Category Archives: Drama

FB Status Update: Started From the Bottom, Now I’m Here

Dad told me recently, “Taking pictures is a hobby. You need to stop bumming around and get your ducks in a row.”

What this usually means is he thinks photography is a dead end job with no prestige and honor. I should go back to being a teacher or engineer. Or maybe go back to school to be a doctor.

Friend told me recently, “You can’t make a living off of photography. It’s something you do on the side, after you have a career in something else.”

Which is true, because most of the well-known wedding/event photographers I know, do weddings on the side. They have a tax firm, electronic store, or cell phone service business that they run on the weekdays.

My Aunt told me, “Here’s a business loan for your photography business. You have to promise me that within one year, if things don’t go well you have to move onto something more stable.”

I only got 40 more days until my year is up.

People were getting to me and I was letting them get to me. I wasn’t going to give up photography up completely, but perhaps I would be able to sustain my photography passion with a stable income like librarian or computer lab manager.

It didn’t matter much what I did during the week, as long as during the weekends, I got to do what I loved the most.

Perhaps everyone was right all along. Perhaps last year was a waste. Perhaps I shouldn’t have put my life on hold and poured everything into photography.

Last Wednesday, replied to Craigslist post. Friday got called in interview. Left interview as a full-time architectural photographer with pay comparable to a full-time teacher.

Literally, had tears falling from my eyes because I was so happy. It felt like I just won the lottery. Similar to waking up from a beautiful dream only to realize that it wasn’t just a dream, it’s reality now.

Now, I don’t need to work, save money, and then to go spend it on something I truly love. I can do something I truly love, save money, and then chill until I can do something I truly love again. This is truly my dream job.

I appreciate all the friends and family who have supported me along the way. Friends critiquing my work. Family referring photography business to me. Inspiration and creativity were allowed to flourish with companions like you guys.

At the same time, I got nothing but love for my dad, aunt, and friend. They told me what they knew to be true. It was there own way of showing me love. Full-time photographers are unheard of. Well at least now, they can say they know one full-time photographer.

No photography courses/classes. No photography degrees/certificates. Learning it the hard way by just doing it. Definitely helped to have so many experienced photographers around me to give me tips/advice. Couldn’t have done it without them.

Started from the bottom, now I’m here.

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FB Status Update: Professional Jealousy

Don’t know if anyone else out there has any type of attachment to their clients, but I sure do.

What I mean is, let’s say I do a shoot for a couple last year. Well this year I find out that they did a shoot through another photographer.

My first reaction is always, “WTF! What happened to us? I thought I was yours and you were mine? Did those 3 hours that we spent in the Dallas Aboretum mean nothing to you?”

I mean the bond between a photographer and the client should be sacred. If anything it should be just as special as a marriage.

You did pay me to be with you. I didn’t come cheap. And you should continue paying me even when I’m old, ugly, and undesirable. That’s what it means to be faithful.

What did I do to make you leave me for someone else?

Is it because I wasn’t delivering the goods?

What does he/she have that I don’t have?

(I refuse to acknowledge or mention the other person who just came and stole you away from me.)

I wonder if anyone else feels this way.

Do make-up artist get jealous when their clients leave them for another make-up artist?

Is that called professional cheating?

There should be some kind a pre-nuptial agreement, that says that the client has to like us even when they don’t.

That would solve all the problems in this world.

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FB Status Update: Miss-Calls

Missed calls can happen when you’re busy.

Perhaps there is a reason why you didn’t hear the phone ring. Perhaps it was never meant to be. Perhaps your day will be much better if you missed that call.

Other times you purposely missed the call.

You look at your phone, see who’s calling and think “Oh My God! Not Him! Probably wants to borrow another grand. Not Her! How many times do I have to tell her that I’m not her baby’s daddy.”

Well today I got a miss call.

Whoopeedoo right?

I procrastinated a couple of hours. Took a nap. Ate something. Literally had nothing else to do, so I returned the call.

I said, “Sorry I missed your call. Did you need something?”
She said, “Oh sorry Thao!”
I said, “Why you sorry for?”
She said, “I miss dialed.”

(Nothing more humiliating than to find out that a miss call was actually a miss dial)

She said, “I thought you were the girl Thao.”

(I take that back. There is something more humiliating. How do you mistaken me for a girl? I realize people say I’m feminine, but this is outrageous. I am so mad I don’t even know what to say.)

