We had the good fortune of connecting with Brandon Yoshizawa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brandon, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is a necessary part of advancement in all aspects of life. Bigger risks can lead to bigger rewards, however risks should always be calculated and carefully considered. Risk has played a huge role in my professional career development and advancement from deciding when to change jobs, return to school for my MBA, or accept new opportunities and stretch assignments to grow within a company. Risk has also played a part in my personal life, mainly with the birth of my 2 children. Many questions had to be asked; mainly if my wife and I were financially and emotionally ready to be able to shift priority from our life to theirs. Risk is also a factor in my photography business. While it provides a second stream of income, the risk of transitioning to it full time is too great with my family dependent on my steady stream of income from my main career. I am also in a place where I can comfortably enjoy both; while still allowing for family time. Therefore, laying out the pros and cons of taking a risk provides greater clarity into if it makes sense to pursue given any given circumstance. While it may not be completely black and white, the decision is much more calculated than jumping in head first without a thought.
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 began photography in 2009 as a way to capture memorable pictures of my honeymoon trip to Australia and New Zealand. That sparked the passion to show off the beauty in everything around me; especially around my hometown in Southern California. My vision and style captures a scene in the best light and angle possible in order to show the true beauty of any given location, evoking a sense of energy and splendor. I will often times revisit the same location in order to capture that one truly unique moment. When I started, I soaked up as much knowledge as I could not only on photography and editing, but also on the business of selling and licensing photographs. The business of selling tends to lean more towards marketing and getting your name or brand out there. Social media has played a huge part in getting my name recognized on a global stage, along with competition winning images and published articles. I love helping others who have a sincere interest to learn and I love sharing my photographs with my followers. Continuous learning is key, from refining photo and editing techniques to evolving as business needs change. The best way to learn is to make mistakes, learn from them and quickly adjust to get back on track.
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.
The beauty of Southern California is the diversity. We would spend time along the coastline, taking in all the breathtaking cliffside views up and down Highway 1. We would visit the local mountains, which is just a short drive away to play in the snow in the winter or capture a night of stars in the summer. We would plan to see two great local National parks. Joshua Tree is roughly 150 miles from Los Angeles and has a diverse landscape of trees and rock formations. Yosemite National Park lies in the Eastern Sierras and has some of the most breathtaking views of waterfalls and huge granite formations such as Half Dome and El Capitan. If there was still time left, we could visit San Francisco or San Diego both great cities for photographs and food.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My biggest support comes from my family; my wife and 2 kids. They support me when I am out at odd hours chasing a sunrise or sunset. Or if I take a weekend trip to a local National Park or an overnight trip to photograph the Milky Way, they maintain order at home.