Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Honesty is the Best Policy

This week I've taken a step back into memory lane but it wasn't fun revisiting bad memories. I'll save you the grief so I wont share the memory but it has caused me to do some serious self inventory of past business practices and ethics. We've all herd the famous saying "Honesty is the best policy." It doesn't really come to life until you have tested it which I have done many times for good and bad. Experience has taught me it is far better to be honest in my dealings personally, but especially in business. Being honest and ethical means you hold yourself and others to a higher standard of living. Frank Levinson, co founder of Finisar Corporation taught that people innately gravitate towards and ethical environment. In the world today we find those who are very talented and smart but dishonest in their dealings. Sometimes those people find success but it never lasts long. I've learned to never comprise my integrity and to always choose the higher road. A general authority for my church once told of a story of a business partner going to the news paper machine to get the daily news. As he put his quarter in the machine he opened it up to take his news paper but grabbed 2 copies for him and his associate. The associate knowing how small a price it was for the news paper said, "no thank you, but are you really going to jeopardize your integrity for a quarter?" The associate walked off and as he turned around to look back he saw he partner putting more quarters back into the machine. I am thankful for that story because it puts things back into perspective. Are we willing to jeopardize our integrity for such a small price? I'm excited to learn in the coming days from the best of the best of how we can obtain success by keeping our integrity. It really sets the foundation for all young entrepreneurs like me. So no matter what, I make a vow from now on that I will never jeopardize my integrity. Honesty is the best policy because it works. It should be rephrased to "honesty is the only policy".

Friday, July 29, 2016

Entrepreneurial Journal 2: Childhood Dream

I'd like for you guys to watch this video. CLICK HERE For those of you who dreamed big as a child, this post is for you. I was really inspired after watching this video of a man named Randy Pausch. If you watched the video, then you know what I'm talking about. In his address he made a statement that caught my attention. He speaks in reference of his football coach who rode him hard in practice one day. I quote from his talk. "When you're screwing up and nobody's saying anything to you anymore, that means they gave up." He continues in his own words. "When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody's bothering to tell you anymore, that's a very bad place to be." I learned that sometimes your critics are the ones who truly love you and care for you. They want the best for you so they encourage the best OUT of you. I loved his whole talk. He really inspired me to change my perspective on life. In his closing remarks he says, " It’s not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you." Sometimes I get caught up in trying to do everything right. In the process I forget, and it's one of my weaknesses, to recognize the small things. Life happens and no matter how hard you try to stay on the path your currently on, life finds a way of scooting you over. Sometimes your dreams might be put on hold but it doesn't stop you from enabling others to live their dreams. If you are doing the right things in life, helping others may be more fulfilling than living your own dreams. That is the lesson I have learned from Mr. Pausch. "Karma will take care of itself." One of my favorite quotes from the President of my church is, "decisions determine destiny." I interpret that as good decisions determines a good destiny. If you lead your life in the right way, good things will come your way. I believe that is the core of all childhood dreams. Good comes from God and God instills in us the privilege of making our own decisions. Our dreams are dependent on our choices. We have the choice to work hard and to strive to do our very best. We also have the choice to react to life's challenges in a good way. Our choices have serious consequences for good and bad. So the next time you feel discouraged, remember we have the choice to react in a good way. The next time you feel like someone is constantly criticizing you, remember that is a good place to be. Someone actually cares to criticize you. The next time your dreams are a big failure, remember it’s not about how to achieve your dreams, it's about how you lead your life. "Karma will take care of itself."

