My name is Yer Xiong & I don't like to write bios, they bore me.
So I'll put stuff that I like and don't like into a list. I like lists.
lists - as previously stated
iced coffee & a sweet glass of wine - not together though
turning on the tv and going through what's streaming, but not ever picking something
FOOD - all sorts of food
a good cry
I don't like:
always being cold - but a comfy, oversized sweater fixes everything
taking a nap at 4 and waking up at 8, feeling like: what day is it?
Not everyone is like me though ...
So here's a little blurb of who I am, so you know me and what I can offer you.
I was an immigrant. I was born in a refugee camp in Thailand & moved to Madison, Wisconsin in 1992. I became a citizen when I was in middle school, and I remember feeling so proud. :) I have a big family that I love and adore: a mother, 6 sisters, 2 brothers and more than a dozen nieces and nephews! My life partner is also my best friend, Chris. I have 3 kids, 2 sons and a daughter. They are my pride and joy.
If we were to count the years of photography that I have, it'll be 17 years. That's more than half of my life with a camera in my hand.
Photography was always in the cards, but never part of the plan. I loved it, but growing up, I didn't see a life where all I did was photography. I was told that people aren't supposed to enjoy their job, that it's nonsense ... And it's art, no one gets paid for art!
But I am. I enjoy my job and I'm getting paid for it.
Education & Experience
2018 - Current
I made it official! I own a business and I'm the boss of me!
2016 - 2018
Associates Degree in Photography
I learned the rules, so I'm allowed to break them.
2007 & BEYOND
"It's only a hobby, you can't make a living off of a hobby."
I get my first job as a photographer at JC Penny Portrait Studios.
I become the main yearbook editor for my high school, tasked to take photos of the sport teams, dances, every day life.
I get a job at a printing factory and learn how to print large photos, in mass production.
I get a job as a photo technician and soon get promoted to Lead, where I develop film and fill photo orders.
I get a job where I go to different schools and photograph all sorts of children for school picture day.
I get a job where I photograph luxury brand products and accessories for an online retailer.
I get a job where I take care of photography equipment and growing minds.
I get a job where all I do, is dabble in my hobby.
So, to sum it all up:
times I've had this website changed.
years of me creating art through photography.
cameras that I've used on this journey.
purpose of capturing memories to last a lifetime, and beyond.
& the reason for all of this is still the same.
I love to capture memories. When you look at a photo, the people in the images are no longer there. You are different than them. Whether you like or don't like the way you look, my advice is "GET INTO THE PHOTO." Get into the moment. I look back on my photos from 10 years ago, and I always think (sometimes to myself, some times more out loud) "I wasn't even that fat!" "I loooove my hair back then." "Did I think this looked good on me?!" If you have kids, your children are not going to look at that photo and see your messy hair and mismatched clothes. Well, actually they will, but more importantly, they'll see that you were present and you were there for them. You'll look back on those photos and you'll think back to Past You and you'll either love the person you were even more or you'll be a little kinder to the person you are now.
And then I look at other photos, and it's of people that are no longer here, in houses that we no longer live in. We've all lost someone & photos are the only things that are left behind for us. We hold onto photographs of past loved ones, in fear of forgetting how they look. When we miss a moment, we look to photographs for the reminder. We hope to remember how the room was in the house that we grew up in, and we hope to remember the smells of grandmother's cooking. But what we really look for, is the love that we felt.
That's why I do what I do. I capture memories. I create photography for you and yours.