daniel

Wedding videos are my thing

I also climb/backpack/adventure

A post about taking risks

Just a little over a year ago, I quit my engineering job. I had been working as a Biomedical Engineer for almost 3 years and spent the previous 4 years studying it in college, but decided to leave it all behind. You might think, "Yup, he's just another millennial." MMmmm no.

I quit because I knew that engineering was no longer something that I was passionate about and could not see myself doing it for the rest of my life. How did I get to this conclusion? Well, I got to meet awesome engineers along the way, some of the best, and I just couldn't see myself doing what they were doing, and to be honest, being happy while doing it. So, I prepared to quit.

I began thinking about what I could do. I thought about things like:

"Well maybe I could do weddings?" My wedding work hadn't taken off yet, HUGE RISK

"Maybe I can go to a coding camp, they make a ton of money" I've learned that I find happiness from just having the necessities, and I can't spend all day in front of a computer 

I sought wisdom/advice by talking to my friends, peers and people in industries that I was interested in. A big challenge here was that I was seeking advice on how to go about changing careers and what's best for me, but sometimes I found myself trying to seek answer/solutions because I was afraid of the risk. In life, there will be really tough decisions to make, but being able to go through it early on will prepare you for the tougher ones that will come later in life. So after all the talking and consulting, I had a plan. It didn't have great structure and there were still a lot of uncertainties, but it was a plan. The next thing I had to do was to get my parents' approval. 

With my dad being an engineer, I think my parents take pride in that both their sons studied engineering. That's why I had to have a plan before I quit my job. And after going over everything that I had been thinking and planning, they came to be able to support me in my decision and kept reminding me to trust in Jesus (Joshua 1:9). 


For the sake of keeping this post short, I'm just going to skip over 2 things:

  1. After Allen & Eug's wedding video and feature, wedding work came flowing in
  2. I went to Chicago for a Design Bootcamp, which was amazing and definitely something that I recommend and will have a separate post for later. 

After finishing up my Design program and shooting all the fall weddings, I began applying for jobs. During this application process, I had moments of being super excited, and times where I felt like it was going to be an endless process. But from my engineering background, I knew how to be persistent and to keep working hard. I went through many design challenges and interviews, got to meet awesome people, who provided me great with feedback on my designs, portfolio and my presentations. And I feel this, ultimately, set me up for my interview with BL3NDlabs, which ended up offering me a position. 

So, starting this January, I'll be working as a Jr. UX/UI Designer in San Diego. This will begin my new journey as a Designer and I'm completely thrilled, but this post isn't to announce my new job, it's to share my experience, hoping that it can be of help for others. 

For those of you that are wanting to make a similar decision to make a career change and aren't sure about how to go about it, this is for you. If you're young and still get insurance from your parents, I highly encourage you to take as many risks as possible, to find out what it is that you're passionate about and to possibly make a career out of it.

  • Take risks, not a gamble
  • Talk to people, peers and those in the industries that you're interested in
  • Create a plan with a timeline
  • Stick to your plan
  • Have a reason for all your decisions

And once you've gone through all the preparations, go for it. I definitely could not have done this on my own and without God's sovereignty because I met some really amazing people during this process and am excited for this new chapter in my life. 

Half Dome // yose

After spending my summer in Chicago, I came back home with a void from not having spent time in the mountains. Luckily, a friend of mine happened to win some Half Dome lottery and we were set to go at the end of September. We had both done it before, so we though, "Hey, why not hike through the night to catch the sunrise?"


Day 0 - A night full of stars

We left Sunday, after church and got to the valley at around 10pm. When we got out of the car, we were greeted with a night sky full of stars and the milky way. I immediately began taking long exposures and watched climbers' headlamps illuminate part of El Capitan. 

Miles hiked: 0 // Trip morale: high

Day 1 - Taking it easy 

It was so surreal that I was actually in Yosemite; for the first time this year! I'm pretty sure I had been to Yosemite over 10 times last year, so it felt so good to be back. The goals of today were to relax, but spend some time up in elevation, so that I can acclimate to prevent altitude sickness. After roaming the meadows of the valley, we made our way up to Glacier Point and gazed upon the goal of our hike the following day. Then, we hiked to Sentinel Dome and Taft Point for sunset. Sunsets at Taft Point are amazing and I happened to run into @Benjhaisch, who was shooting an elopement. After the sun had set, we made our way back down to the valley, set our alarms to 12:20am, and tried to catch some sleep in the car

Miles hiked: 5 mi. // Trip Morale: still pretty high

Day 2 - Miles, Hours, Elevation

I got absolutely no sleep. It's probably because I can never sleep in the car. So when the alarm finally went off, it was a huge relief to start getting ready for our hike.

We first went through our gears: water, trekking poles, headlamps, food, all things that you'd find in an REI catalog. I've had plenty of trips where I've overpacked, and by this point, I've learned from enough experience to lighten my load. Then we munched on some food, drank some super-early "morning" coffee, stashed all things smelly into the bear boxes, and began our hike. By then, it was 2am, still dark out, but surprisingly warm out. 

