Monday, February 28, 2011

same blog, different address.

so the time has come... to change my blog link. don't worry folks, it's still the same blog, but blogspot says i can change the link from to

i am slowly, but surely, becoming a minns.

and so you have it. this blog is now

fare thee well yen phan.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

roots workshop

a week after my wedding, i stayed in wichita to attend a beginner's photography workshop held by the lovely ladies at gingeroot studios. i am now just getting around to posting the pictures i took that day. i am so bad at keeping myself updated. that's definitely something i need to work on.

without further ado, our fantastic models for the day!

Workshop 3 FB



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

defining myself.

the past couple of days, i have struggling with myself.

i just graduated from college with a degree in architectural engineering. problem: i don't want to be an engineer.

i just moved to michigan all the way from kansas. problem: i have next to nothing in the networking world.

christopher and i still don't have jobs. problem: we don't even have enough money to survive the next month.

o faith, how you've helped me along the way so much, and i don't even realize. for the last week, i've been thinking really hard about what to do with my life career-wise. i know in my heart and my mind that i do not want to do engineering. it's just not cut out for me. i don't know how i made it through school. but what's wonderful is that i do know what i want to do: photography.

i just pray that I am doing what God wants me to do.

so something that has been constantly on my mind is what i want to brand my "business" as. i'm not saying i'm legit, that i really have a business going on here, or that this is all i'm going to do to earn some money, but it's what i want to evolve over time. i just want to start it off on the right foot.

something that has been holding me back from really getting my foot into photography is my "business" name. i really wanted to go with my first and last name because who else do you know is named yen minns?? i can't think of anyone! what a great marketing tool right?! well... it is except no one can pronounce my vietnamese name. it's not pronounced like that japanese currency... no... it's pronounced like the guy's name ian. ... "ean" ... "E-N" ... "en" ... these are all the variations that people in my life have come up with to pronounce my simple yet complex name.

so as i'm cooking dinner, all i can think about is, who am i? what do i want my future clients to see in me when they look for a photographer? i don't want to be something phoney or overused. but it's so difficult when so many people have the same style as you or doing the same thing as you. how do i find my niche without being cliche?

i thought about the words that describe me as a person and why i want to take pictures. what better way to brand your business than to brand who you really are? the words that came to mind were:

raw. emotion. timeless. joy. faith. real. happiness. sadness. fear. anguish. light. beautiful. simple. complex. love. natural. whimsical. thoughtful. family. detailed. earthy. country. creative. fun. warm.


i want to do photography because i have passion. i have passion for the art of capturing that one moment of joy that's been lost in all of the hurt. i have passion for the technical details that i had no idea went into photography when i first learned about it. i have passion for the person crying over a lost loved one. i have passion for the love shown in the eyes of an engaged couple. i have passion for the pure innocence of a child. i have passion.

lightbulb! i went onto to see what words are similar to passion. perhaps something will help me find a name for my business right? wrong. the one word that stuck out was none other than... yen.

yen 2 (jɛn)

— n
1. a passionate, ardent, or intense longing or desire

— vb , yens , yenning , yenned
2. ( intr ) to yearn

so there you have it folks. it's who i am.

i am yen.

Friday, February 18, 2011


no. i'm not homesick. but right now, i long for those days when i hummed to myself on the swing, sun softly shining down. i want my childhood back. i want to see my grandpa. i want to share a room with my sister and play with our barbies and 3D puzzles. i want to poke at my baby brother, nguyen (who is 5 years younger than me) in the crib. i want to take my bike and ride through dirt mounds in the new development section in the neighborhood pretending i was an extreme mountain biker. i want to eat cheerios in the cry room of our old church.

take me back... before college wore me down, before high school stripped me of my shy veneer, before the awkwardness of middle school, before the days of gossip, girl drama, and every boy that broke my heart.

take me back...

before the divorce. before the backstabbing. before deciding between who gets what, what child gets to see which parent and when. before the lies, cold stares, and built up anger.

my favorite memory is the sweetest memory of my childhood. i'll hold it close to my heart. back when my parents didn't fight. my sister and i loved each other. the sun shone ever so softly...