She said, “Well it’s late. Goodbye Thao!”
I said, “Bye”

You know I’m actually pretty comfortable with the fact that I can be feminine at times, but moments like this throw me off balanced sometimes.

For instance, take the pic I took when I was small.

Did my mom force me to wear a dress when I was small? Was it because she wanted a girl instead of a boy?

Or did I steal this dress from my sister when no one was looking, thinking to myself that I probably looked better in it than her?

It could be that I just finished watching braveheart, where it’s actually cool for men to wear skirts! So in my attempt to be extremely manly, I end up looking girly.

Sometimes the hardest thing to decipher is what’s inside of you.

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FB Status Update: Wrongly Accused

Yesterday, decided to go shower.

Grabbed my clothes and dropped them in the bathroom.

Realized, I needed to look up something on internet so went out again.

Dad roamed into the same bathroom. Potty time.

After he leaves, I give it a good 30 mins for the odor to dissipate.

Walk in and realized my clothes disappeared …

“Did I bring it out when I checked my internet?”

Checked my laptop, no clean clothes.

“Hmm, maybe my dad thought it was dirty clothes and threw it in the hamper.”

Checked hamper, no clean clothes.

Checked my room, no clean clothes.

Checked my lil’ bro Nghia Nguyen’s room, found my clean clothes.

Got me thinking.

Apparently, my dad assumed that since the clothes were on the ground in the bathroom THAT they must be dirty.

And then he thought, who in the house leaves dirty clothes laying around the floor all the time?

Obviously, not Thao (me). He is too neat, tedious, and mature.

Has to be Nghia. Only that son could be capable of such monstrosity. I should dis-own. That will teach him to throw dirty laundry on the floor.

Why can’t he be more like Thao!

(Since we are on the topic of being wrongly accused. Last week, I took Nghia to the hospital when he told me, “Something smells weird in your car. Did you fart?” I really appreciate the fact that you attribute all un-identifable, weird-smelling stank to me. I AM capable of exuding pleasant aroma. I just choose not to exude it.)


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FB Status Update: Dishwashing Drama

(One week ago)

Me and my mom got into it recently.

It was over a dish drying rack.

I had bought one at Wal-mart for $5 dollars and this is what happened when I brought it into her kitchen.

Mom: Why did you buy that for?
Me: Because we broke our dishwasher and now we need a new place to dry our dishes for when I’m done washing them!

(background story … like most traditional Vietnamese families, we have a dishwasher, but we never use it. We HAND WASH everything. We use our dishwasher to dry our dishes after we hand wash them. Oh joy.)

Mom: Well, didn’t I say we’re going to get a new dishwasher soon? Why waste $5 dollars when we don’t need it?
Me: Mom, you said we were going to get a new dishwasher 6 months ago. How about I return the dish drying rack when you get a new dishwasher?

(When parents say they’ll buy something soon that will make your life easier, what they’re really thinking is “Why waste $500 dollars when Thao does an excellent job for free.”)

Mom: Fine. Leave it over there. I’m going to make you eat your words, when I buy that new dishwasher!
Me: Fine!

(Ok … my mom didn’t actually say “I’ll make you eat your words”, but that’s what she would’ve said if she knew what it meant!)

I walked into the house today and notice that MY dish drying rack is being used. Woohohoho, my mom finally caved in and used my dish drying rack.

This is usually a time to practice humility and perhaps just let it go. No need to rub it all in my mom’s face just because I’m right for once. Plus it’s Lent, try giving up the need to always be right.

And then it dawned on me … I’ll give up the need to always be right … next year! What a great idea!

Me: Mom! Why are there clean dishes on my dish drying rack?

(Mom already has a dirty look because she knows I got my troll face on. Nothing good ever occurs when I got my troll face on.)

Mom: Well, it was just sitting on the other table doing nothing. I figure, why not put it to use.
Me: But, but … how will I return it if you already used it?

(I’m not letting my mom off that easily … )

Mom: Well, I saved you a trip back to Wal-mart, didn’t I?
Me: Mom, you are so thoughtful … always thinking about what’s best for me.

(Finally let my mom off the hook … she did give birth to me you know!)

This post is dedicated to Mary Nguyen, because she enjoys the drama that happens between me and my mom.

And now introducing the infamous dish drying rack!


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