Tag Archives: craigslist

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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Bridal Shoot: Nikki & Bobby

I found this lovely couple through Craigslist.  Craigslist has plenty of people looking for photographers, but it also has plenty of photographers looking for gigs.

For me, it’s always a hit or miss.  I’d probably send out maybe 10 emails and maybe get 1 response.  You never know who wants you until they want you.

This couple has something special that I wanted for my portfolio which was a wedding dress.  All my other shoots were done in casual attire.  So I was extremely excited for this shoot.

In this photo shoot, I personally wanted to challenge myself through my equipment choice.

Normally, I shoot with a Canon T3i camera & my 24-105 mm f/4L series Lens.

The interesting thing about this combination is that the lens cost $300 more then the camera.  (Body ~ $700 & Lens ~ $1000)

I have two other lens:

  1. 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 efs  (~$300)
  2. 50mm f/1.8 (~$100)

For the longest time, I haven’t touched any of these lens.

Why would you use your second-best or third-best lens?

Well I’ve always known that the 50 mm f/1.8 is great prime lens and supposedly it’s great for portraits.  The only downside from using the 50 mm f/1.8 is there is no zoom.

That means if I want a close up, I literally have to run 3 feet away from the couple to get my close-up and if I want a shot with the whole landscape, I had to move back like 20-30 feet.  It can be a great workout if that’s what your looking for.

I decided to challenge myself by using only the 50 mm f/1.8.

I could always switch to my more expensive lens, if things didn’t work out … but I actually forbid myself to before the shoot.

No bailing out on the challenge.

This was a do or die situation for me.  Make the best out of the 50 mm f/1.8 lens or … waste the whole photo shoot and have a really sad couple in the end.

Sometimes I can be quite stubborn with my rules and my criteria.

As it turned out, the pictures came out great.

Here’s a couple of my favorite pics:

As you can see, all three pics are the same location.  I took pictures at other places too such as a pond, hill, and bridge … but this walkway is by far my favorite place.

Before, the couple came, I got a chance to scout out the area and found this little walkway that had perfect lighting.  The trees provided cool shade and the perfect natural frame for the couple.  While at the very end of the walkway, there was an open area that let in all the sunlight.

It’s the perfect combination of shade and lighting that allows the bride & groom to be in the spotlight.

By the end of the photo shoot, I was tired from running around with my prime lens but glowing with joy because I knew I had some great photos.

I was extremely proud of myself for sticking with the challenge of using only my cheapest lens.  It proves that you don’t need the most expensive lens to capture beautiful pictures.

This is a link to the whole album:  https://photoscripts.wordpress.com/couples-2/wedding/

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