1998 - 2001
During my college years, I struggled to figure out my foothold in the world. I was working on a degree in economics and yet I was unclear of what I wanted to do. Working as an analyst or business related just didn't seem right at the time. I came across photography and photojournalism in high school and fell in love with it. But was love will be enough to sustain a career?
The answer came in a serendipitous moment when my high school photography teacher came to town. His advice gave me the courage to make the leap.
During my last semester at college, I decided to give it a try. I interned with the local San Gabriel Valley Tribune Newspaper Group to see if I would like the profession, and was lucky to be offered a position as a freelancer in my senior year. (I also tried interning at an oil company, putting on a suit and tie each morning, and hated it. Apparently it wasn't for me.)
Eventually, I secured a staff position at the Glendale News-Press, a big step up in the journalistic world. I couldn't think of a better place to work. I was surrounded by wonderful people, discovered moving stories and felt privileged that I was able to document important moments for many individuals. I woke up every morning filled with purpose and excitement. I had my eye of being a photojournalist who covered world news instead of community news. My journey of following my passion and discovering its rewards had begun and I knew where I wanted to go.