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Daily Inspiration: Meet Levi Yin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Levi Yin.

Hi Levi, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Videographer, cinematographer and aspiring filmmaker. My passion for visuals grew its roots in Cambodia Town, Long Beach, CA. As a child, my favorite pastime was watching Television with my grandparents. We watched many Clint Eastwood, Chuck Norris, Samuel Jackson and Bruce Lee films. Movies were fascinating to me. Naively, I began to tell myself that I was going to create my own one day. Not even realizing that I really meant it.

In grade school, I made a really close friend. Whose father was a cameraman and visual editor. On weekends he would take us on many trips across Southern California. Skateboarding, bodyboarding, hiking and cliff jumping were things we did every weekend. While we spent a lot of time enjoying activities, he would record us. This is where I got my first-hand experience of camerawork. I was in complete awe of all his efforts. His photo and video edits were spectacular. During this period, many advancements in technology were being made. Seeing him adapt to this ever-changing environment over years was astounding. From pocket cameras to GoPros and high-end Sony cameras. It was a privilege to have this learning experience.

Fast forward to the year of 2019. I purchased the then new iPhone Xr. At this point technology made seriously impressive developments. In my pocket was the capability to record and edit video in 4K and slow motion. I spent the whole year taking photos and videos on my leisurely. By the end of year, I created an edit highlighting the events of my year. I shared it with everybody that was involved. I found it to be very fulfilling. To my surprise, many really enjoyed being involved. This is when I knew I wanted to make this my life. In February, of 2020 I received my tax return. As soon as that happened, I went straight to Best Buy. I bought the camera that I had fantasized about. For Years I had always dreamed of having a camera of my own. The purchase that was made that day was the best thing to ever happen to me.

I was so comfortable using my iPhone to record, it didn’t occur to me that using a mirrorless camera was totally different. That however, was not an issue. My dedication only grew as the challenge was presented to me. I spent my time learning about my camera, acquiring equipment and recording. I began doing music videos, photoshoots and edits for my friends. Unfortunately, my new journey had to take an abrupt halt. At the end of March, Covid-19 is declared a national emergency and the pandemic begins.

Not being able to network was a discouraging way to begin my videography career. Although I was not able to continue shooting. Prior to the stay at home order, I had amassed so much content to the point I was able to stay busy during the orders entirety. Spending the following months editing, learning and progressing my passion. Once Regulations began to lift, there was no time wasted getting back out there. My months of isolation had prepared me in creating at a greater quality. Up to present, I have devoted all of my free time to my passion. I have been part of many productions. I hope to one day write my own film. I look forward to my ongoing journey of learning and progressing. This is my dream that I will make into a reality.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The road is as bumpy as any other. Couple of potholes, here and there. My biggest challenge however, has been the financial and time management aspects. A lot of sacrifices have been made to make this part of my life a priority. It can be discouraging at times to miss out on leisurely pleasures. Having the discipline to invest in my business endeavors, as opposed to indulging. Certainly difficult, but in the end, will be worth more than anything I could imagine.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m a videographer specializing in active camera movement and versatility with camera handling. I’m known for cinematically capturing moments and video portraits. I’m most proud of my ability to work with others to create. What sets me apart from others is my dedication. My willingness to constantly learn. Ability to reflect and capacity to adapt to what is unfamiliar. Desire for professional intent creates an environment that makes people comfortable in my potential.

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
I’d say starting this journey right before the pandemic began was very unlucky. But ultimately, it worked in my favor. It gave me a time period that allowed me to develop as a person and a professional. Lucky or otherwise, it is important to make the best of your situation. Stay grounded mentally, in success or adversity alike.

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