Introducing Don Chu, possibly one of the nicest people to speak to, respectful, giving and more than dedicated. It is no surprise to see him pursuing this path with everything he has in the most humble way. Don is a talented professional wedding photographer, now based in Melbourne Victoria. And he has an interesting story to tell, no, he wasn’t born with a camera in his hand, he found his passion for photography long after he started his career as a tax consultant. In recent years, Don pursued his new love of photography by taking pictures of people in love. For some insight into his new world of photography, read on.
You have made a huge life and career change from a Tax Consultant to a photographer only a short time ago, how did you find the courage to take that leap of faith?
Having photographed weddings for the past 4 years whilst being a Tax Consultant, the notion of doing photography full time was nothing but a dream. The mere mention of it to my conservative Asian parents would be greeted by the longest ‘no’ you have ever heard. However over time, with the support from many people, I was able to turn the longest ‘no’ ever to be heard into a resounding ‘yes’. I was (and still am) extremely fortunate to be surrounded by great people. I had the support from various AIPP members, family, friends and especially from my incredible wife. However, the last straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back was an email from Annemarie Kiely, Melbourne Editor for Vogue Living. Having met her at a workshop run by GQ, Vogue, and Olympus, I spoke to her of my unorthodox tax background and wishing to break into the photography industry. The following Monday I received an email from her full of support and advice. I resigned on the Wednesday, and she has become a good friend and mentor since.
Who would you say is the person that inspires you most in your life and why?
This is a difficult question; I have many people who inspire me for various reasons. My parents escaped the Vietnam war, survived much adversity, worked multiple jobs, and my Mother attained a University degree all whilst raising my Brother and I. They continue to inspire me to work hard, respect others and to always put family first. Other people who have inspired me are ZhiQiu Xia, Rocco Ancora, and Vinh Quang Giang. One of them inspired (and still does) to me to pick up the camera in the first place, one inspires me to be a better photographer, and one inspires me that hard work is never overrated. Last and definitely not the least, and as cliché as this may sound but my wife is a constant source of inspiration. Her ability to excel at activities that she sets herself has always been something that has inspired me.
How do you keep on track to achieve your goals?
My wonderful wife suggested that I write up an annual business plan, with goals to achieve each month. Being able to see my annual plan visually has helped me focus my energy on certain activities each month. Being surrounded by great mentors and friends reminds me to “Stay hungry. Stay foolish” (Thank you, Steve Jobs).
What are some things in your world that make you, do you have any hobbies, skills and/or interests that we wouldn’t know about?
I enjoy romantic Korean movies and dramas, I love how overly romantic they are and how they have influenced the general public with good values. I also dabble in karaoke with friends from time to time, my number one crowd pleaser is ‘Right here waiting for you’ by Richard Marx, it’s a classic! I am also passionate about empowering young professionals. I am on the Hong Kong Australia Business Association Victoria Chapter (HKABA) board and am the Chairman of theHKABA Young Professional Alliance (YPA). TheHKABA YPA host events during the year, providing a platform where young professionals can network and learn new skills.
Photographer 6 years
AIPP History Joined and Accredited in 2014
Awards First place | Insight Exhibition 2009, Open Semi-Finalist | Moran Photography Prize 2011, APPA National Awards 2014 | Silver Award Wedding Category
Having a soft spot for romantic Korean movies, Don enjoys a great love story. His wedding photography often features sentimental touches from the couple. As subtle as they may be, they add an extra warmth to the image. He is inspired by minimalism, clean lines, and beautiful backdrops that set the scene.