We had the good fortune of connecting with Annie Bang and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Annie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I wanted to create a business that offered pure wedding and family photojournalism service. When I started in 2015, I could not find any photographer in Los Angeles or Southern California (at least online) who practiced photojournalism and focused on storytelling. With my academic and professional journalism background, it only felt right to highlight and capture genuine moments of our lives instead of manipulating them for photos.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In this crazy and beautiful life, I’m caught by the moments. People are probably drawn to my work because of real stories and moments. My photos will not only tell people’s own unique story but will take them back to those genuine moments and emotions they felt. Seriously, wouldn’t that be the absolute BEST way to relive our life? It wasn’t certainly easy to be where I am now only because it’s not that easy to find ideal clients. We’re very used to the “editorial,” “posed/staged” and “perfect” looks. However, I believe it’s my job to educate people on my style and approach and have the same expectations. I consider myself standing out from others because I capture real moments all day – unposed, un-staged, and unscripted. I photograph everything – including “imperfect” situations, kids crying, workers, behind-the-scenes, and humor, etc. At the end of the day, every moment of our life is beautiful and I want to make sure my work shows just that.
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.
Street taco trucks, many food paradise in Koreatown, DTLA, Chinatown, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, etc. I like to Google and Yelp for new food spots and try new food. I hope my friends will like them too. Then, I would definitely take them to the Comedy Store in Hollywood; entertainment city at its finest especially if you like stand-up comedies. I love how comics make fun of literally every one and that’s the kind of humor I appreciate – not taking the life so seriously.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are a lot, but I can think of three; Michael Brannigan, Brett Butterstein, and my clients. Michael is no longer with us, and I miss him and think about him all the time as he was the one who had first introduced me to the wedding industry and had encouraged me to pursue authentic photojournalism in the wedding industry where was (and is) filled with “photographers who like to copy each other’s styles” just to survive the market. Brett has been my mentor who has taught me how to become a better photographer and has supported my endeavor to be the best wedding photojournalist in the industry.
I’m basically nothing without my awesome clients – I have stories to tell only because my clients invite me into their lives and trust me to document life moments.