We had the good fortune of connecting with Kenny Nguyen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kenny, what principle do you value most?
I believe that being genuine or real to yourself matters the most. When I first started photography and cinematography, the community was already so saturated and the profession was even more saturated. I came to realize that it was important to shoot what I wanted and not what other people may have wanted to see from me. I made the decision that I will keep pursuing this passion, if and only if, I felt that it made me happy. Of course when it comes to professional work, I don’t always have the direct choice of what the project in mind is exactly, but I do have the choice to decline or accept the job. This became very important to me on a personal level because I came to a point where I was feeling creatively blocked. I heard about it all the time where creatives come to a road block and they feel so uninspired. I never really thought it could happen to me until it did. I took a moment to look over what work I had done in the past few months and all of it was client work. Not once did I create something for myself and it hit me like a brick. In the end, the thing that really revamped my happiness in creating was doing what made me happy. Easier said than done right? Exactly. At the time I did not know what I really wanted to do in this field and it felt like ages before I could figure it out. I’m still figuring it out but in the mean time I found that shooting portraits, lifestyle and fashion and creating on different forms of media is what is currently making feel inspired and I now make it an effort to keep creating for myself!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is still a work in progress in comparison to where I want to be. Aside from just taking high quality photographs, there is purpose behind my composition, colors and concepts shown in my photographs. I am not very open with what they are and that is for good reason. I want people to not only see my work and think that it is a good photograph but see my work and have emotion evoked from them. Whether they are happy because it is beautiful portrait or they view it and it makes them feel nostalgic because it relates to the artistic choices made in my work. I want people to feel a type of way when they see my work and decide for themselves what it means to them. It will be that much more meaningful to anyone who views my work that way and that is what I would consider a great photograph. Professionally, I am still not exactly where I would like to be but I am happy with where I am. It took a lot of work from late night editing to studying and learning how different programs work and function to understanding the in an out of photography and then unlearning it so that I can break the barrier of traditional rules to express myself through my art. It was not easy and I still feel that I have yet to face the hardest challenges of where I want to end up but as I’ve said before, the most important lesson I have learned is to do it for yourself. I want the world to know that the art I am creating or will create in the future is a part of me and taking a moment to see my work is like taking time to learn something about me.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My ideal itinerary would consists of just spending time and enjoying each others company. I would definitely take my friends to see all the things the city has to offer such as the beautiful architecture in Hermann Park, the Waterwall Park or the museum district. The city has so many sites to see and the food community has been rising. There is a lot of variation in the food and desserts available, but my favorites would have to be Vietnamese/ Malaysian Food and as for desserts I really a simple green milk tea. Plus fast-food is always a late night go-to for the midnight munchies. As for hang outs, I really like movies and I love going to the drive-in movie theaters. It’s such a different experience than the modern movie theaters and thats why I enjoy it so much. Of course, through it all I love just photographing these moments and I learn to appreciate them more looking back at them.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wanted to give a large recognition to my parents. They have been there for me since the start and never question any investments I have made in myself to improve. I am trying to grow as an artist and as a small business. I believe with my whole-heart that they understand that and that this is not just something I do when I’m bored but when I create, it speaks to me and there is meaning behind my work. The meaning behind my work is not always clear and on the outside looking in it may just seem generic to some, but in time it will reveal itself. My parents have always supported this and I cannot quantify how appreciative I am for their support and love. Additionally, I wanted to give some recognition to my girlfriend and some of my peers, namely my siblings and my closest friends. My girlfriend is my muse and inspiration and seeing her work hard in the arts also encourages me further to create more meaningful things. She is always down to try new styles and concepts with me to photograph and for that I want to say thank you! As for my siblings and my best and closest friends (aka roommates) I want to say thank you for always pushing me to be better and believing in my work and understanding how important this passion is to me.