Duy is an *accomplished wedding photographer with roots in architecture and design. He received his Masters of Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design before terrifying his parents by choosing to leave behind 13 years of training to pursue photography full time. He has an insatiable hunger for travel and Golden Boy Pizza. He sometimes speaks in third person so it feels less weird to write about himself. Plot twist! It's me, Duy.
Having a formal background in design and architecture, my transition into photography was an easy one. Composition, attention to details, and the goal of creating compelling imagery are all facets that bridge the two disciplines. When I began wedding photography, weaving the emotion and soul into the technical is what got me truly hooked.
Weddings are meticulously-designed, emotionally charged, symbolic celebrations. It's a fascinating dichotomy between a structured event and one that inspires the most raw and pure emotions from the couple and their family and friends.
Here, I see old friends and family reuniting under a common purpose; the closest people to the bride and groom sharing their history, their feelings and appreciation for friends and family; and couples who reciprocate their appreciation for all those who have influenced and affected their lives. Weddings are about couples committing their lives to each other, but they are also about the people around them that make life even more interesting. Getting to know my clients and then delivering a set of emotionally powerful photographs to record the beginning of the next chapter of life together is such a rewarding experience. At this point in my life, there’s nothing I’d rather do.
While the overall goal is to simply tell the story of the day, I am particularly inspired through keying in on joy, authenticity, atmosphere, and style.
*I consider writing this section an accomplishment
Open-mouthed belly laughs
One of the hallmarks of wedding celebrations is people coming together to celebrate. The merriment and festivities create such a ripe environment for joy and weddings amplify these feelings in people to such extreme highs.
Pure joy is something I will never grow tired of photographing. Spontaneous bursts of laughter always tickles my soul.
I'm always watching and listening and following the laughter. And what better way to remember your wedding than to look back fondly on the joyful faces of you and your loved ones?
All about the moments
One my most important principles is to remain as authentic as possible – keying in on real moments between real people. So much raw emotion is brought out in a wedding among family, friends, and of course you. There's no reason to fake it if it's all happening in real time.
When photographing weddings, I look for real, expressive moments. They are often the most beautiful and evocative photographs between people.
I love documenting life as it happens. The bulk of my work is unposed and undirected. I teeter on the fine line between being helpfully involved and unobtrusively observant.
The Personality of Place
Your venue plays an important part in setting the scene as the backdrop to your wedding day. A bright ceremony on a hill-top or a romantic candle-lit reception all create a certain atmosphere that needs an understanding of light and composition to fully capture.
Whether you're getting married at a fancy ballroom in downtown San Francisco, a historic church, or a pastoral winery with a breath-taking view of Napa Valley, the character of the space can be another element to draw inspiration.
With background in architecture and an insatiable love for travel photography, I am uniquely equipped to deliver imagery that harnesses the beauty of the environments where you've chosen to recite your vows and dance the night away.
Awesome portraits included
Aside from genuine moments, a cornerstone of my work is environmental and editorial-inspired portraiture. Throughout most of the day, my approach is pretty hands-off and photojournalistic in nature, but the exception is portrait time.
I love creating awesome portraits for people that can be a mix of something fun, sexy, and romantic.
This is done through a process that mixes guided poses, a little staging, and a splash of your sparkling personalities. The end result is a blend of classic and artistic, environmental portraiture, interwoven with photojournalistic, story-telling photographs. We'll generally stay away from props and hand hearts though (that said, I'll shoot it if you really want it... just know you're crushing my soul and somewhere a magical Photo Fairy dies).
Sound good so far?
Odds & Ends
• I have an unquenchable thirst for Diet Coke and iced coffee (though not at the same time).
• My go-to big boy drink is an Old-Fashioned.
• I really miss Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report.
• Whenever I see someone running for the bus, I root for them.
• Mint Chocolate Chip is my favorite ice cream flavor.
• I drop my phone on my face at least once a week while reading in bed.
• I think Rogue One is at least the second best Star Wars movie ever.
• Jar-Jar should have never been conceived. This is not an opinion.
• I used to perform trumpet solos in front of a stadium full of high schoolers in the marching band while wearing a feather-plumed hat throughout high school. To offset peak band-nerd status, I performed John Lennon's Imagine in front of a couple hundred classmates. I was good. There is no footage to confirm this, however.
• I typically "discover" songs a couple years after they were initially popular.
• I'd argue in terms of story-telling and writing, Breaking Bad is better than Game of Thrones. But GoT has Daenarys. And I love her.