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Entrepreneurial Journal Week 1

This meme describes exactly where I'm at in life in regards to my passion for the visual arts. It has been over a year since my last post. I don't know about you, but if you decided to go on a 1 year vacation from work, there might not be anything to come back to? Well, I promise this past year was not a vacation for me. It was not work either. It's what they call "LIFE". But "true love has a habit of coming back." Not to burst your bubble (cause I know you were waiting for a video segment of how I was gonna make a come back), I'm not planning on posting new material any time soon. Its just not in the stars at the current time. But I do not want to give up. Especially on this blog. This blog has provided me and my subscribers, ALL 20 of them, a journal of sort. Documenting my journey in the photography and videography business. Looking back at my very first post, I have progressed, very very very slowly! Not just in the quality of work, but also in the business aspect of it. Which proved I was not ready for the next level. I have learned so much from others and from my experiences, good and bad. So I've decided to write a few "lessons learned" to pacify the time until I get my act together. Hence, the reason for titling this post, journal entry 1. Lesson one: I made so many mistakes, but the most important lesson I've learned is to LOVE WHAT YOU ARE DOING. To truly love it. To truly do it for the passion and the love of the art. You know when you love something or someone? You constantly think about it and it occupies the bulk of your time. I love weddings and I love filming them. It's risky business but the rewards far out weigh the risks. I love the art of filming. I think the ability to create and to tell people's story is why I fell in love with film. I love the fact I can continue to master my craft and perfect my skills. The wedding industry provides ample opportunity to learn on the fly and I kind of enjoy that rush. The end results don't always go as plan but you cannot learn without experiencing it yourself. With all my failures in the wedding business, my love for the game is a constant. I may not be the best, but I love this stuff just as much as the pros do. If you love what you do, and still fall flat on your face, at least you can say you had a good time. Figure it out now! Ask yourself, do I love what I am doing? I have so much more to say but I'll save it for next time. I don't expect to many people to read my blog. The important thing is I have made an effort to journalize those life lessons to hopefully create better habits for myself. The goal is to be better than the person I am today. Blogging is one way I can do that. Until next time, happy blogging everyone!

Saturday, March 14, 2015


I wanted to focus this post on the importance of work and how it ties into our spiritual lives and our creativity. This has been on my mind as of late for a number of reasons. First the principle of work is a blessing that sometimes goes unnoticed. It seems like the value of work has been forgotten. In the work place, there are certain individuals that take their employment for granted. They falsely believe that it gets easier after retirement. Their whole goal is to make it to retirement. Second, work is the antidote for a lot of psychological issues such as depression. If you want someone to overcome depression, have them work. Third, work will give confidence and self worth to anyone who understands and applies it in their lives. Work has been known to solve a lot of issues not matter what the situation is. It is not just a matter of economic need, it reflects on our spirituality as well. God has taught us the importance of work from the beginning of time. He commanded Adam to work in the Garden of Eden. Then after the Fall, Adam was again admonished to work by the sweat of his face. The Lord knew that the principle of work would give experience and knowledge to better ones own situation. He blessed us with talents and abilities to share with others but also to help us provide for our selves and our families. We must learn and discover those talents so as to give us direction of our chosen academic studies and career path. We all have some talent or spiritual gift. Some have more than others but having a talent and not exercising it does no good. We must perfect our craft and be proficient in our talents but all the discipline and practicing takes work! The media arts takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of talent as well but hard work separates the talented dreamers from success. You ask any successful photographer/videographer and they would say the same thing. You can have all the talent in the world but it is of no use with out hard work. We need to seek out education in our chosen field and pursue it hard. In the media arts there are plenty of opportunities to learn online but I believe the best education is to seek a mentor. To draw from an experienced person is valuable education that you can't get behind a desk. Experience is also a great teacher. By trial and error we learn and grow and get better. Behind all these important principles is the principle of work. We must apply it and be diligent at it. Because this is a business, work will always be a participant. But to learn to love work is beyond making money. To learn to love service and to do it with all of your heart is beyond the "likes" and "comments." To learn the principle of work is to know who God is and what he wants for ourselves. He wants us to be happy. But even being happy requires work. Through work we will learn to love others and help them work out their own salvation. If we learn how to work we will learn how to love because that is how the Savior taught us. Through His Atonement, which is the greatest act of service or work, we will come to realize just how much he loved us. I know this to be true. At the same, I know that work can also be fun. So my video is represents my kind of fun at work. It's all in the attitude. Work doesn't feel like work if you love what you do. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Leki+Gina: LA Temple Sealing

LA Temple Sealing: Gina+Leki from alvin ahquin on Vimeo.

