Ever thought about getting into the stock photography game with panache and commercial style? Learn from Contributor Marc Tran about growing and leading a team, how diversity in skill sets brings unique perspectives, and also get some tips for the best food in Vietnam.
You have such a colorful portfolio. Are there any colors that you love working with more than others? And which colors do you dislike to work with and why?
Thank you so much. I think each color has its own way of working, depending on the idea/concept I will choose the right color. Usually I sketch the concept/mood board in advance with my team before the photoshoot. By doing pre-production carefully it makes post-production that much easier.
In your Stocksy bio you mention that you work together with your partner Aimee who is a director and architect. At what moments do you feel that Aimee’s architecture skills are the most helpful in your productions?
She is not only a partner but also a wonderful wife—a best friend. Sometimes I have problems at work, and she always gives me the best advice. I feel lucky being her husband. With the spirit of an architect, she helps my images in terms of geometry and space, as you know there are a number of set-designs that are like an interior space.
Your portfolio is a beautiful mix of different styles and cultures. How do you stay on top of trends in all these different areas? And if you could decide, what would the next trend be?
It’s really hard to talk about trends, but often we find ideas everywhere. I always want to renew myself. I think if I do not change, it is a step backward, that is the motivation for me to always explore and create, I feel happy because of that.
We love seeing your behind the scenes stories on your Instagram and can’t help but notice the many smiles and good vibes. Where do you think lies the key to maintaining an engaged and happy team?
I never thought I would be a boss—however, I treat everyone in my team like brothers and sisters in a family. We usually eat, play, help, and work together. We play sports very often such as badminton, archery, and sometimes games online. We also love to travel—after some projects we have a short trip. We recently went to the Phu Quoc Islands to enjoy seafood and SUP (Stand Up Paddle Boarding). The most important (to me) is building a team like a real family.
Recently you moved into a new studio. Can we have a little look inside? What are your favorite features or areas of the new space?
It is located in the city center (Ho Chi Minh)—a large, clean, empty space, outside, surrounded by trees, and the sun is always shining in. My team feels happy and energetic every time they step into the studio.
Your team seems to mean a lot to you, can you tell us more about your team?
I have a great team with the art director (Aimee), 2 stylists, 1 set designer, 1 graphic designer, and 2 retouchers. They are supporting me a lot. I love them.
Your studio is based in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. What would you recommend anybody to do on their first trip to the city?
Our food is so famous. I think trying different traditional foods like Pho, Hu Tieu, Bun Bo Hue, Spring Roll… is a very memorable experience.
Looking at the year ahead, are you letting it all develop or have you set your goals for the coming year?
In 2021 I will try to produce more quality videos by combining stop-motion, live action, animation, photography, and illustration.
If you could execute any creative idea, no budget or logistical limits, what would it be?
I am a very practical person, so I seldom think about things that will or won’t happen so this is a really difficult question. At the moment I just think that I will do a stop-motion by papercut that shows each individual tradition of all countries in the world because I am a person who loves culture but I always want to convey it in a modern way.
Do you have any hidden talents besides creating your wonderful work?
I do love sports. My fav is badminton, yoga and soccer.
If you need to recharge, how do you normally recharge?
I often spend time with my beloved dog — named Noto, or I’m doing yoga, reading a book, enjoying food, or watching Netflix. I am currently watching “Guide to Meditation,” really helpful knowledge for a healthy mind.
Creative blocks can happen to everybody, what works for you to get out of them?
As usual, give me a break, a mental quiet. I calmly change the direction of thinking and find other ways to solve the problem.
Do you have a favorite piece of gear? And why?
I mostly use the Nikon D850 and Fuji GFX-50S, with a tilt-shift lense and Profoto lighting. Just because it’s been very familiar with me for a long time.
Do you have any advice for contributors just starting out at Stocksy?
Be creative, be patient, and learn from authentic artists.