We had the good fortune of connecting with Paul Vu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paul, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk is inevitable and provides you with unique opportunities if properly managed. For me, evolution has been crucial both in my personal and work life. Deciding how and when to evolve can be tricky because you don’t want to diminish the things that make you magical, yet you don’t need certain patterns holding you back. Keeping clear goals, staying humble and assessing progress really helps. When you mess up, apologize, clean up quickly, and offer better solutions. Doing so has allowed me to work with astronauts and navy seals to global fashion brands. My latest risk happened during the pandemic – I dissolved a successful photography business of nearly ten years to form a creative agency called HANA.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Most photographers focus on providing images, HANA starts with narrative and was created to scalably provide the other parts that make an architectural photoshoot successful so that our clients can focus on what they do best. In addition to photography, we offer videography and renderings, furniture staging, and we even facilitate cross-market collaborations. Clearly, providing all of these services isn’t inherently easy. Thankfully, over the years I’ve cultivated relationships across the design community and bring value by being a creative dot connector.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It really depends on the person, thankfully LA has so much to offer. I like a high-low approach. Day hike or camp in Joshua Tree, but also spend time at the beach. Have drinks and mix with locals at a rooftop lounge on Sunset Strip and end the night with street tacos with a downtown view. Join a live audience on a TV show, see a local band play. Catch brunch at an outdoor patio in Silverlake, visit some famous movie locations, dodge traffic by finding a happy hour spot. Rinse, repeat, and send them home needing a vacation from their vacation. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are way too many people to mention. I try to thank my friends and family often. Axel Schmitzberger was the first to invite me to photograph stunning architectural projects. Michael Keesling showed me how photographic equipment works, and how to make it work for you. Eunji Paula Kim convinced me to expand my team and stop working alone.
All images are mine :]