It Only Takes One

It Only Takes One

The story of how, within 7 months, I was able to fulfill my dreams of collaborating with some of the biggest modeling agencies in LA...

Tim Vo
Tim Vo
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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.

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become.

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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