• Paper Birch Collective

PBC Podcast | A Moment with Lam - The Original Team Member!


G

Welcome everybody to episode two or three of the Paper Boys podcast. Today we have a very special guest. One of the very OG's of this group, we have Mr. Lam Vu, everybody, in the building. Lam is actually a team member even before I was. So he's been in this longer than me. He's had quite a lot of experience. And I'll let Lam talk about who he is and what he does as well. So over to you, Lam.


Lam

Hi, I'm Lam. I did photography with Alvis back in the days. I'd say, a long time ago.


Alvis

Wait, were you here before Norbert?


Lam

Yeah.


G

He was here before you?


Lam

I was here when...


Alvis

He was my very first hire.


Lam

I was here when you started shooting with the a6300.


Alvis

That was the very first year.


G

What are we seeing in 2017/16?


Alvis

20 something? 2017?


G

Jesus Christ!


Lam

Yeah, something like that. That was like, right when you just switched to Sony. And then I think the first time I saw you shoot was at that friendship bell, remember?


Alvis

Oh, was that the shoot for Thien An?


Lam

And that's when we caught up on the whole photography thing, how you'd been doing, and stuff like that.


Alvis

Thien An is a Vietnamese lion dancing and drumming group that we used to be in and then I did a photo shoot for them. And I guess that's how we kind of reconnected. And this is still at the very beginning of my photography career, and I really wanted to kind of dove in to the videography side of it, but I didn't have anyone. And then Lam was the only person I knew that knew how to work a camera, so I asked him if he wanted to work a wedding with me. Which wedding was your first wedding?


Lam

I don't remember, but I think it might have been one in that building similar to the White House.


Alvis

Oh yeah, yeah. The white house is literally called the White House venue.


Lam

Yeah, and that's when you first decided to do a quick video for them that was free of charge, because we were getting into video. Because at the time, we were doing stricly photos.


Alvis

Yeah, so I just gave him a gimbal with the a6300 I think the 18 - 105 f4, and then we just started collecting B-roll. We gave the couple of free video, which they loved.


G

Yeah, I think there's one day we're hanging on and we saw that video too. I think it's still on YouTube or something.


Alvis

It's hidden, but it's still on my Youtube.


Lam

Yeah, that's quite a long time ago. That was the beginning of the journey, right? And then after that, more people came on board and you started getting a lot more inquiries. And then what else? One of the cool thing was what, you had you had to shoot a wedding that had a Ferrari in there? Or something like that?


G

Early days of feeling cool.


Alvis

Which shoot was that?


Lam

I don't remember, but I just know that you were shooting a Ferrari that was nice, and it was the first, big thing, you know? Like before, nice venues and stuff like that.


Alvis

Oh, I think I remember, was it the groom that had the Ferrari? Yeah, I don't know which Ferrari it was, but he really wanted to take pictures with it.


G

We're about to have a Ferrari soon! I think I met Lam... it was one of my first initial Diamond Seafood weddings bro, I think that's where I met Lam for the first time. I remember you wearing that Adidas black jacket dude, and I'm like, okay, this guy is pretty casual like me with the Polo there.


Lam

Wait, did G come on before Norbert did?


G

No, Norbert is the one who brought me on!


Lam

Ah


Alvis

Norbert was here three years before G?


G

Like two, three years, yeah.


Alvis

Yeah, something like that.


G

This is tell us more about you, Lam. Like what's going on in life right now?


Lam

Oh, so for school, I'm studying mechanical engineering and I recently just got a job at an aerospace company. So, yeah, so I just do that and then hopefully will be more free on the weekends to, you know, come out, shoot some weddings.


G

This guy's been MIA for quite some time in the group for sure.


Lam

Quite some time.


Alvis

He's always been busy on the weekends.


Lam

Yeah, having a regular job working the weekends sucks!


Alvis

So when do you start your new job?


Lam

December 6th, so that's coming right around the corner. So hopefully, you know, weekends will be more free.


G

So what kind of got you into this whole creative photography scene?


Lam

Honestly, when Alvis was showing me some photos, it was really cool. And I normally go on trips a lot with friends and stuff like that, and it'd be nice to have those like, you know, great looking photos that are like professional. So then at the time, I had a Canon T2i. That was a long time ago. And then when I met Alvis, he talked about Sony's and the mirrorless cameras, and then I made a switch to a mirrorless. I think my first camera was...I think it was an aR?


Alvis

I think it was an R2, an a7R2.


Lam

Yeah, that was the first Sony I had.


G

I think while travelling, you snowboard, right? I see it on your stories all the time. You're like in Mammoth every week or something.


Lam

Yeah, just went to Mammoth a couple weeks ago.


Alvis

Oh, how is it up there?


Lam

It's pretty nice. Weather is good right now. The snow is pretty good, but not like a LOT a lot, it's kind of choppy because it's only the beginning, so they haven't had much snow to work with. But yeah, snowboarding's pretty fun. We should go on a team snowboarding trip.


G

Is it right you guys were in high school? Where'd you guys meet?


Lam

We've actually known each other since elementary, so a very long time.


G

Jesus Christ, it's the GG connections.


Alvis

Do you remember that one wedding where we fully can... it was like our first or one of our first real video weddings were like we actually got paid for the video? Do you remember what happened? It was at Diamond Seafood! It was the disaster wedding.


Lam

No, I don't. What happened? Was it just me?


Alvis

It was me, you, and Arman.


(Norbert Off Camera)

No it was me, you, and Arman.


Alvis

Oh Lam wasn't there? Oh, never mind.


Lam

Oh my gosh, Arman! Dude!


Alvis

Oh wait, I'm thinking about another wedding, it was...


Lam

Dude! I haven't heard htat name in forever!


Alvis

You worked when Arman worked for the very first time!


Lam

Yeah, yeah. When he just got on. Yeah, yeah. And then. I think Davin was on for a little bit too.


Alvis

Yeah, and that one was in Mission Viejo, I think? How's that for you?


Lam

That was a fun wedding. I feel like that was one of the first weddings where we started on doing aerial?


Alvis

Yes, it was the first one we had the drone.


Lam

Yeah. So then like that was like a new point of view for photos and videos, so that was pretty sick to experiment with and have in our videos which was pretty cool.


G

These guys kind of started out doing cool stuff way before like I did. I'm not going to lie, like the drones and what not.


Alvis

We are total gearheads! Whenever we make money we just reinvest back into buying gear!


G

100%!


Lam

Every time I was hired, we had a new lens or something, you know?


Alvis

What are your plans now? I know you have this new job. Are you