My Interview With Daniel Nguyen

Talented Photographer

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview one of my favourite LA based photographers, Daniel.
I came across him when I was looking through one of my favourite blogs, and was curious as to who was taking her photos.
Daniel is a very unique photographer and definitely has his own style. He says he likes “to go around to create something out of the ordinary” which can definitley be seen in his work and the different photography projects he has done.
Daniel has really inspired me to have confidence in my photography style and that less is definitely more.
Here is our little interview. Enjoy!
Nadine: How did you get into photography?
Daniel: Photography in the beginning was on and off, in high school I took a summer crash course in photography to finish an art prerequisite to graduate. Later near my senior year I picked up photography again and applied it to yearbook, then to photojournalism in college. I didn’t really start photography till I started planning my own shoots that were just for fun photos with friends. I later got picked up by my mentor out of the blue and learned there was more to photography than just taking pretty photographs of people. I could illustrate stories, make people laugh, amazed, produce shoots no one would ever think of. It’s fun, I find it exciting, the whole process of planning and executing the shoot and watch it come to life.

N: What do you want people to take away from your images?

D: What do I want people to take away from my images? That’s tough, I never really thought too much about it to be honest. The idea I had behind taking an image was to showcase it to everyone, my goal was to make them laugh, blow them away from a concept based on a simple idea. Sometimes the concepts I put together may come from childhood, if the viewers remember an activity they have done in their childhood and laugh about it and want to look at the image again then I have met my goal.


N: I love Francis Lola and Ella V. Lora. What is it in particular that you liked about the bloggers that you collaborated with for your website? Something in common is that the three bloggers all have amazing coloured hair!

D: Haha yes the bloggers I have worked with all have coloured hair. The bloggers I collaborated are extremely quirky, you would never expect them judging by their appearance. They’re all really fun to work with and to be around, open to different ideas to shoot the outfit also they provide feedback on what they would like which helps a lot! I’ve worked with Francis the past year and we’ve become pretty awesome friends, she’s very open to creativity and the trust we have for each shoot makes shooting with her enjoyable.

N: What is your photo editing process? Do you have any filters or settings that you typically use?

D: There isn’t much to say about my photo editing process, I look through photographs to filter out the stronger photos among the sets that I have photographed before I send out the selections to Agencies and Fashion Bloggers for their final selection picks per set. After the final selections, I set myself a deadline to have the photos done before I become overwhelmed with other shoots. I hardly use filters on my photos, each photo shoot, models, fashion bloggers, and the outfits they wear have different characteristics. I edit and tone the photo according to the feel of the outfit and to the subject’s personality in each set. In a way it makes it unique adds a personal touch to it.

N: What does a typical photo shoot day look like?

D: Typical shooting day with agency models start out with my team on location before the model arrives so we can go over the plans. Make up will be done on site, and we’ll be going over the outfits and logistics before we start shooting. On shoots I’m constantly thinking of locations and back up locations, the change in lighting and the pedestrians that might be in our way and how to make the shots better. With bloggers the shooting routine is about the same, minus the make up haha. Now for my project shoots it’s a different story, there will be somedays the weather doesn’t want to work with me, and there are some mishaps that appear before the shoot. Fortunately my creative director and I have a knack to improvise a back up plan as we move on with the shoot. Extremely stressful yet at the same time its fun, there are tons of uncertain possibilities that make or break the photo, sometimes there are certain shots that weren’t meant to happen and some that were.

N: As this is a fashion blog, how important do you think fashion and photography are?

D: Fashion and photography go hand and hand, like cookies and ice-cream (strange reference but it kinda works!). There are all sorts of styles of fashion and the bloggers that have a niche in those styles, it goes the same as photographers, we have different styles we specialize in. During the time I’ve started shooting agency models and bloggers, fashion has been part of the many keys to create a great photo that will stand out, specially for editorials. Fashion also relies on photography, a simple photograph doesn’t do justice (at least by my standards), there has to be than that, more content in the photo that would make the outfit standout. Photographers can come up with a concept with the idea behind the outfit, and the feel it emphasizes. A skilled photographer who can partner up with a talented stylist/fashion blogger with a good eye can make a great team!

N: What does success mean to you within business and life?

D: To be successful in life is to be happy, in business it is to be financially stable. But what does it mean to be successful in business and in life? Photography isn’t the most stable business since there is competition everywhere. Being successful in life is hard to achieve, because how of how we define “success”. Success in business to me is booking jobs left and right, keep me working and producing great work, at the same time be financially stable and have a budget to put together a team for more projects. Succeeding in life is a tough one haha, to me it would be happy with all my friends and loved ones, I want to share that happiness with everyone, and take them on a grand adventure and move on knowing I did my best for myself and everyone else.

N: What tips can you give an aspiring photographer?

D: Photography is tough! It appears to be easy but in reality it isn’t. If you want to be a full fledged photographer you must commit your mind and body (as well as money too…unfortunately haha). There will be struggles, there are going to be hurdles, its hard being creative and there will be some days where you just want to sit down and do nothing, hoping that success will come to you. Truth be told it won’t come, only you can make that success happen, only you can take those steps and run towards your goals. There will always be photographers better than you, don’t think that you are the best; you’ll only find yourself broken down or blown away when you meet someone whose skills are from a different world. Remember your limitations to being creative and successful are only mental blocks you’ve set upon yourself.
Finally…the lessons my mentor taught me that I always follow through:
1. Always remember names of people you meet
2. Be open minded, listen to others
3. Treat your team mates as if they were you’re good friends, never wrong them
4. Help others

Thank you once again Daniel for agreeing to do this interview and sharing some really helpful tips.



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