This is an article from Voyage Los Angeles. Original article can be found here:
Today we’d like to introduce you to Johnny La.
Johnny, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far. Before I share my love of photography, I have to first begin telling my love for acting. It all started when a simple mistake in high school changed my life. While chatting it up with my counselor, he informed me that I was missing an art class to be eligible to attend San Jose State University in 2003. Apparently, a class that I took did not count as an art class (Doh!), so I had to attend community college to make up the credit. I remember flipping through the class catalog for Evergreen College and thinking “Oh, Drama 01. Whatever, I’ll just take that and get it over with”. Well, guess what? It didn’t just become a “class” for credit. I completely fell in love with acting. I remember one of the most memorable moments during Drama class was when I was performing a powerful scene about a couple breaking up, and after it was all over I saw audience members crying. I immediately felt a sensation in my heart, and ever since then I knew acting was a passion that will stick with me forever. But, for a while, the passion was stuck at home, where I was comfortable collecting a bi-weekly paycheck from a corporate company… for almost 13 years.
But then, fast forward to 2014, my love for acting continued to burn strong. I wanted more in life. I wanted to explore my passion beyond my comfort zone. I packed my bags, barely waved bye to my friends and family and moved to Los Angeles. After arriving here to Hollywood, and like most actors, getting headshots is one of the first things you need to do to get started in this town. After doing my research, I was blown away that the average price of quality headshot sessions was around $500-600. I was even more frazzled after learning that I had to pay an additional $300-400 for editing services, copies of photos, etc. For most actors in town that are working restaurant, ride share, and oddball jobs, it was simply too much! I had to resort to eating packaged ramen noodles for a few weeks after that session. By this time, I have already developed photography skills throughout my life with my Canon cameras and lenses, and have also learned over 15 years of photo processing skills. I’ve always enjoyed taking photos for fun and have even done a few wedding shoots for friends. But I have never thought that I would be doing it professionally. The idea for Mr. La Photography was then born, with the intention of designing the business structure to be in favor of the actor, not the photographer. The business is built on honesty and communication, and today my clients are appreciative of the quality and price of headshots that I offer. As a fellow actor myself, I can relate to the struggle of getting headshots done.
Has it been a smooth road? Definitely not a smooth road. I didn’t get to where I am today without hitting a few pot holes on the way and blowing a few tires. I was comfortable in the Business Management industry for 13 years of my life, but I felt that my dreams were never fulfilled during those years. So, the obstacle was basically “myself”. I was too comfortable in San Jose and was too afraid to chase my dreams. It took too long for me to realize that I should have branched out sooner. When I finally left San Jose, I intentionally gave a short notice to my friends and family because I did not want anything to come in between me deciding to move. When I finally settled in Los Angeles, I was alone. I had to rebuild a new life, with new friends and surroundings. But in the wonderful city of Los Angeles, it didn’t take long before everything started piecing together. I started meeting passionate new friends. And because of their support today, along with my family and friends back home, it allows me to continue chasing my dreams.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Mr. La Photography – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others. Mr. La Photography specializes in cinematic style headshots, but also provides many other photography services such as event shoots, online dating photos, engagement photos, corporate headshots, and more. Cinematic headshots is what Mr. La Photography is known for today. This unique style will make you stand out compared to other traditional headshots.
The best feeling that I get from my business, and what I am most proud of, is seeing my clients getting representation and auditions from their new headshots. And it’s also exciting seeing them update their social media profile photos with Mr. La Photography’s work!
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least? The food! Los Angeles is amazing and full of diversity, especially where I live in K-Town. I can walk in any direction from my apartment and find a great restaurant. What I also enjoy about the city is that I am always meeting people who are eager and determined to reach success. Los Angeles is a city full of wonderful opportunities.
And of course, who can’t agree that traffic is one of the least favorite part of the city? Still waiting for flying cars.