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Conversations with Aaron Han

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aaron Han.

Hi Aaron, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
In high school, my friend inspired me to start photography after a road trip to Big Sur. He had his Canon dslr while I used by iPhone 4 and I have to admit, I was jealous. As we drove home, I remember watching him edit his photos and videos. I became obsessed with the idea that he was able to capture our time in such a beautiful place like Big Sur and save it forever while simultaneously editing the work to fit his creative style. My creativity has always been there but photography was really the first medium that stuck.

Shortly after that trip, I worked during the summer and saved enough money to buy my first camera and lens. I photographed what was immediate and closest to me; friends, landscapes, vacation trips, etc. all with that camera dial in auto- mode. After coming home from school, I went down the YouTube rabbit hole and tried to absorb as much information as possible and it was exciting to see that even though I was teaching myself, I was getting somewhere and improving. Fast forward to college, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and work part-time as an event photographer for my university’s business school ranging from pitch competitions to keynote speaker events and more. At this point, while I didn’t enjoy this kind of work, I was able to learn more about my myself, gain some legitimate experience, and understand the power of photography for businesses.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Mmm, yes and no! I think most artists would humbly admit and agree that what friends and followers see on social media is not a true reflection of what the journey is like. From the technical side, early on when I didn’t have a strong portfolio like I do now, I had to cold message on social media and accept opportunities that clearly were not an accurate compensation of my value, time and effort. But I did it anyways to build relationships and gain experience hoping that it would pay dividends. Behind the scenes, there’s also so much non-creative work that goes on and has to be done to avoid failures and pitfalls.

From the social and personal side of things, there’s also the typical lack of motivation, self-doubt from comparing yourself to others, and even imposter syndrome where that self-doubt makes you feel unworthy of some successes.

Despite these struggles though I truly believe that happiness is a choice and that the grind only makes the end that much sweeter. There’s always gonna be challenges and I think if you don’t push through with a smile, you’re going to lose passion and fail at your goals. If it wasn’t difficult, not only would everyone be able to do it, it wouldn’t be special anymore. So if anything, I’m excited for the challenges ahead and can’t wait to tackle them one by one to get to where I need to be.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I pride myself on being honest and having a good work ethic which has made me dependable and thorough with my photography over the years. From my skin retouching to composition, I have continuously improved my skills to only get better with each project. If there is ever an opportunity I think I can’t execute on, I’m humble and honest enough to share that I’m not going to put myself out there unless I know I can get it done well. The start of any relationship is built on trust and I’m not here to waste anyone’s time including my own. So I will always point someone in the right direction even if that direction is not aligned with mine.

Much of my work is lifestyle portraiture and brand photography. In the past, I’ve marketed myself as a jack of all trades considering I have diverse experience with everything from photographing events and family portraits to sports, but my attention now is really focused towards specializing in lifestyle brand work. Whether it be personal or commercial brands, my goal is to provide as much value as possible to my clients to enable their marketing and advertising teams to capitalize on their leads and prepare their next campaign while staying true to their brand image. My services range from e-commerce and on-location photography to location scouting and model casting with more as necessary.

What’s next?
Along with continuing to grow the business, I would love to host workshops to meet and educate new photographers. Being self-taught and growing throughout the industry, the one thing I wish I had was a bigger creative network and it’s something I hear a lot from other creatives as well. So not only would these workshops serve as a learning experience, but also a networking one. Learning on YouTube without practical hands on experience can only go so far and I think I can provide tremendous value for serious beginner and enthusiast photographers looking to take the next step. From technical advice for how to photograph certain subjects to working with agencies and finding clients, it would be great to see how I can help others grow alongside me. This currently is unfolding with blogs where I talk about important topics for growing photographers which you can see on my website and hopefully will evolve into in- person workshops by 2022.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Personal Photo by Brady Keegan

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