An Phan: Fashion Photographer

An Phan’s freelance photography career began during the summer of 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. It started with a small instagram account and a website built on blogspot with a mere 400 followers. Originally, she shadowed other photographers, second shot events, and was an assistant for a few years before her big break. She initially gained interest in photography as she recognized a need to bring representation to people of all backgrounds. Since 2014, her photography career has grown immensely with editorials gracing publications around the world, to covering fashion shows by companies such as Nike, JCPenney, Kendra Scott, and Prodigie Apparel.  

However, the journey to what An’s photography brand is today was a long one. Originally coming from Arizona, the fashion community was small, and difficult to break into. In the beginning, she booked photo shoots once a month, and struggled to find models, stylists, designers, and make up artists who were willing to work with her.  Therefore, An spent time participating in group shoots, and working with friends in order to build her own portfolio. As a fashion photographer, in hopes of creating a strong composition, she thrifted clothing pieces, purchased her own accessories, and styled models. For the longest time, An worked as a one man band.

An’s first big break was when her shots were picked up by a magazine called Prolific Quarterly -- an international publication based in Norway, the US, and Canada. This was the first time she was able to stick her foot into the world of fashion.  After its release in October 4th 2017, she was finally able to connect with the fashion community in Arizona. From there, An was lucky enough to work with a variety of models as well as companies and local makeup artists. An wanted to ensure that the passion instigated by the need to document people of all backgrounds could still be seen through her work. Since then, An has centered her projects to photograph a diverse group of models, which allowed her to stand out from other photographers in her community.  

For An, there was a time when it seemed like it was all unattainable. There were moments when she hit walls and it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, even when it came to just starting her photographic career. However, being a freelance photographer and striving to improve everyday has shown her that dreams are in fact attainable; it is contingent upon on what one makes of it and what one is willing to do in order to make one’s dreams come true.  

Zehra Naqviz