May 30, 2017 / Branding

Becoming du soleil photographie

Defining a brand for myself didn't happen overnight, no matter how much I wanted to do so in the early days of my business. It was a process of tremendous learning, experimenting, and making major mis...

Defining a brand for myself didn’t happen overnight, no matter how much I wanted to do so in the early days of my business. It was a process of tremendous learning, experimenting, and making major mistakes before I could put my finger on what it is that makes my brand.

du soleil photographie was born out of Emcee Studio Photographie. If you don’t remember/know what my brand looked like previously, here’s an idea of the look and feel:

Emcee Studio was a name I settled on after a couple weeks of struggling over what to call my business and giving in to that virtue called “patience.” It didn’t have any meaning other than “Emcee” being the phonetic pronunciation of my initials. du soleil photographie is, as it were, the grownup version of my previous brand. “du soleil” in French translates to “of the sun,” which I find fitting for my photography style that gravitates towards the light. It also carries the meaning of my name in Vietnamese that means “bright.” And lastly, I chose to name my business in French for my love of this euphonic language that I studied for years.

What’s new about my brand:

I was recently introduced to Kinfolk Magazines and it felt like I finally found a source of inspiration that I had long been seeking. For those of you who are not familiar, Kinfolk advocates the art of slow living among other elements that pertain to quality of life. While the term slow living may prompt you to think of retreats and leisure, its meaning extends to a much broader sense: “…it’s about working out what we simply can’t live without.” For many of us hustlers, slowness is a luxury that we can’t afford. But slow living isn’t about being slow; it’s about being intentional and defining our life’s non-negotiables.

This concept has really stuck with me not only for my personal life but also from a business perspective. I’ve adopted this philosophy in my approach to the photography that I deliver to my clients: finding out what matters to them and prioritizing my shots accordingly. Some of my clients love bridal details, others adore having a record of all the pretty reception décor, but all of them cherish the unforeseen moments that happen because of the emotional nature of a wedding day. I have always been interested in getting to know my clients personally. Better recognizing the essentials in light of slow living has helped me prioritize what they value.

What remains unchanged:

As getting to know my clients is one of the most important things in what I do, I strive to build a relationship with them and make sure I understand their relationship(s) with their loved one(s). In addition, the better they know me, the more they show their candid and unforced interactions before my lens.

Besides clients, I also value my relationships with industry peers. They are my living sources of inspiration, knowledge and encouragement. I find that time spent with them transcends into creative fulfillment and previously unimagined opportunities to grow. You’ll see some of them featured on my blog and others soon!

Last but not least, storytelling is always at the crux of my photography. Each photograph is a text that tells who my clients are in a way that can’t be translated by memory and words. I want them to be able to wholeheartedly relive the important chapters that they treasure in their lives.


Much gratitude to Ettie Kim Design, Hannah Rose Creative and Flothemes for bringing my vision to life.