We had the good fortune of connecting with Eric Chan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Eric, we’d love to hear more about your end-goal, professionally.
Ever since I graduated from college, I always told myself that my goal was to be a sports photographer that worked with the NBA or NFL. As a lifelong sports fan, I couldn’t imagine a more fitting job. I tried connecting with big-time sports teams but I realized I didn’t even have a solid portfolio to showcase my abilities. I reached out to one of my old high school football coaches and asked if I could document his team during their upcoming season and he graciously agreed. I spent the next 10 weeks photographing everything I could. I primarily focused on the behind-the-scenes kinds of stuff that usually goes unseen. I photographed the team on bus rides, team workouts, film meetings, and of course, on-the-field action. Those 10 weeks were the most fun I’ve ever had with my camera and it really tested my creative abilities as a photographer.

That was about 6 years ago. I am now working with the Edison High School Varsity Football Team during their season and for the rest of the year I am doing as much freelance photography as I can. I do real estate property shoots, family and individual portraits, corporate and personal headshots and events. Pretty much anything that can be photographed, I love to do it!

Going back to your original question, I’m not sure I have a current end goal just yet. I would still love to possibly work for a professional sports team in the future but as of now, I have zero complaints. And I think it’s okay if your end goal changes. We grow and evolve every day so don’t be afraid if things don’t happen as quickly as you had hoped. Enjoy the struggle, welcome the adversity, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

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.
So in this growing age of technology where pretty much everybody has a camera, how are you supposed to stand out? I would say you have to stay true to yourself. If you start comparing your photography to everything you see on Instagram and the countless other apps, you are going to quickly become overwhelmed. If you are truly passionate about your art or anything in your life, people will take notice.

I wouldn’t say it was easy getting to where I am now. I realized quickly that people aren’t knocking on doors asking for photographers. I really had to force myself out of my comfort zone and find my own business. But like I said previously, passion is a powerful thing and I’m so grateful for all the people that took a chance on me.

My brand is all about integrity and communication. I want past, current, and future clients to always be satisfied. I’m always trying to improve my work and I want them to know that this is a growing process. I had a client who was unhappy with the way the colors were showing on her computer. She sent me a respectful message and we were able to work together to make certain adjustments. Some photographers really despise getting their work critiqued but I encourage it! As long as the client is happy, so am I!

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?
If you’re hanging out with me, we are EATING. We are obviously starting our morning off at Normita’s in Huntington Beach for the best breakfast burrito you’ve ever had (no lies). For lunch, we head up PCH towards Long Beach and stop at the greatest Indian buffet in the world, Kamal’s Palace. And after a quick dinner at The Loft for some Hawaiian food, we are obviously headed to downtown HB to hit up that churro spot next to Beer Co. If you know, you know. And to burn off some of these calories we would finish the night walking on the sand while I take some pictures of the stars on my tripod haha.

I’d also have to bring you to an Angels game because everybody has to see Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout live in action at least once! It all depends on the person, but you’re having a good time with me regardless. I’m honestly a pretty mellow person. I read a lot and do some drawing in my spare time so it doesn’t take much to entertain me. But like I said, if I’m hosting, fun will be had!

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?
Oh man, where to start! As a full-time freelancer, you have to rely on word-of-mouth referrals for a lot of business. Thankfully, I have met many incredible people that continue to support my work. Here come the shameless plugs haha. When Head Coach Brett Brown from the HB Oilers Football Team allowed me to document his team for a season I discovered my passion for sports photography and I can’t thank him enough. Next up, I have to mention my long-time friend Lane Stone. He is a great realtor and an even better person. When I first started photography, business was pretty slow and I wasn’t too sure if this was the career path for me. He immediately hired me for his team pictures and has given me countless photography opportunities since then. So Lane, here are your flowers! And he was actually featured on your site recently, but barber/haircare expert David Thomas is one of my longest clients and I’m glad to call him a friend now. I went to get my hair cut years ago and I was introduced to David. I was just starting my photography business and he mentioned creating his own hair care product line. Fast forward to now, his business is growing exponentially and I’m glad to have seen his vision come to fruition.

One last group shoutout to all my closest and dearest friends. Hayden, Alex, Tristan, Kory, Parnell, Kurtis, Sean, Buddy, and Hunnaboo. Thank you for being my models and I love you all.

And I can’t not mention my parents. I’m not sure they envisioned me as a full-time photographer, but their support never waivered. So Mom and Dad, thanks and I love you!

Website: https://www.echanphoto.com/

Instagram: @e_chanphoto

Image Credits
Picture of myself: JP Westerbeck Photography Rest of pictures: By Me

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