my dream job.

1140 photography

People always comment how happy I must be to have my dream job.  And I think... I love being a photographer but it was never actually my dream job.  But if I look back at my life, I was always headed in that direction.  So I suppose me and photography were always meant to be.

The first camera I owned was a tiny camera that came from a cereal box.  (Didn't you just love finding the prizes in cereal boxes?!) That first camera was very basic.  You'd snap the film on to the camera, and shoot away!  I loved pictures.  As a child I'd thumb through National Geographic's and imagine traveling around the world taking pictures.  But even then, my dream was to become a teacher.  I continued to want to be a teacher, with brief dreams of becoming a lawyer or a fireman, until high school.

In high school I had no idea what I wanted to do.  By then I owned an olympus point-and-shoot film camera that I brought with me wherever I was.  I took pictures of EVERYTHING.  I loved photography.  I tried to get into the photography class, but was rejected.  I was on the yearbook staff, but even then I got rejected.  I became a copywriter and secretly longed to be one of the photographers.  At that point, I had a good eye and knew a good picture when I saw it.  I had a strong creative background and knew that somehow I had the potential to be good at photography.   But even then I never committed to the idea of becoming a photographer.  While I was interested in photography, I put photography on the back-burner; I imagined I'd do it on the side or when I was a stay-at-home-mom.  (Imagine, I wanted to be one of those mom-tographers. haha.)

When I applied to colleges I still didn't know what to do.  I applied to colleges in graphic design, graphic communications, architecture and aviation.  When it was time to pick a college I chose architecture over becoming a pilot.  Notice how I didn't even consider photography?  haha.  That senior year in high school I was taking endless amount of pictures (and still couldn't get into the photography class).  I continued to take pictures whenever I could.  I wanted everything documented.

In college I absolutely loved architecture.  I loved everything about it.  It appealed to my technical and artistic interests.  I learned a lot and loved it.  As part of my architecture projects I needed to take pictures a lot.  I had to photograph the sites of my projects, my research, my process and my final models.  During that time I learned a lot about what appealed to my photographic eye.  I look back on some of those pictures and they still appeal to me.  As part of my architecture program, I even learned photo editing.  We had an assignment where we were given a digital file of an old picture scanned on a dirty scanner and had to fix the color and clean up the image.  It was great.  I continued to take pictures well after graduating college, and still it had not occurred to me to make a career out of photography.

Now that I am a photographer, I think it's pretty funny that photography as a career never occurred to me.  To me it was always some lofty idea that I'd do somewhere done the road, I suppose.   Cameras and photography were always a constant in my life so I don't know what I was thinking!  I love being a photographer.  I love my life.  I love photography found me.

So what's your dream job?  Has it found you yet?

Vancouver | Customs

Upon arriving in Canada, I was detained at customs because I was a wedding photographer. After going through the customs line that everyone else goes through, they corralled me to a room off to the side.  They searched through all my clothes and belongings and found nothing special. I was lucky to have had a very nice agent who exchanged a conversation about makeup, cameras and babies with me.  The other customs agents were literally yelling at the other people.  Also, I noted that everyone who was detained was Asian.  The agents also do not have names on their uniforms--just numbers.

She continued to the rooms behind the two-way mirrors where she examined my computer. She came out later and asked for my cell phone. She had found "possible wedding" marked in my calendar and was searching through my phone, email and computer for proof that I was shooting a wedding in Vancouver. (During this process I wasn't scared at all because I had done nothing wrong. I spent my time knitting and reading and playing sudoku.) She finally came and asked if anyone could corroborate my story. I didn't really how I could prove that I wasn't going to shoot a wedding, but still I gave her two numbers. She returned and evidently that was enough. When she released me, three hours after I was detained, she gave me some tips as to how avoid this again, but basically she said as long as I was a photographer the Canadian government would be suspicious of me. (I had had similar interrogations on my past two trips, but they didn't detain me or search me like this time.)  She also told me that finding "possible wedding" in my calendar was enough to send me back to the states.  A bit ridiculous, I think.

Anyway, it was an interesting experience and I finally got my Canadian stamp in my passport. YAY. :) (They don't stamp your passport if you're on a plane whose final destination is canada or us) So. I'm fine.

