We had the good fortune of connecting with Allan Pham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Allan, why did you pursue a creative career?
This creative career all started when I was in high school when I purchased my first camera at 16 years old. My homies and I would always explore new places around Los Angeles and Orange County area and I just wanted to capture the memories of the locations we would hit up by taking photos and creating short videos. However, as I advanced into university at CSULB as a Biology major, I did not have much time at all to go out and use my camera as much. I was pursuing a career as a Pharmacist at the time, so the courses I was taking in university were extremely rigorous for me. It was not until my third year as a pre-pharmacy student when I felt completely burnt out. I was working at CVS Pharmacy as a pharmacy technician while balancing it with school at the same time. This moment was the exact turning point of my life because I did not feel any fulfillment anymore from continuing pharmacy. I decided to drop out of my biology courses and self-studied about personal finance and e-commerce business through Youtube videos. As soon as I felt like I had enough income streams to support my creative career as a photographer and filmmaker, that was when the real learning process began. Beginning of 2020, I made a commitment to myself to take my camera hobby to the next level. The learning process contained long, scary hours to learn as much of the mechanics of my camera and editing software in order to take my imagination into fruition on my timeline. As I create more photos and videos throughout my journey, I definitely felt more fulfilled than when I was pursuing pharmacy. The feeling I get from creating something from nothing is incomparable to my past career journey. As a digital creator, I am able to create my own work structure and my own schedules to collaborate with anyone I desire to work with. The sooner you work on your dreams, the higher the success rate you’ll have in the future. You don’t really risk much if you’re happy with what you’re doing
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The only job I had before working as a pharmacy technician in 2018 was at a boba store in Garden Grove, CA that only paid $10 per hour at the time. When I quit my pharmacy technician job after 2 months to pursue self-employment, my mom disagreed with that decision that I made. It was a very tough decision at the time, but I just wasn’t happy or fulfilled with that I was doing for myself. I feel like I wear a lot of hats in my professional life today because I wanted to discover what I enjoyed doing the most. After dropping out of my biology college courses in my third year of university, I first started learning more about personal finance, investment opportunities, and e-commerce businesses in order to build my income streams to support my creative career as a filmmaker & photographer today. This learning process was extremely difficult for me in the beginning but I was very interested in what I was learning from Youtube anyways. Learning the information is one thing, but applying it to real life was a different beast. I failed a lot in the past but all it takes is one successful method to change your life. The biggest lesson I have learned so far from this journey is that application is extremely important if you want to see a change. Applying your knowledge to real life is a scary step, but honestly, you’ll never know if you’ll succeed at whatever you want to do unless you try. Today, I am able to be selective with who I work with as a creative photographer/filmmaker and make content mostly for myself without having to worry about my financial stability anymore. At the end of the day, the goal is to just be happy with the decisions you have made for your life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take my best friend all around my state of California to show them the amazing landscapes that this state offers. From snow in the mountains, the sand dunes, and beaches, I believe California has a lot to offer. I’m from Orange County, California and I believe the best foods in the world are located here because of the cultural diversity that this place offers.
Places around California that I recommend people to check out:
– Yosemite National Park
– Algodones Sand Dunes
– Death Valley
– Big Sur
– Laguna Beach & Corona Del Mar
My favorite restaurants in California
– in n out
– Phoholic (vietnamese beef noodle soup)
– Tacos el Gordo & avenue 26 (los angeles tacos)
– raising canes The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The guy that really inspired me the most as a creative filmmaker/photographer was this guy I randomly came across on Youtube in 2018 named Andy To (https://www.youtube.com/user/andytoproductions). I personally have never met him in person but I really enjoyed watching his work since the beginning. I felt like as if I’m able to relate to him as a first generation Vietnamese-American from California. I saw his successes in his filmmaking career and it really inspired me to keep pushing myself to learn as much as possible.