An Interview With A Photographer: Emily Nguyen

In pursuit of trying to learn as much as I can, I have had many great conversations with many fantastic photographers!!! I especially love talking to photographers my age.  I admire them so much, being able to risk everything to start their own photography business.

This is Emily Nguyen. We went to high school together and she is now a full-time student and photographer! We have been talking about photography with each other for a while. We’ve been on shoots together and check out each others blogs. And one day I decided to ask her if she would be kind enough to answer some formal questions for a blog post. I’m so excited that she agreed to do so!!! I hope someone out there finds her answers and advise as interesting as I do!


Hi Emily, thank you for agreeing to do this! Could please just introduce yourself and tell us three fun facts about yourself?

I’m Emily Nguyen. I’m a photographer from the San Francisco Bay Area, specializing in portraits and model portfolio. I love Japanese culture, definitely a anime/manga fanatic. I’m actually learning Japanese right now at DVC. I like to play World of Warcraft and Munchkins in my spare time. I also love to bowl! I bowl on a league every Monday, but I’m taking this season off due to school.

How did you first start in photography?
My interest in photography started in fifth grade. I used to take my dad’s Canon EOS 350 to school and take photos of my friends by the school’s garden and playgrounds. In middle school, my best friends and I would dress up and go to random places to take photos of each other all the time. I was always taking pictures. It was the same in high school as well. After high school, I took an interest in modeling and started working with a lot of photographers. It was a great experience. I learned so much from the photographers, like what sort of camera to buy, what type of lens to purchase, how to work with lighting, etc. I even had a photographer teach me how to edit photos. He walked me through step by step while editing my photos. If I didn’t model, I wouldn’t have had the experience that was necessary for me to start my own photography business.

I started the official photography business in August 2008. I started out with a Canon EOS D60 and a Quantaray 55-200mm lens. I made a Myspace for ENPhotography, started spamming friend requests, and posted bulletins for free shoots. After three months of free shoots, I started charging. I rely heavily on word of mouth for advertising, and I also advertise on Craigslist and Facebook.

What do you mostly like shooting?
I like to photograph models. Models, primarily because I get to be really creative. I love the different looks that goes into modeling. The locations are really cool too, like the Byron Hot Springs Hotel. I always go to the thrift store and buy outfits that I think would look good for a photo shoot or sometimes I would try to make outfits for the shoots. I love coming up with ideas for photo shoots and exploring photographs for inspiration.

How would you describe your style of photography? What drew you to that style?
My style of photography is portraiture with a vintage/retro touch. I have always loved the look of vintage and retro. The colors are vibrant yet dull. It’s a unique combination. I love browsing around the internet to find actions and textures to work with, and its fun to create my own as well.

What type of camera do you use?
I am currently using a Canon EOS 40D but I really want to upgrade to a Canon EOS 7D or 5D. If I had the money, I would buy the 5D, but I’m most likely getting the 7D since it’s more affordable and it’s still very high quality.

What is your favorite lens?
My favorite lens is the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L lens, primarily because I like to shoot mostly full body and I like the ultra wide angle. Though sometimes, it does distort the body depending on the distance between the subject and I. I would prefer to use a Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L lens, but there is no way I can afford that yet. I will probably get the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens in a couple of weeks though, which would be great for macros and portraits. I love the bokeh effect that it has.

If you could photograph anyone in the world who would it be and why? 
Hmm, if I could photograph anyone in the world, it would be Audrey Hepburn. I love her style, and she is so gorgeous. Actually, I would love to photograph anyone from the 50’s and 20’s jazz era. I love the fashion from both those eras.

Thank you Emily for agreeing to answer my questions!

If you are interested in shooting with Emily you can contact her at


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Filed under Interviews, Photography

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