Hi there! I’m Namu, owner and primary photographer here at American Photographic.

I’d like to share a sad story with you, but it has a happy ending, so bear with me!

When I was 12 years old, on Christmas morning in 1984, my mother  died when our house burned down. We were very poor and our house was old and decrepit and there were too many plugs from the Christmas tree in the wall outlet. The outlet shorted, the tree caught on fire, and our house burned down before my mom could get out. Luckily my younger sister and I were visiting our grandparents at the time, or it could have been a much more tragic story.

Still, we lost everything in that fire. Of course my mother was the greatest loss, but we also lost every reminder of who our family was, every keepsake, every childhood photo. Photographs are a nearly permanent physical reminder of an event, a time, a place, a person, something you loved or wanted to remember, and we’d lost all of those memories. I managed to gather a few images from other family members over the years, but they couldn’t provide what I was looking for – a clear reminder of the special moments with my mom, my sister, our love, our laughter. A clear reminder of “us”.

I’ve spent most of my life longing for those photos, because my own memory faded over time. Crystal clear memories turned to hazy, barely-remembered moments and photos could have helped keep those memories stronger, for longer.

I didn’t become a photographer because of my mom’s death, or because of the longing for those photos, but those two things definitely informed my photography over the years, leading me to become great at capturing things in a way that respected the reality of the situation, that showed the love or the effort or the excitement of a moment, in a clear, beautiful way.

Definitely a sad story, but definitely a happy ending! The tragedy in my history set me on the path to where I am today, and it helped me create a company where I earn a living helping others capture special moments in their lives that will last for generations. And if you watch me work for even five minutes, you’ll see just how much I love what I do.

Thank you for reading a little of my history and I hope to see you in front of my lens soon!