The first 3 miles were a breeze. Crushed it all under an hour. I normally average 2 miles an hour, so when my friend told me we had just did 3 miles, I felt pretty elated. Small victories. But right after this point, the lack of sleep started to hit. We had just crossed a bridge to hike up Nevada Falls and were making our way up. At some point, the trail wasn't so clear and we found a path that was clearly a "trail," but it felt like we had just U-turned. I didn't think much of it, but it felt odd that we were going downhill...and not going up switchbacks, which I knew we were supposed to. Because it was so dark, we don't get to see too many landmarks, so it was hard to tell if we were actually going the right or wrong way. And that's when we came to the bridge that we had crossed earlier. We had turned around and hiked our way back down to Vernall Falls. Our morales had taken a hit, not just because we had hiked our way down, but that this put us on a tighter schedule to make it to Half Dome by sunrise. 

We slowly made our way back up to Nevada Falls, making sure we stayed on trail. Soon, we passed Little Yosemite Valley and began our way up to the Sub Dome. By each minute, we were getting tired from the physical exertion and the lack of sleep. It also didn't help that we both knew how tough the Sub Dome was going to be. If you hate working out and hate the StairMaster even more, the Sub Dome is StairMaster set at the max level. We were moving at the slowest pace ever, one step at a time and taking a break every minute. And then, the dome plateaued, and the cables became visible. A momentary relief. 

At the cables, we were the 3rd party there. The other 2 had just started their ascent up the cables. We later found out that they had backpacked overnight at Little Yosemite Valley and only had to hike 4 miles to get here. You can tell from the photo below that the sun was definitely getting ready to come out and there was no longer a need for headlamps. We fueled up with some energy jelly beans, put on our gloves and made our way up the cables. Honestly, the cables aren't that bad, it's actually not even that scary, it's just pretty damn exhausting. And when I got to the top, a bit before the sunrise, I didn't feel accomplished right away, more exhausted. I waited for the sun to come out behind the Sierras, and just as it did, my friend had finished the cables, just in time to begin his birthday celebration. 

Photo taking ensued, and we were surprised to find out that there's cell phone coverage at the top, which led to my friend FaceTiming his family, and me posting a pic on Insta. What was once an idea, finally became reality. A reality that completely wrecked our bodies. lol. We had been popping Ibuprofen regularly and we would need to keep it up for the hike down, because now our knees would be taking a beating. And they did their magic. The 7 miles down went by quick and we were back in the valley, at Half Dome village, devouring a pizza and beers. 

Miles hiked: over 15 // trip morale: all over the place, mood swings 

By night time, I knew for sure that I had swelling in both my right hip and knee. Walking like a normal person was impossible, as we were both waddling around. By the way, my friend just turned 34 and I had turned 27 the previous week. I hadn't hiked all summer and it was good to know that my body was still capable of hiking something like the Half Dome, despite our bodies taking a huge toll. It's a special hike and we did it in a unique way that we know not many people get to do. This is definitely something that I highly recommend to everyone and if you have any questions for me, feel free to reach out!

A modern San Diego Warehouse Wedding - Allen & Eug

For those of us that know Eugenia (Eug), we all know that she's super hip without trying hard. And that's exactly how her wedding was. From the first look at the Desert Garden in Balboa Park to their modern warehouse venue that was lined with brick walls, it's the wedding that all videographers dream of. And with friends and family surrounding them with immense love, the ceremony had plenty of emotions gushing out. It was a beautiful day of celebrating them becoming one and I couldn't have asked for a better couple!

I finally get to wrap-up this amazing wedding of Allen and Eugenia and it is with great joy & honor to wrap it up by having both the wedding & engagement work featured on Style Me Pretty! (links attached at the bottom)

#GETABAHNG

Vendor list can be found in the Vimeo Video link

Photos of the wedding by Meiwen


Style Me Pretty Feature:

Wedding

Engagement/Save the Date

My week in SF

The places that I have gone and the things that I have seen

I HAVE ARRIVED TO THIS POINT

I've always told myself that I would never get to this point, where I would blog and create a website...but now, here we are. 

I wanted to create a page where I could display my not just my video work, but also my adventures. Many of my friends know that I spend a crazy amount of weekends, going to places like Zion and Yosemite(mostly Yosemite). And from those trips, I've got so many photos and experiences to share. I thought this would be a good place to share and help people plan for their trips, to know what gear to take. 

Another big reason for website is the John Muir Trail(JMT). Before planning for it even began, I was presented with a sponsorship for the Pacific Crest Trail(PCT), earlier this year. Sponsorships involved companies like Osprey, Nemo Equipment, Leki, Darn Tough, and Vasque Boots. Unfortunately, I received this sponsorship email on the first day of my new job. And before that, I was almost unemployed for a year. It was a very tough decision, but I ended up having to turn the sponsorship down. 

That decision was tough to get past, and while beginning my new job, thoughts of the JMT kept coming up. I would research and go through different people's blog about the trail and their trips. There is just so much content to go through, regarding the JMT, and, these days, people are getting so much better at documenting their trips and sharing them. I've connected with such great people that have hiked it, and they've been extremely helpful for my planning process. This then led to applying for some permits. I was applying for the tail-end of the prime season, which still meant up to a 95% rejection rate. Despite that daunting rejection rate, I was awarded a permit for 4 people for a start date of August 28th. 

And now, here we are. I'm currently planning my gear, food, and itinerary for the trip, while creating this website. I want to create this page to become a platform for me to share my trip with you all. I don't expect it to reach out to too many people, but as long as you guys enjoy my photos and even if it nudges you to spend more time outdoors, I'll be happy. 

As I go on, I'll share my itinerary, the food plans and the gear we'll be using on the trail.