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

Hi Linda, what makes you happy? Why?
This is a pretty loaded question, that is why I was drawn to it, I suppose. What makes me happy and why. Happiness is a complicated thing because in truth it is only temporary. We as humans reach a temporary state of happiness, however, no one says how long temporary is. There are many things that make me happy, such as; my friends and family, my career, my hobbies, food, and places. All these things can make me happy. The complicated part is probably the why, why shouldn’t these things I enjoy in life make me happy? Does there have to be a specific reason to why each of these things make me happy? I guess I could say this for all of them, I do very much enjoy them. Each one effects my happiness differently. Food makes me happy because not only is it usually delicious but it is also a way to learn something new for me, both as someone who loves to cook and as someone who loves different cultures. Which is where places and traveling play into part of what makes me happy. Seeing the way people live, historical structures, and just the beauty of another place away from home. The possibilities are quite endless here. Friends and family are important, although we don’t always get along, they’re there when I feel alone and lost. The warmth these people create for me is the happiness I feel when engaging with them. I have many hobbies but each one can help me become a better person in what I want to do and maybe even help me discover even more things that could make me happy. As for my career, well if you aren’t happy or excited with what you are doing with your life, then perhaps it is important to remember why you were drawn to that career in the first place. I think it makes me happy because I can be creative and vulnerable with the people and places I work with. It also has helped me want to expand into similar but different aspects of my career and I think that the excitement and passion I feel is what makes me happy. 

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I guess I consider myself a professional photographer, although that still is weird to say or admit because I also work as an accountant/glorified assistant at an insurance company. I don’t make tons of money but it was never about the monetary aspect for me. Photography is something I really care about and love doing as a profession. My career path might change in the future but for now, this is what I do and what I want to continue to grow in. I started out doing photography for myself, I just really liked the concept of taking pictures. I got into yearbook in high school and loved that I could take pictures of anything, sports was probably my favorite. Yearbook was also the start of my love for portraits. Later on I started to think about music photography and at the time I found some smaller artists and asked if I could take photos. It kind of just developed into something I really really enjoyed. I continued to do it and even with the same artists I had reached out to before. Over the years, I had built a relationship with these artists both professionally but also as friends. It was not as easy as I am making it sound. I started this before I was twenty-one and a lot of smaller artists only played at bars so I couldn’t take pictures of certain artists that I had to either wait for them to play a smaller all ages venue that didn’t have a problem with DSLRs or I hit the artists up later when I was able to go into bars and they were still willing to let me shoot. I’ve gotten to realize it isn’t always like that especially when an artist grows or is already well known. There are limits in reaching out personally. I started to build up a portfolio with what I had and essentially sought out online magazines, websites, etc. to see if they wanted coverage for their sites. Luckily, I was able to work with Asymmetric Mag for awhile because of that, I was able to shoot a festival, some artists I used to look up to as kid, and a lot more. Recently, I have gotten back into doing portraits because I feel I can get a little more creative. I also feel there are so many people who are willing to do different kinds of art that it is really more fun than just doing music photography. I do also want another chance to do behind the scenes and still photography for another movie set and music video set. I’ve done a couple of those and those are so fun because of the process from start to finish. Such a fun time! My biggest take away is be persistent (not annoying), professional and friendly. Becoming friends with the people I work with is probably one of the best aspects of what I do.

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.
Oh man, my best friends are also form California, so this one is kind of funny to answer. Some of the things we do is literally go eat because food is the best thing. I guess if they were to come to my neck of the woods where I live with my parents, I would have to take them downtown. There’s a lot of cool food spots there. My favorite spot downtown is The Gourmet Pizza Shop. They have some crazy pizzas and everything is just so good there. If I was thinking of a fancy dinner thought there’s this place across from there called Rock N Fondue. Literally best fondue spot I’ve ever been to probably. As far as visits, I think I would also take them to the orange groves and this park I used to do all my local shoots at. The name escapes me but it is just a nice little nature spot that also serves as a good low-key hike. If your’e not from California, any of the theme parks here are a must, even if we have the smaller ones, they’re still really fun. For something a little less costly, I would take them on a hike behind my house or visit Joshua Tree. It is a very cool national park in my opinion, although I am more of a forest/mountain person than a desert person. I’m not a very good planner but there are a lot of options so I would start with hometown things and then expand from there!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I really want to take this time here to thank my friends and family for the support they have given me. My friends are always supportive. They even sometimes help me maintain my creativity when I’m feeling like I want to quit or that I’m out of ideas and think I might move on to something else. I have a few friends that really do keep me on my toes. Whether they are fueling my passion with new ideas or allowing to let me steal them for a day and tell them my ideas, they keep me going. We end up with some crazy cool art after a day. Sometimes we just walk around and I capture them being present wherever we are. Other times, we shoot concepts and include props or makeup or whatever. It is always a fun time. There are three main people I always shoot with and it is thanks to them that I am able to always create. There are also a few other people who are always willing to help out with those shoots and without them some of the shoots wouldn’t be possible. As for my family, although we don’t always agree on what I am doing with my life, there has never been a moment where they didn’t support me. Despite all the conversations about what’s best for my future, my family constantly allows me to do what I love and for that I am eternally grateful. They will ask about my shoots and tell me what they think about my work and I always appreciate the feedback because ultimately I want them to be proud of me. Without my friends and family, I would not be where I am with what I do, not even close.

Website: www.thelindawangphotography.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/thelindawangphotography
Twitter: www.twitter.com/thelindawang

Image Credits
All images are my own. Credit goes to Linda Wang.

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