(the above picture is the view harbor from my room.) It's beautiful here.

San Francisco Chinatown Engagement Session | Nessa & Dillon

I've been in rut recently.  It seems no matter how much work I do I don't seem to make any progress or get anything done.  I try to think about the day and I know that I've been working all day, but I don't see any results.  Anyone ever get like this?  I am determined to make a change, but I don't know where to start. I am lacking inspiration.  This engagement session has helped to make me more determined... thank goodness.

august adventure 24: the airport, my second home.

Dance of a Nomad: Day 14, Virginia Airports.  Don't you just love them?  As an architecture student, airports were those project designed by my creatively brilliant classmates.  I saw airports as expressions of a city's wealth or fame or personality.  The best cities erected modern, innovative and sleek airports, and, of course, the only airports worth mentioning were international.  A mere domestic airport meant that respective city lacked significance in the world.  But oh, how I'd drool over a well-designed airport.

Now as a photographer and traveler, I see airports much differently.  To me, airports are a place for me to watch the physical dialogue between cultures.  I sit waiting for my flight watching the planes take off and land.. hauling people from other cities, other states, other countries.  I watch as these people walk through the airport, interacting with themselves and with others.  I listen to the sweet medley of accents and languages as they meld together forming the calming white noise of the airport.

I love airports.

On my way to Pennsylvania from New York, I made a short stop in Virginia where I met up with my girlfriend, Katie Martin.  Virginia was beautiful, and I was sad to be there only for a short while.  I snapped these pictures while waiting to meet up with my other friend.

I love airports.

Friends and Photographers

Dear Friends and Photographers,

I am person who loves photography.

My job is photography. Am I really a photographer? I don't think I really am. Someday! But not now. I would need a certain level of notoriety to feel comfortable calling myself that. I don't even like that my website says "Megan Tsang Photography" or even "Megan Tsang Photographer"; I just kind of had to so people would know what I was all about. I feel pretty pompous to put that on my website at this point in my development as picture-taker.

The funny thing.. when I was just doing it for fun, and not for a means of survival, I was sooooooo cocky.  I'm embarrassed how prideful I was (or even that sometimes my pride still manifests itself).  I think, "Ick!  I used to be proud of those pictures?  Ick!"  I'm glad that over time I've met amazing photographers who have really humbled me and encouraged my own growth as a photographer-to-be. :)

With that said, here's what my post is really about...

My guide to being a considerate aspiring photographer (emphasis on aspiring).

- Unless you're a good friend, I try not give unsolicited advice. Sometimes I do, so sorry if I'm annoying you. :) - I find it very important that even if other people aren't asking for advice or critiques, to give my own positive critiques. To tell them how much I love how they captured a certain moment. To tell them their picture was really well composed. To them that the lighting was amazing!  I'd like to encourage people with photography just as my colleagues, friends and family have. So for me, that means to highlight all the skills they already have.  If I like your picture, I want to let you know!   - Questions, even seemingly dumb ones, should never be in short supply!  I may be making some money doing photography, but I still envy the skills of many people who just do it for fun.  An example being Jasmin or Dan Mats or Matt Chan.  I'm never embarrassed to ask them dumb questions about their pictures or camera or whatever.   - I think it's great when a bunch of people are taking pictures.  It's even better when they show each other their pictures of the same thing.  You get to learn about how they took that picture, and you get to see the world from another point of view.  So share pictures!!  (I'm bad at this because I forget to send pictures. Yikes!  Sorry everyone!)  I love to look at everyone else's pictures! - DSLR camera snobs are not nice  and have no grounds to bad mouth camera phones or point-and-shoots.  (Although Olympus and Kodak digital cameras are horrible.) It's the person who takes the picture that makes the picture great. I think if you talk to any professional photographer, they'll tell you that equipment doesn't matter without a good eye. So unless you're a professional, DSLRs are not necessarily > point/shoot. - I don't pretend to know what I'm doing. Truthfully, half the time I don't know how to make my picture the way I want it. That's why I take workshops! If I flood you with information after I've come back from a workshop,  like The Raddest Photo Trip Ever, sorry!  It's just because I'm so excited about all the wonderful things I learned!

So, dear friends! Happy picture taking!