it was a sunday. i don't remember nguyen being there, so i had to be 5 or younger. my sister, anh, only 2 years older, shared a bedroom with me. we laid down for a nap. i remember peacefully waking up to the sun shining on my face. the curtains waving in the summer breeze. i sat up and saw that my sister was waking up as well. we walked out to the kitchen. it was the cleanest i can remember it ever being. but one thing was left out. two big lollipops sticking out of a vase on the counter next to the fridge. we ran to the counter, grabbed the lollipops and went in search of a parent. and there was my mom, ironing clothes next to the basement door. the sun was all around her and filled the basement. it was beautiful. she just smiled and said, "did you find the candy? those are for you!" anh and i sat on the couch in the basement, ate our candy, and watched willy wonka.

i don't remember my house being so full of sunlight. i don't have another memory with such a feeling of pure innocence.

that's me on the left. i was cute back then. my sister, anh, is so loving. she's on the right.

don't worry, the nostalgia won't last long. i just needed to get it out there. i miss the earliest days of my life.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


i am well overdue for a post. like 4 or 5 months overdue? yes. yes yes yes. my last legit post was pretty much me venting out to the world. really to not many people since not that many people know i have this blog. well, maybe several people know about the blog but they don't comment? i digress. i was venting 4.5 months ago because i just couldn't bear the stress anymore. i couldn't bear the weight of the world on my shoulders alone. i needed to talk. i needed someone other than christopher to hold me up.

but i didn't feel like i could just call someone up and randomly butt into their happy little lives to complain about my problems. enter: my blog. my blog serves as somewhat of a de-stressing mechanism while still informing family, friends and the occasional random blogger about my life as i see it.

so here, you're going to find a compilation of blogs. everything ranging from my personal life, whether it be my joys or my tears, to life as i see it through my lens is up for grabs.

i hope that i will keep updated with this for at least once a week. i'll just go ahead and set the bar low on that one. hopefully i can get up to at least 4 times a week.

moving along... here's an update on our lives... sit back and enjoy the show.

post wedding

it has been 40 days since christopher and i walked down that aisle and 31 days since we've moved up here to michigan. and what a glorious roller coaster it has been! we've been trying to get settled in, finding a church that where we feel comfortable, getting christopher settled in at school, finding a job for christopher, keeping in touch with friends and family, all while trying to enjoy the beginning of forever together!

right now, christopher is at a job interview. we've been hard at work on this for some time now. we could have prayed more. would could have applied to more places. but really, life has just been a whirlwind of things. i pray so much that God places christopher where he is meant to be.

in God's hands

the day after our wedding, christopher's mother's side of the family met for breakfast at our hotel. christopher's grandpa bill sat by us and told us wonderful stories of his past marriage and his earlier years. afterwards, he took us aside, held our hands and told us he may not see us again, so he wanted to say a prayer with us. he asked God to bless our marriage and our health. while he prayed, i thanked God for allowing christopher and i to have this moment with grandpa bill. i thanked Him for this glimpse into grandpa bill's life and for the example christopher's grandparents have given us.

yesterday, we found out that christopher's grandfather passed away back in kansas. i'm not sure how to handle this one. it's been 18.5 years since my own grandfather passed away, and i still tear up about this. i mean, i was only 5. but i knew my grandfather. and i know he's in heaven. and i know that grandpa bill is up in heaven, reunited with his wife.

i am SO happy that christopher's grandparents get to meet my grandpa. i feel so relieved that my grandpa is able to meet some of christopher's family. it means a lot to me. with those three up there, i know that they will watch over us, praying for us and our marriage. i feel so blessed to have family in heaven rooting for us. it makes the hard times a little more bearable.


we still have many obstacles to overcome in the next few months. find a job. find a church. survive the michigan roads. get christopher up-to-date on his school work. finish unpacking. finish thank you notes. (yea, i still haven't sent out thank you notes from a wedding that happened a month and a half ago... go ahead. judge me all you want.)

however, even with all these obstacles, the greatest obstacle we have yet to tackle is to completely trust in our Lord. with complete trust, we have nothing to fear.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

a new book.

forget a new chapter in life, let's just make a whole 'nother book!

hopefully i will find more time to update on this blog! i would love to share not only my images here, but also my life. Since I haven't been going out with my camera, i'll just have to fill you in on what's up with christopher, macy and i here!

so stay tuned, hopefully i'll be posting more.