If anyone were to visit my Instagram profile, I think everybody would come to the same conclusion that this dude is apparently interested in fashion. Granted, I have been doing this for only 7 months now— counting my first ever shoots with my SC friends who were willing to sacrifice their faces for my fashion photography endeavors. Fast forward to today, I shoot almost every single week (especially during midterm/finals week) and find myself doing shoots with agencies on a regular basis. But in order to truly understand how I got to this miraculous point, I attribute this to one particular event (and person) that changed my life forever, and was the catalyst in igniting my passion for fashion…
Around the end of November, I had an epiphany where I realized that Fall semester was almost over (and as junior, that means I'm that much closer to the "real world") and it was now or never to actually see how far I can go with pursuing my dreams of fashion photography. Frantic, I compiled a very simple portfolio comprised of portraits that I took of my friends who so kindly collaborated with me. During Fall semester, as the Creative Director of an on campus gameday clothing brand TROJANBAE, I got the golden opportunity to actually put my camera skills to use! That opportunity certainly helped my cause, and I am very thankful for the brand founder, Lucinda, who welcomed me in and helped me turn my vision into a reality for the brand and the school that I love dearly. Best believe that next Fall, I intend to further the mission of this brand one last time as a senior!
Truthfully speaking, I attribute much of my success to all my classmates at SC who collaborated with me— considering how they helped me set the foundation for my aspirations. From the bottom of my heart, I can't even describe and articulate how thankful I am for their belief in me! (Y'all know who you are! You guys are seriously the best!) However, this was especially important in making the biggest move of my career— collaborating with a professional modeling agency. After drafting up a professional email message and putting the final touches on my portfolio, I pitched out to nearly every single modeling agency you can think of in L.A. As expected, the response rate was almost zero until one afternoon, I opened up my email inbox only to find a message from an individual named "Mikaela" who was an agent for Elite Model LA— one of the powerhouse modeling agencies within the U.S. The rest was history from there, as she gave me the opportunity beyond my wildest belief to collaborate with one of the coolest models ever: Kamila Davies. To summarize that shoot, that day would be a day that I will never forget in my life— considering how it paved the way for all the opportunities that have come my way within a timespan of 7 months.
From Elite Model LA to Next Model LA to MP Management LA, and countless of other agencies— the lesson that I want everybody to get from this miraculous story is how it really takes only one person to believe in you for the rest to happen. Seriously, every time I do a shoot I can't stop thinking about the email that Mikaela sent to me 7 months ago. To be where I am today is undoubtedly because of her and her belief in me as an aspiring fashion photographer. I have a very, very long way to go and still have lots to areas to sharpen in this very intricate area of photography, but I really couldn't have been more blessed to be the position that I am in right now— considering how I thought it would take me perhaps even 7 years (vs. 7 months) to actually collaborate with modeling agencies!
That's enough reading for one day (especially from an article written by me), but I want ALL of you to leave this article with the following phrase to linger in your mind: "It. Only. Takes. One." At the end of the day, we all have dreams and aspirations that we hold dear to our heart. In this short lifetime, don't be afraid to pursue it and strive to live everyday with as little regrets as possible.
In short, I guess what I'm trying to say is FTFO… forever.