We had the good fortune of connecting with Tuan Tydree and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tuan, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?

When I first began my medium, I started as a photographer for my HBCU Virginia State University. Working within such a structured system provided its own kind of automatic work-life balance. If I wasn’t shooting an event or with a client, I would go back to my regular collegiate life. It was easier to keep both sides of the spectrum leveled then.

I think what’s been the hardest for me as of lately is that the more I study my crafts, and fall deeper into my passion of those arts, it becomes harder to separate myself from everything I’m striving for and seek that balance. Due to my deep love for storytelling through my photography, eagerness to improve my skills, and partial guilt whenever I felt that I had too much downtime; I’d often fill all my free time with either shooting or editing.

It wasn’t until after falling victim to burnout that I came into a new belief about balance. Burnout for me isn’t just fatigue, but it’s mainly a lack of ideas. I know I’m out of balance when I’m searching for ideas. A balanced, aligned me is an idea magnet; inspiration flows to me rather than me seeking it. Balance is not only essential to my general well-being, but its also a substantial factor of my creative energy.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

I like to say what sets me apart from other creative directors is my distinct vision. Whether it be the thoughtful manner I’ve draped a garment when styling an evening ensemble or an impromptu photo session, I do so with my own quirkiness. While neither my wardrobe nor my photography styles are perfect or cookie-cutter, the delivery of my artistic expression offers a colorful flair of character to the final renderings.

My biggest key to success thus far has been God. Trusting myself with the gifts he’s given me, strengthening these tools, using them to serve this world according to how he sees fit. God gave me the blueprint by ordering my steps, from there I stepped up to do the work. Through my craft he is continuously teaching me lessons on patience, remaining teachable, and moving intentionally. What keeps me moving onward during difficult times is my willingness to learn from everything; remembering that I’m currently being tested in preparation for the next level of success that I’m aiming to achieve. My desire to grow not only as a creative & entrepreneur, but to also grow as a human, is what propels me through adversaries.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In all honesty, I’m still learning the city myself. My friends are easy to please, mainly because we share such similar interests. We would mostly go on a tour through various longes & eateries, squeezing activities & down time in throughout; and of course a lot of shopping, because we all live to get fly. That’s the best part about my friends; they’re literally down to do anything, but also know how to have a ball when we’re just chilling & being our goofy selves.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Blessed I’ve been to have such a huge support system along my journey. First & foremost, I have to give all Glory to God! The creator created me to create, and for that I’m forever thankful. I would not be the man I am today if it wasn’t for the beautifully spirited women who surround me, specifically my mother Christal & my best friend Breonia. The faith that both of these women have shown towards both my pursuits & I have been such a driving force in what keeps me progressing forward. Then there’s my accountability partner Talani; when it comes to adulting, she’s my rock. It’s a blessing to have a friendship where we can have those real discussions on assessing if we’re acting in the best interest of our future selves. Of course a guy would be nothing without his brothers, and I’m thankful to have two talented photographers as my best bros; AKA DP & Nick Supreme. What I value the most of our trio is the camaraderie & willingness to learn from one another. I also have to express gratitude for my spirit angels who watch over me; especially with much respect to my Uncle Gilbert, my Aunt Babydoll, and my two very good brothers Austin & Troy.

Website: sntlrnttn.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/saintlaurenttuan/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SAINTLAURENTTUAN/

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