We had the good fortune of connecting with Louis Le and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Louis, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
“Do or do not. There is no try.” from Jedi Master Yoda. I’m definitely a Star Wars fan. Aaaaaand I may or may not be binging it right now. But, if you’d prefer a quote from a previously living person, here it is! “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” from Bruce Lee in the book Striking Thoughts. People who are close to me or work with me know that I’m definitely a doer. For me, I want to explore every option that I can. Never do I want to live a life where I will inevitably wonder, “what if I did x?” For me, it means I didn’t take the initiative to learn. I didn’t make an effort to explore. Learning is absolutely crucial to our journey through the world. You do things; fail or succeed. Trying mentally allows me to give up. Very rarely, do I give up. Most of my photos never see the light of day, and I learn from them!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I was born uncreative. Growing up, I never had been encouraged to explore the creative side of the world. The most art I was ever exposed to was martial arts. It happened after I got into a fight in elementary. I did grow up learning to love the physical side of the world and understanding the world through sports and activities. So for me, it was a bit hard to create something from nothing. Instead, I learned to capture life as it is. My goal is to make time tangible. Learning the techniques was easy. It became a physical routine. If I did x, y happened. I made it into a formula and practiced it like I would any other skill. What was hard and never explicitly taught, was how to treat people right. As I became older, I learned that people are not treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve. It became apparent when I worked and I interacted with businesses that left me wanting a personal touch. To be frank, I saw vendors completely disrespecting other people’s time. That pains me. Time is a limited resource! I hear stories of people wanting more time with their loved ones. Time is precious now and how we spend it is more important than ever. My work is about capturing the chaos that we know and live in – life. It is about putting that moment on paper – preserving it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I always argue that Houston is one of the South’s Food Mecca’s. You can sneeze in any direction and find some unique, cultural restaurant to try. Our city is incredibly unique in its food and the cultures that compose it. It’s just time to food crawl all over town! The uniqueness of these shops lends itself to gather the most unique and interesting people around the city. I had really long, wonderful conversations with people from all over town. One of them was at Ginger and Fork! I love coffee, so I’d have a coffee crawl at all the boutique coffee shops! Kona Brewery, Blendin, Boomtown, and Siphon are some of the most unique experiences in town. Some of them are roasters, so I end up buying a bag of coffee from them when I run low! By the way, a good cappuccino is hard to come by. For food? Gosh…. I’d go try Xin Chao, One Dim Sum or the Blind Goat, Katy Asia Town/ Chinatown for East Asian. I’d go to Harwin Street( off 59) for IndoPak flavors. I’d get fried chicken at Frenchies, go to the Breakfast Klub for chicken and waffles or grab wings at Cool Runnings! It’s endless here! I would walk off those calories at Memorial park.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are several groups of people that influenced my life greatly. They put me on the path that I am today, So I feel bad if I had to select one group or another. My family allowed me to have a life in America and their unwavering support of my efforts to do so. My friends gave me the confidence to develop healthy and loving relationships and friendships. Allison Yolland and Sonia Lari mentored and helped me develop a level of professionalism in my work that I never would have dreamed of. My martial arts family, in California and Houston, allowed me to grow as a mentor and educator.