We had the good fortune of connecting with Anthony Tran and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anthony, why did you pursue a creative career?
I have a lot of expressive energy and so any other career/job where I’m not able to openly be myself would be antithetical to my existence. The nature of the industry is always changing in fascinating ways and as a person who easily gets bored, the fluidity of everything keeps me excited. It’s in my personal nature to share everything that I love, so something like photography was an easy and efficient way to express that. And I never feel stagnant within this creative universe because there’s so much to learn, not just from photography, but other avenues as well (like film, design, illustration etc). And that continuously fuels that fire in me. Also, I don’t particularly like someone telling me what to do. I personally don’t believe there should be dominance or elitism in any human relationships. For me, the collaborative nature of the creative industry is 100% more my speed and I feel often there is a mutual respect for one another’s position/role. And respect is huge for me. I would rather work together to achieve a common goal than to have someone, who has the presumption that they have authority over me because of their salary or title, telling me what to do.
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.
I’m a photographer based out of Long Beach, CA. I picked up a camera in high school, but hadn’t really committed to the profession up until a few years ago. A lot of self-doubt, fear and insecurities prevented me from really pursuing it. But once I devoted myself to the profession, the journey has been nothing but fulfilling. And it’s that commitment to myself that I’m most proud of. To do something that allows me endless self-expression, to do this thing that I love for myself, and have others ask me to do it for them? You really can’t beat that. The way I see it, journeys are never linear and that means that it’s never going to be easy. I believe that if things are too easy, you’re probably in the wrong profession. You’re meant to be challenged and to grow. I think that’s what the universe demands of you. I mean, what happens to a plant if it doesn’t grow towards the sunlight? What good is that plant if it’s not giving back to its environment because it’s dead? So personal/professional growth is a must. And with that growth, you have to normalize failure. You learn so much about yourself when you’re in challenging situations. And in the end, you may discover that you’re into something completely different than what you initially set out to do. But you’d never know that had you not taken that first step of overcoming your own fears. And I’m not a competitive person so I can’t sit here and try and list out all the things that set me apart from my “competition”. All I can tell you is that I absolutely love what I do. I’ve invested so much time and energy in myself and it has gotten me to where I am today. And I don’t know anybody that would rather work with someone who didn’t care for their profession over someone who does. Love yourself and the world will love you back.
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?
Long Beach has so much flavor packed into such a small city that you could find something that interests you on any corner or street you walk down. Some of my favorite things to do (imagining a post-Pandemic world for a moment here) is day drink and eat at spots like The Attic or The Congregation. I LOVE to karaoke at the Broadway Bar on Friday nights. Or catch shows at Alex’s or 4th St Vine. Catch a flick at The Art Theater on 4th. Grab some new photo gear at Relic’s. But this city also keeps my physical and mental health in check. People here like to kick off their weekend with intention by attending (free) Yoga on the Bluffs. Or take a bike ride along our beautiful coastline. For me, personally, taking a walk along the beach path at sunset really helps to clear my mind and refocus myself. Totally realigns my perspective on things. There are so many places to visit and so many things to do. But I will advise against swimming in our beaches and visiting spots like The Pike Bar or Restauration. Unfortunately both locations don’t seem to have the community’s best interests in mind.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a quick shoutout to the following three people who (probably unknowingly) have contributed to my growth in these past 1.5ish years: Ja Tecson (@jatecson), Rosanna Peng (@rosizzle) and Rey Robles (@reyerobles). Ja with his invaluable mentorship and wisdom, Rosanna and her deep passion for the self-expression, arts and community and Rey with his intellectual activism: you three have really nourished my mind, body and soul and have enriched my life in more ways than you know. So thank you!