Photographer Minh T a.k.a. @thismintymoment
Photographer Minh T.
We interviewed photographer and Creative Director Minh T to discuss his inspirations, passions, and professional journey. His work can be found throughout The Resolution Issue.
SS // When did you first unravel your love for photography?
MT // Throughout my childhood I was always involved with artistic pursuits in different mediums. Early on I was interested in illustration and drawing. Junior High is when I started using photography as another medium to create art. I loved to shoot with my sisters on the weekend and create fashion editorial style photo stories. This passion later evolved when merging my penchant for fashion and architecture to creating imagery.
SS // Have you ever worked full-time somewhere, or have you always been freelance?
MT // I freelance now but I have held full times jobs in the past. I studied architecture at UCLA and wrote my thesis about the concept of virtual art and building stories digitally. This lead me to start working in information architecture and graphic design. I landed my first role in web design at US Web, and later transitioned working full time as an Art Director for renowned branding agencies such a Siegel + Gale & RPA.
SS // What was the first creative gig you ever landed?
MT // About 4 years ago I started focusing on my image creating, and sharing my photography on Instagram. I saw this platform as a perfect digital community to join and connect with other creatives, getting feedback and making friends.
Brands started to notice my work, and the first concrete project I did was for BMW & Soho House, where they let me take their electric car for the day and drive down the coast to create imagery. I have also done multiple collabs with Mr. Porter including Instagram takeovers and product features.
My first big commercial project was with Larsson & Jennings watches, creating product images for digital and print. Early last year I was contracted as an influencer to create images for the 2017 Adidas EQT campaign. I have also shot street style images for Puma and have been contracted to shoot on site at five of the Aman Hotel locations.
SS // Who are some artists you look up to?
MT // In terms of architects I’m really into Luis Barragán’s work, as I am in a color moment right now, but, If I had to ultimately pick one artist, it would be James Turrell. His work is emotional, mysterious and experiential. I thrive to create an emotional aspect in my work and I am inspired by his ability to do this so beautifully.
SS // We're constantly toiling with the various perspectives of how creative is consumed, and the opinions created around it. Namely, it's down to one person's taste versus another. How would you define your 'taste'?
MT // Some would say, restraint is the new luxury, when living in a world of abundance. Finding a way to edit maximalism translates to good taste, making the art more impactful. I would describe my work as reductiveness. I block out the landscape into simpler compositions, by taking a complex scene and reducing it. For example, a mountain could be a triangle, a building a square.
My taste comes down to simplicity and my editing process. If I had to to narrow it down, my taste would be defined by my relationship to architecture, design, photography, and travel, and it tends to favor simplicity.
SS // If you could pass along one bit of advice to a young creative, what would it be?
MT // I recently spoke with some high-schoolers, and one thing I always like to tell them is don’t be a jack of all trades. You don’t have to say yes to everything. You should hone in what you really love and commit to it, while having conviction. Having these parameters will help you to focus and define your skills to achieve your creative potential. Just because you can do everything doesn't mean you are necessarily talented in everything. Doing it all can be a detriment to the one skill that may be your best.
Another piece of advice to share is that having the most expensive gear is not important when starting out. I started with a $250 Lumix camera and that was all I needed. If you focus on your composition you can create great images.
SS // What would your dream project be?
MT // A dream project for me would be working with a timeless fashion brand like Issay Miyake or Chanel, shot in an amazing location. I would love to shoot in Mexico or Portugal, as I am inspired by the beautiful architecture. I would also love to shoot this fashion editorial in an amazing natural landscape like the salt flats of Bolivia, Salar de Uyuni. This location is amazing when the water rises and creates this reflective, endless effect.
Follow Minh on Instagram @thismintymoment