While I first found Augie through his wedding photography, he also has a wicked talent with little kids and babies! Knowing how hard it is to work with children only makes me respect his skill more. I also deeply respect him because he's not some knucklehead like me who one day decided he wanted to be a photographer...he started learning at a very young age on a film camera...so he's very trained and skilled. But I don't want to tell his story, I want you to hear it straight from the horses mouth!
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Augie Chang:
- 1. How did you first get interested in photography? I still remember when I was 6 years of age, I followed my uncle, who is a photographer for Kodak to one of his assignments. His assignment was to photograph sunset for Kodak's brochure/magazine. It took us a while to get to the location of choice, but when we got there, the sunlight was a bit too harsh to start shooting. My uncle asked if I wanted to shoot along side with him. I didn't hesitate and agreed. I had no idea what I had to do, but with my uncle's lead, he had the camera set up so all I needed to do is snap away. Shooting sunset is a bit tricky since there is this "perfect" moment when the sun is almost hidden away from the horizon but yet fully submerged. When I received the OK to snap away, I remembered I finished the roll of 36 frame (film) in less than 5 minutes. After 2 weeks, my uncle met up with me at my house and presented me with my photos. I looked at my pictures and immediately thought they looked like they were from a magazine! I had no idea I could have done that!? I was thrilled, and still remembered that tingly feeling in my stomach while looking at my first photos.
- 2. In your opinion, what makes a perfect shot? A great shot is when you look at the picture and you get that tingly feeling on your scalp. You don't need anyone to tell you what it is or how it was taken, but you are deeply moved by the photo.
- 3. What has your professional journey been like? It has been a long journey so far but a VERY rewarding one. At the beginning of my career, I did wedding photography part time while holding a "day job". After a few years, I had my first child, then shortly after another three years, my second son arrived. Although life has changed a lot, my dream of being a full time photographer was always a part of my life goal. It was tough, but I always believe if one has the will, one will eventually reach one's goal. I feel blessed every day that I get to do what I truly love.
- 4. What's the most unique/bizarre shoot location you've ever been in? The most unique/bizarre shoot location was at a dirty pond in the middle of Alameda (in the Bay Area). The pond is not what I called the cleanest. The bride was eager to get her dress trashed and the groom was on-board. I second guessed myself because the pond looked green and smelled a little funny. I thought to myself, if the couple is on-board, I am definitely going in with them.
- 5. What's the best piece of advice you were given when you were just starting out? The best piece of advice I got when I just starting out was to focus on my art, do a good job and put smiles on my customers' faces. Money should be secondary.