Pressing Forward: Lolohea Family

On the day of the shoot the weather decided that it was going to blow us away. Wind gusts we're close to the 30-40 mph range. The location for our shoot was at a marina close to the bay. I arrived early as usual and decided to walk around and gather my thoughts before the shoot. As I got out of the truck I was taken away by the power of the wind. Five minutes out and my hands started getting really cold. The wind was howling and there was a wind chill of about 45 degrees. I called up my client and we decided to switch the location to somewhere else. With the sun close to sunset I really didn't think we could make it in time. But we pressed forward to the new location. As we arrived, we rushed to get everyone in place for the shoot and luckily came away with a few good photos before the sun went to sleep and the children froze to death? I was so grateful for the opportunity to capture this wonderful family. We battled the wind and pressed forward. Thank you Lolohea family for allowing me to be a part of your photo session. Lessons learned from this shoot. First, the principle of pressing forward. The wind truly provided the resistance of the day. It was symbolic of our trials and challenges. In photography it does no good to be stagnant. IF we are then we lose our creativity and our passion for the art. We must press forward. That means no matter how many times clients cancel, reschedule, our gear breaks down or gets stolen, you name it...we must press forward and think on the fly. If we allow the wind to blow us away, we will "wish" that things could be different and live in regret. This business is tough but if we don't have a vision of where we want to go, we cannot press forward. My vision for the day was to photograph this family. No matter what obstacles we encountered, we still accomplished what we planned 2 weeks ago. Part of the family traveled in from Utah and other far places to get this done. Our vision is what motivated us to press forward. It was truly a blessing to see it all come together in the end. Ofa atu to the Lolohea family. Thank you Tilisa for being our point of contact for this shoot. Press forward everyone!

Saturday, January 31, 2015


Earlier this month I had an opportunity to spend quality time with my sister and her family. She was visiting from Bountiful, Utah. Her time here in the bay area was short but it rejuvenated our families in a way that we will always remember. My sister has a unique story to tell. As we visited throughout the week we laughed and we talked about life. One thing I noticed during a visit was how happy her baby was. Tyson just turned one and he was such a blessing to have in our home. To hear him laugh made me think about my own kids. You see, part of Trisha's unique story includes Tyson. For a long time my sister tried to have kids. And for a long time the result was always the same. But something changed a couple years ago. Something that she calls a miracle. She was able to bare her first son. Before she was pregnant with Tyson I remember long nights talking about why God wasn't blessing her with a child. Why was all her friends and family having no problems getting pregnant? Why the suffering? At the time I could not answer her questions. Only reassuring her that the Lord knows all and is aware of her struggles. As time went on she continued to press forward and as a result of her faith, she was blessed with Tyson. In recent study of a talk given by Elder Robert D. Hales, an apostle of the Lord, it made me think of my sister and her little family. Elder Hales says, "Any of us may experience a spouse, a child, a parent, or a member of our extended family suffering in one way or another—mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually—and we may experience these tribulations ourselves at times. In short, mortality is not easy. Each family has its own special circumstances. But the gospel of Jesus Christ addresses every challenge—which is why we must teach it to our children." That should of been my answer in the first place. The Gospel of Jesus Christ addresses every challenge. But then he also says, "which is why we must teach it to our children." As I sat there thinking about Tyson I thought about what my sister and her husband had to do. What I must do with my own kids. I must teach them about the Gospel. In the "The Family: A proclamation to the World" it says: “Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held ACCOUNTABLE before God for the discharge of these obligations.” This is how I can continue to see my kids laughing and being happy all the time. This is the way. We must teach our children. We must teach them to love God and to serve others. We must do all we can to make our homes a place of learning and a refuge from the outside world. This is the formula for happiness. We do not fear the wrath of darkness because we have been taught by goodly parents. That is my message for you, for my sister, and for myself. That we continue to teach our young ones truth and righteousness. For in it there is eternal happiness.