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HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
If someone went to the past and told my younger handsome self that I would be a photographer, I would have just laughed and dismissed it. I went to school for engineering and thought my life would be complete, but that all changed when I entered the corporate world. I was very unhappy, unchallenged, and struggled to express myself. One day in 2014, I decided to pack my bags and travel around the world on a small budget. I found myself photographing and experiencing the world in over 26 different countries. When my adventure ended, I was back in the corporate office and shooting weddings on the weekends. I would struggle to stay awake at my day job, and 8 hours felt like an eternity, but when I shot weddings I loved every moment of it. It didn’t take long for me to figure where my heart was.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
Colorful, architectural, and unconventional. When I edit, I try to convey how I see the world. I really love shadows, highlights, and simply put, the way the light falls on anything and everything. It may be the movies that have influenced me, or my engineering background, but I love framing and textures the environment provides. When it comes to style, I really try not to conform to a certain type or form, simply because I prefer not to give myself parameters and just shoot from the gut. I imagine, that if I feel something when I capture an imagine, the viewer will feel something too.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN AN IMAGE?
A great image is something that can make you feel, especially the moments. I find moments so difficult to capture because you need to be at the right place at the right time, with the perfect light. I’ve realized early in my career that it doesn’t matter how much effort you put into an image if people can’t feel anything.
WHAT INSPIRES OR MOTIVATES YOU?
As cliche as it sounds, traveling. No matter where you travel, whether it is just outside your house or some countryside villa there is someone living there. To them this is everyday and a routine. However, someone who isn’t familiar with the setting will find everything fascinating and unique. Once I realized that, it dawned on me that everyone has this amazing and complex life that comes with a story. This really motivates me as a photographer to tell the best story possible. I think it becomes really easy to be fixated on the couple on their wedding day, but appreciating and loving the fact that everyone has a story, you start to see how everyone starts to matter and are connected.
WHAT CHALLENGES YOU?
Being too comfortable and breaking away from what is easy is the most challenging aspect for me. It is always easy to fall into a routine, and shoot the way we are familiar with. It is also challenging to capture an image and have it hold more meaning than just a pretty photo.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT OF A WEDDING?
I would say when I get fed cake, jk. I think my favorite moment is when the couples see each other for the first time, whether it is down the aisle or the first look. They’ve been waiting for this day, they’re tired, excited, nervous…. and then they see each other for the first time on that day.
OF ALL YOUR IMAGES, DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ONE?
I don’t! I love them all. The fact that each photo is someone’s memory makes it so beautiful that I think it is unfair for me to have favorites!
ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PAUL WOO?
#1 Reason why I travel is the food. And if you asked me what my favorite food is, the answer is everything. I think it's easier to say what I don't like. Olives and I can't be friends.
TELL US ABOUT DVLOP
I really love the diversity DVLOP has to offer. From Fer Juaristi, Chrisman Studios, Two Mann Studios, to Jeff Newsom, they are all uniquely designed. Another benefit from the presets are definitely the consistency they offer between different cameras. I remember distinctly trying to edit a wedding that I shot with using Leica, Fuji, Canon, and Nikon files, and DVLOP really made it easy for all those camera profiles to look consistent. I personally am a big fan of the pallets and adjusting them to my taste. For most of my color I use Chrisman's Pallet mixed with some of Fer’s colors. For black and white, I am totally in love with Two Man Studio’s Espresso. For a lot of my travel and personal photos I use Fer and Gabe’s sets.