Meet Anna Wu. She is an amazing photographer, and she has been my friend for over 15 years.
She also serves as TaiwaneseAmerican.org’s Creative Director and Website Manager, and too often, she works behind-the-scenes while I, as the Founder, get more credit and attention than I deserve for the projects that our team takes on. However, in reality, I know that my big ideas don’t happen unless key staffers like Anna take part and bring them to fruition.
See this website? In February of 2010, she guided the redesign and relaunch. Some of you may remember the way our older original “blog” version looked. I prefer you not.
Remember our 2010 “Write in Taiwanese” US Census campaign? She created the website, which gave context to our viral video produced by Slideshow Pictures.
Anna also designed the website and framework of our ongoing “100 Passionate People” project, a seed for our future oral history projects capturing the stories of Taiwanese America.
The list goes on.
There’s so much more I could share about how essential of a role she plays on our team, but I’ll leave it at that and simply say that in the time I’ve known her, she has always demonstrated sparks of creative genius combined with practical creativity. Moreover, she has an amazing eye for visual perspective and composition. In recent years, she has created a career path that encapsulates her artistic passions, her support for the Taiwanese and Asian American communities, and a desire to live life to its fullest.
So in this special feature, I proudly highlight Anna Wu’s inspiring creative work outside of TaiwaneseAmerican.org.
Since she was a mere child, Anna has always had a fascination with cameras. In pictures of her as a young girl, one would often find her holding a professional SLR camera bigger than her hands could handle. But that’s never stopped her from doing what she loved most –standing on the periphery capturing the visual stories and emotions of the people around her.
During college, as a student who self-designed her own major in Documentary Film and Asian American Studies at Duke University, she launched her own personal photography and blog site, AnnaWu.com. I have always been impressed with her desire to fill niches and find intersections with her various interests. Over the years, as her website found more focus and direction, it has become her professional photography business site featuring her work and advice to aspiring photographers around the country.
Between her often packed weekend schedules traveling around California and other parts of the country for wedding shoots, she manages to dole out useful advice and commentary for those looking to improve their photography skills. Not sure what to do with a camera? Want to take better photos? Well, her site is where you should start.
More recently, just over a year ago, she partnered with one of TaiwaneseAmerican.org’s close collaborators, TAF Labs director Kevin Yau, and together they have created a mission-oriented wedding cinematography company, Seaglass Cinema. By shooting “with an editorial eye and creating a tightly woven visual story,” they create “real life movies.” If you haven’t watched one of their videos, you should. They are touching glimpses into the journeys of couples in love.
Start with this one, an earlier video, but still one of my favorites. It also happens to be the wedding of one of TaiwaneseAmerican.org’s board members, Nicholas Huang.
While they capture wedding stories way more creatively than your typical wedding slideshow, another impressive thing that Seaglass Cinema does is help promote the work of Taiwanese and Asian American musical artists. The video above features the song “Valentine” by YouTube celebrity Kina Grannis. In recent videos, they’ve also featured some other Asian American rising stars such as David Choi, Clara C, and one of our favorite Taiwanese American singer-songwriters, Cynthia Lin.
Want to watch more videos by Seaglass Cinema? Prepare to spend an hour watching some beautifully edited footage and shedding tears to romantic music. Visit their Vimeo channel at: http://vimeo.com/seaglasscinema
Anna Wu continues to create beautiful work, and I’m looking forward to what 2012 will bring for her. She’ll probably be surprised that I chose to feature her, as she’s really not one to seek the spotlight. But, I think it’s important for all of you to know some of the great people who I know and work with –the superstars in my life who know how to get stuff done. I have total respect for her and a great admiration of her work. I hope you enjoy it, too.
Anna recently celebrated a birthday. Knowing her, I think one of the greatest gifts to her will be if you follow her company’s websites and Facebook pages. Drop by, Like, and say hello: