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

Hi Tien, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
You don’t know. You decide.

There is no right or wrong answer when you’re an entrepreneur, or a creative. The answer is what you want. That is the power of being your own boss. You get to decide to keep going or give up.
“Knowing” kind of implies that you are looking elsewhere, at information, a sign, something else to guide you, give you an answer. Deciding is when you empower yourself regardless of external factors.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was previously a fashion designer before having kids. I designed for Gap, Old Navy, and Levi’s among some other smaller brands too. I got laid off from my last job in design and it was a pretty big blow for me, and I eventually turned to photography as a creative outlet.

Challenges: Oddly, fashion photography was very intimidating to me even though I was a designer so I started photographing families. I hated it. So. Much. Then I did a friend’s photos for her yoga website, then some headshots, then more headshots, and somehow I became a headshot photographer, which eventually lead me to fashion photography.
I came full circle to fashion photography, because I needed to gain confidence and experience before tackling what I thought was intimidating. This is where I feel at home, because of my background as a designer. What was intimidating about it? well I looked at magazines and editorials, even catalogs and ad campaigns, and I simply had no freaking idea how to accomplish such a thing. And there are SO MANY talented photographers already – what could I offer that is as good, or even different? I just didn’t have the experience or confidence.

Lessons I’ve learned: I’ve learned to focused on what I love – which I’ve found to be color and light.
I have a saying – feed the beast you want to be alive. That means – if you want to photograph miniature toys, then find a way to do it, feed that beast. All the time, until you are fulfilled. Do you dislike event photography? Then stop feeding that beast. If you want something, you must nurture it.

What sets me apart: Nothing. I’m just creating the art that makes me happy just like any other artist, hoping others will find it fulfilling to look at and experience.

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.
It would absolutely be a week of bingeing and nothing else.

South Bay Favorites:
Pho Hanoi
https://www.yelp.com/biz/pho-ha-noi-cupertino
Dish n Dash
https://www.yelp.com/biz/dish-n-dash-cupertino-cupertino
Duc Huong Banh Mi Sandwiches
https://www.yelp.com/biz/duc-huong-gio-cha-sandwiches-san-jose?osq=duc+huong
South Bay activities – Hike Rancho San Antonio preserve

East Bay:
Ensarro Ethiopian
https://www.yelp.com/biz/enssaro-ethiopian-restaurant-oakland-3?osq=ensarro
Wood Tavern
https://www.yelp.com/biz/wood-tavern-oakland
Noodle Theory
https://www.yelp.com/biz/noodle-theory-oakland?osq=noodle+theory
East bay activity – Walk around Lake Merritt

SF:
La Med
https://www.yelp.com/biz/la-mediterranee-san-francisco-8?osq=la+med
Rich Table
https://www.yelp.com/biz/rich-table-san-francisco?osq=rich+table
State Bird Provisions
https://www.yelp.com/biz/state-bird-provisions-san-francisco?uid=XdSkC0DmTifL9afquYfdlg&utm_campaign=www_business_share_popup&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=(direct)
SF Activity – MoMa and legally smoking marijuana at Dolores Park

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My group of parenting/mom compadres! I go to them for literally everything – aside from parenting advise, we discuss recipes, in laws, marital stuff, bedroom stuff, where to get the best cbd oil, current events, in politics, finances, literally everything!

Website: www.lumaxphoto.com

Instagram: @lumaxphotog

Image Credits
Image credit for photo of me (Tien) : Amy Nghe

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