Always bring an extra battery. These are just things you will learn from experiences.

If you are on the street, you see somebody you want to photograph, go and shoot!

You are in the shade, shoot!

You are in the shadow, shoot!

You are in mixed lighting, shoot!

You don’t have the perfect background, shoot!

You are not sure how the shot is going to come out, shoot!

Shoot because you have your subject right here, if you don’t, chance is that you will never see them again. So shoot! Shoot! And shoot!!

For example, this photo would be better if my shadow is not in it. But guess what, next time I’ll pay attention to that when I’m shooting in setting like this. It is through these not so great photos, you can get better, so keep shooting.

Don’t be afraid to share your not so great photos, we are all learning. Don’t wait until 10 years later when you are a master of your craft to share your work. Don’t take too much pride in your work. Just keep doing it, when you have enough volume, you will get better. Trust me.

 

Meet Dasha

I met Dasha on the street of SF like most people I featured on the blog. I think she is one of the coolest people I have met for a while.

She came to the U.S last year for college from South Korea. She didn’t go to high school but worked instead. She said because of that she got to learn about what she likes or doesn’t like in makeup and fashion at an early age. She went to university though after taking an exam similar to SAT.

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I asked her what her major is in college, she said restaurant management, but she wanted to try something else too. She said, “As long as I figure out something before 40, it’s ok.” I was thinking to myself. Wow. I really like her attitude.

The thing I get out of Dasha’s story is that you need to create your own path. Not just simply follow what everyone does. Here she is in America, experiencing a new culture. She seems to be so confident in herself and so comfortable in her own skin. Is it just youth? What happened to us adults, I mean people who have been working for a while after college? Lol we don’t seem to be as hopeful, it’s something to think about.

 

My Journey as a Photographer

In terms of photography, some people love to shoot food. Some people love to shoot landscape and architecture. Some people love to shoot nature and animals. I just happen to love to shoot people and fashion. That’s pretty much all I shoot – Portraits. I would like to shoot my heart out with portraits and really master this craft. I’m putting my wish out there and I’m getting mentors to help me get there.

Followers or not, getting paid or not, I’m going to continue to shoot. If you like to ride a bike, you don’t stop ridding because nobody is paying you to bike, or nobody follows your biking journey. lol. You do it because you love it so much. You are so fascinated by it. You want to always improve your craft, it’s almost like an addition. The satisfaction you get by simply creating and producing is enough motivation to keep you going.

It seems to be me at this point that photography is going to be a lifetime thing. I know as long as I don’t stop, I can only get better.

Here is what I realize recently.

Location + Model + Time + Photographer = A Good Photo

You need to find cool locations to shoot.

You need to find models who can work with you.

You need to have time to go on these shoots.

You need to improve your skills as a photographer.

A community helps as well. Shooting with other photographers has been a very nice experience for me. Because you want to be with like minded people. Shooting with photographers who are better than you is important too. That’s how you learn.

These are just some thoughts I have recently because I feel like I have grown and learned a lot in the past few months from all the things I have done that are related to photography. Just want to take a note on these little steps we take in life, one day we can look back and say, wow, I have come pretty far now.

Julia Talks About Being 20 and First Moving to the U.S.

I know Julia for a while now. But this photo shoot is the first time we hang out outside of work. I have known her to be such a sweet girl, but getting to know her more makes me realize how strong she is!

Julia moved to the U.S from Ukraine with her Mom a couple of years ago at the start of her high school. Now she is going to transfer to a four year university at his Fall. I feel like I have watched her grow into an adult, haha. Because she started working with me when she just started college.

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We talked about out experiences when we first moved to the U.S. For her first class in high school, she had no idea what was going on. She was so nervous for her first class and it ended in 20 minutes. She was so confused. It turned out it wasn’t a class, it was a news reading section.

When I asked her if High School was really hard socially with all the popular kids and cliques. She laughed and said it was not like in the movies. They didn’t even have lockers. I was like, what? No lockers?? Haha.

Julia showed me all sorts of cool places in Golden Gate Park, because she used to ride her bike all around the park when her family lived around there. We were saying how much  changed for us as immigrants just in a few years. Even it doesn’t look like there are a lot of changes on a daily basis.

Now she has a car and drives to different parts of California with her friends. She introduced me to some cool artists from her playlist and took me to this Boba place in Sunset.

 

I feel so proud of her. Every immigrant has his or her own story about why and how they moved to the U.S. It’s so sweet to see Julia come of age within the past few years. I’m glad we got the time to do the photo shoot and got to know each other a little more. Who knows what the next few years have in store for us? Let’s just be young a little bit longer.