Today we’d like to introduce you to Chie Endo.
Hi Chie, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
As a teenager, I was never certain about what career path I wanted to pursue. I simply ended up following in my older brother’s footsteps by going to the same university with the same major. It felt like the safe thing to do until I figured out my “spark.”
Deep down, I always knew that I was meant to do something creative but growing up in a first-generation Chinese family meant seeking a career with a certain level of security and recognition. So, I graduated in Supply Chain Management with high marks in 2017 and moved to Austin to begin my professional adult life. It only took a year and a half of corporate life before I started making half-joking remarks to my partner, Vincent, about quitting our jobs and moving to Southeast Asia. At the time, Vincent was already a photographer working primarily with corporate and commercial clients. He looked at me seriously and asked”why not?” Long story short, I quit my job, Vincent told his clients to hold on for a year, we packed up two backpacks and moved to Bali, Indonesia. We spent the next year doing nothing in particular besides traveling around Asia, meeting new people, and experiencing foreign cultures. After we returned from our year-long trip, I decided there was no way I could ever go back into a regular nine-to-five job.
With no responsibilities, and more importantly, no income, I decided to pick up a camera and tag along with Vincent to photograph a big produce conference in NYC. It was this experience that led me to believe that I could pursue this as a potential career. With our goals set high, we hit 2020 running with bookings left and right. But as we all know, COVID-19 took its toll. In early March, we began losing job by job until there was no work left for the year. Desperate not to give in to the idea of security by returning to a corporate position, I began working with personal clients on family portraits and micro-weddings. Slowly, business picked up as Vincent and I both began to gain more experience working on the personal side of the industry. I never imagined then that I would become a wedding photographer. Honestly, weddings terrified me. But because weddings were the only parts of life that were still happening, the documentarian in me naturally gravitated towards love stories. It was the light in an otherwise pretty dark year. I realized that life didn’t stop just because of a global pandemic. Every day there were stories of hope and new life and I wanted to be the person to capture these moments of our love in motion. It was through hard work, dedication, and full faith in myself that led me to be where I am today.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The biggest challenge has been overcoming my own self-limitations. I have always been an optimistic person driven by high expectations for my talent and career. It was easy for me to believe in the idea that I wasn’t where I wanted to be yet simply because I was too busy with my current work, social life, or a myriad of other reasons. It wasn’t until after I arrived in Bali that I had to, in a lot of ways, call myself out on my own BS. I no longer had the excuse of work, or friends, or honestly any responsibilities which had held me back before. Yet, I still couldn’t find the energy or motivation to take any productive steps towards finding my career or passion. I had considered my trip to Bali as a cliché soul searching trip. But to much surprise, I didn’t find myself at all. It was never about becoming someone new. Instead, it was rather an unbecoming of everything that I was not. I finally had to come face to face with my fears of failure, my self-limiting thoughts, and my laziness. A very humbling experience to say the least. To say that I had everything figured out by the end of the trip would be a ridiculous lie. But the experience of overcoming my own limitations has allowed me to look at the world in a whole new way. My goals suddenly don’t seem so far out of reach anymore. It’s still a daily challenge to quiet those self-limiting thoughts but knowing how far I have come has been a huge accomplishment.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
I am a wedding and lifestyle photographer specializing in emotional storytelling and the natural energy of people. I really value being fully invested in the stories of the couples and families that I work with. I am driven by what is important to my clients and making the experience fun, memorable, and stress-free for them. Enhancing an individual’s perspective of themselves and making them feel confident through the lens feeds my passion for work. I create alongside my boyfriend, Vincent, who specializes in videography, and together, we offer clients a seamless photo/video vendor experience.
Our services are tailored to our clients and their unique personalities and experiences. We are both co-creative directors with all of our finished products including a unique touch from both of our individual styles. We are a multi-culturalcouple that shares a love for all things traditional and non-traditional. We really love working together and complimenting each other’s strengths and weaknesses allowing us to provide couples the best we can offer. We offer photography and videography services a la carte or packaged together. Photography + Videography packages are discounted when booked together. We are currently offering a special for a free engagement video when booking both photo and video through us <3 To learn more about what we do as a team: www.vincentandchie.com.
How do you define success?
Is success booking that first high-end destination wedding client? Or maybe success is the moment my Chinese mother finally recognized the value in my work? It sure felt like a success when that finally happened. Perhaps success is measured by obstacles we overcome along the way. But in reality, does any of that matter if we are not happy with the way we spend our time each day? To me, success is figuring out everything you are not and going after what you love. It’s taking that first leap of faith to remove yourself from a situation that doesn’t evoke joy. I think any person simply acting on the things that they are passionate about is on their way to success.
- Couples / Families / Portrait Sessions: $325
- Wedding Photography Packages starting at $1200
- Wedding Videography Packages starting at $2000
- Wedding Photography + Video Packages starting at $3000
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.endochie.com
- Instagram: chie.endo
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/chieendophotography