Always On The Move - 2018: Looking Forward

I started 2018 off by finally finishing, and releasing, my first photo book. Throughout the past two years, since I started photography, I’ve gotten so many questions about what I do, how I do it, and why I do it. My book, titled “Always On The Move”, is more than just a photo book to me. It’s a collection of memories, stories, and my journey, filled with stories, that have shaped me into who I am today. I’ve been extremely grateful to have seen so much of world, and the beauty it has to offer.

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For those who are reading this blog post, thank you. Thank you for supporting something that I’ve been so passionate about, and for following along. I wanted to start the year off with my first blog post, speaking about the process, as well as some more insight behind my book. It started as an idea about a year and a half ago, when I was first developing prints of my photos to sell through my website. I have to say, nothing beats the feeling of seeing your work in print. I’m sure this applies to any creative artist – in today’s day and age, we’re so accustomed to be scrolling through a feed, clicking through hashtags, double-tapping photos, as if it’s a daily routine. Although social media is what gave the platform to be able to create this all – it’s so important to have a balance, and not let it get to your head. Although prints are amazing, I wanted to put together something that someone could hold in their hand, and for them to feel like they’ve been to the places I’ve seen. I know that people don’t get as many opportunities as myself to be able to travel, so it was so important for me to emphasize that.
I knew I wanted to create a book, but it was an extremely overwhelming process. Which photos would I choose? How would I bring the project to life? Who would print my book? Would anyone even purchase a copy? How could I ever be satisfied with the final product? So many questions arose during the initial process, but I constantly reminded myself – was this going to be another idea that I would put off, only to turn into another idea that I had wished I put the effort into? No. I was willing to do whatever it took to bring it to life.
Fast forward to today, I sold out all 250 copies of my book, to people in countries all over the world, literally. From Canada, to the US, Hong Kong, Dubai, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Germany, Scotland, you name it. I’m not mentioning this to flex, or to show off. I’m telling you, anything you believe or want to put into action, you can make it happen. Anything. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the artist Logic, but he said something that I’ll never forget. He told me that he always hears people, when talking about their dreams/following their passions, that they “would/want to do something, BUT…” or they “would, IF..” That’s when you’ve already let yourself lose. If you’re saying you would do something, followed by the word “but”, then you’ve already thought of an excuse to why you CAN’T do it, and letting that obstacle get in the way.
I was in LA this past weekend for the release of my book. I can tell you that I spent over 12 hours in the post office, packaging, signing, and handwriting every single name and address. It didn’t feel that way though – I just thought of how excited I was for those to receive the product, and for them to read through every word I wrote along with the pictures to follow. This week I’ve been receiving a lot of feedback from those who have received the book, and it made every second that I’ve put into this worth it. For those who don’t have a copy, I’ve attached a picture below; of a special spread I had included in my photo book. About 6 months ago, I had posted on my Instagram story, as well as tweeted, a message asking my followers to ask me anything, whether it be about my photography, or anything they had questions about. Although I didn’t originally mention this – I compiled and saved my favorite questions, and highlighted them in a section in the book, with in depth answers to them.

An AMA spread I had included in my photo book.

Now that my first photo book is finished, and out there for the world to see, now what? I’m currently writing this piece on a 21-hour flight back home to Vancouver from Dubai, reflecting on my first month of 2018. It definitely feels weird to not have to work on my photo book, something that I’ve been working on for the past 15 months. However, I can’t let the completion of my project turn into a position that I’m “comfortable” in. I’ve got so much more planned this year, and I can’t wait to share what I’m working on. I can’t wait to release my next photo book, and the one after that. I’m going to have photo exhibitions around the world, release my first merch pieces, and most importantly, keep doing what I love. I’m curious to know, what do you plan on accomplishing in 2018? Comment on my latest Instagram post I just posted, comment below, or DM me. I’d love to hear what you’re working on.

Henry Hwu2 Comments