Checking Out…

Dear Friends,

Two and a half years ago, I decided not to pursue becoming a pharmacist anymore. I then explored the idea of fulfilling one of my two passions – cooking and photography. At first, I sought the wisdom of a chef to find out more about the culinary arts. I met one of the head chefs of Pasta Pomodoro, and I asked him about his experiences and what his advice was for aspiring chefs. I will forever remember his words: “If you love to cook, keep it at home.” When your passion becomes your job, you could potentially lose interest in your passion. That definitely scared me and I decided to keep my love for cooking at home.

But photography was another story. It came to me naturally. I was taking paralegal courses at SFSU, but I would find myself more engrossed in scheduling photo shoots. I would sit in the very back of the classroom and retouch photos during class. I completed the certification program but did not pursue any job opportunities as a paralegal. Instead I went and dove straight into fashion photography. I scheduled photo shoots every weekend, every day off I had. If I didn’t have a model I would go to the park and take photographs of dogs, squirrels, ducks, etc. I took almost any model requests I got. The steam engine was unstoppable. I met so many wonderful people – my models, my makeup artists and hairstylists, wardrobe stylists, designers, other photographers. And of course, you can’t get along with everyone. I had some falling out with other people as well. That’s just life. Some of these people are now a really important part of my life and I am really glad to have met them.

But alas… I have mentally and physically checked out from photography. It is very scary to think about it, but I was so passionate about photography in the last 18 months. But now, those flames have died. I really thought it was just one of those phases where I just needed to take a few weeks off from shooting. But after much retrospect, a break may or may not change all that. Perhaps my priorities have changed. Maybe I am not happy with the way things are going with the photography business and fashion scene. Whatever the case, I am retiring/taking a break from photography indefinitely until further notice.


Ryan Chua