Soju Feature: Meet Timothy Nguyen
Updated: Mar 31
Have you been wondering who is behind photographs featuring the best candid moments from each Soju Sunday? Well, no need to wonder anymore, that person is our talented photographer Tim who is very well known in the local club/music event scene.
We recently caught up with Tim and chatted about everything from what events he wishes to photograph one day to what his fave (late night) snack is.
⚫ 60 SECONDS WITH TIMOTHY
〰 What’s your life motto?
Semper Fidelis—Always Faithful.
〰 Instagram or TikTok?
〰 Last song that was stuck in your head? TT - Twice
〰 Favourite place on Earth?
〰 What’s the best thing that happened to you this month? Just a small getaway to Whistler :)
〰 “Lol” or “haha”?
〰 Favourite word?
〰 What’s your favorite emoji?
〰 The one thing guaranteed to make you happy? Probably food
〰 Late-night snack of choice? Is pho an option?
⚫ LET’S GET TO KNOW YOU
➖ Hey Tim. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview with us. Could you introduce yourself to the Soju community? What’s your story and how did you get started with photographing events? Nothing too out of the ordinary. I picked up a camera in high school and realized I could monetize off of a demand for content. Initially I shot a lot of things for friends and this led to networking. I initially started shooting things like fundraisers which eventually included concerts and more corporate clients.
➖ When and how did you begin your career as a photographer? Can you tell us about your beginnings? What were the most challenging obstacles you faced throughout that time?
I first picked up a camera around 2010 when I was introduced to it by a friend at the time. Professionally, I’d place myself shooting since maybe 2015? It’s all a blur. As for most challenging obstacles—I think with any craft or passion is getting over your initial growing pains and finding your own particular style; something that I’m still struggling with today. It’s easy to follow all the current trends and it’s easy “likes” but at the end of the day, it isn’t fulfilling.
➖ What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
Live music, street and the occasional portrait. I don’t like to pose or set-up scenes and prefer to capture as opposed to create.
➖ Have you always been a visual person with a form of creative expression?
I did a lot of more traditional visual arts growing up; nothing particularly outstanding but I think my love for cinema helped push my passion for photography. I also did some dabbling in performing/martial arts such as dance, piano and taekwondo albeit never stuck with them. I suppose to answer your question, visuals definitely held the most presence in my life.
➖ What is your photography technique or philosophy perhaps? And what three words would you use to describe your photography?
I definitely have grown an affinity for candid or less posed, more organic photos. I’m fairly introverted by nature and I would much rather capture vs create a scene. Three words that can describe my photography are probably vibrant, movement and human.
➖ What's your personal favourite of all the photographs you’ve taken and why is it special to you?
Tough question and this might be a cop-out answer but I feel like anything I take while traveling holds extra value just because it more-so is a reminder of when I’m at my happiest. I love shooting some of my favourite artists but I wouldn’t consider it art as opposed to content since I’m merely relying on subject matter to push clout as opposed to whatever happens to peak my interest when I’m out and about.
➖ Your Instagram bio says: “Just a simple man, trying to make my way in the universe.” Could you expand on that?
It’s a line from Star Wars: Episode 2 when Jango Fett is getting questioned by Obi-Wan! Regardless, I'm very present-minded and live in the here and now and I think this quote reflects the unpredictability and chaos that life brings.
➖ Tell us something that we don’t know about you and would not otherwise find out?
I’m a total nerd and can sit watching/listening to documentaries on literally anything—science, history, crafts/construction, architecture, computers, nature, politics, food, art—you name it. I think it’s really cool to have a basic knowledge about practically everything—it’s been great to relate to people who otherwise might be unable to open up about what they do for work or what they’re passionate about.
➖ As we are all about music, we would like to go off topic for a second. Could you give us the name of one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you listen to it? The Halo theme song.
➖ If you could cover photography for any event or festival what would it be and why?
Personally I’d love to photograph some Asian festivals on their home turf; for example, Songkran in Thailand is basically a giant water fight where the whole city participates.
For festivals—being a part of a bigger team for something like Lollapalooza or Coachella would maybe be fun. But a more precise answer would probably be Burning Man—it’s unlike anything else out there with more interesting people vs. your typical festival crowd.
➖ Is there a project you’ve been wanting to shoot but haven't had a chance to yet? Any dream subject? I’ve always wanted to explore war photography if we can consider that a project. Horrifying but I love the work that photojournalists have done in the past and I think it’s important. As for a dream subject? There’s way too many to list from famous movie stars to k-pop artists to world renowned DJs to politicians.
➖What recommendations do you have for someone wanting to become a photographer? Or what advice do you wish you’d heard before starting out?
Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun. I feel like digital trends have worn us out a lot quicker as we have to learn a lot more skills to be relevant (e.g. videography, shooting vertical, social media, etc.). I transitioned way too hard from hobbyist to a professional and I can’t tell you the last time I photographed something for fun. Try your best to maintain personal projects and don’t get jaded with the industry—as with any art, take breaks when you need them. Event photography probably isn’t the most lucrative but I’m definitely the happiest where I am right now. Find what’s important for you and re-evaluate constantly.
➖ If you weren’t a photographer—what would you be?
I’ve always had an appreciation for working with my hands so probably some form of craftsman? Prop building could be fun, some form of engineering. On another note, maybe IT or journalism. School has been on my mind for a while and I think it’s always great to pick up new skills.
➖ Thank you so much Tim! Where can people find you? My pleasure! Thank you for having me too—this has been a blast and honestly very introspective for me too. I’m trying to minimize my screen time these days but I’ll post occasionally on my website timothynguyenphoto.com and Instagram: @timothynguyenphoto for professional, @theseekwill for meme dumps/anything that’s not music/portrait focused.
Cover Image Credit: Lindsey Blane Other Images: Timothy Nguyen