Who is Dave Wong?


Place of Birth

I was born and raised in San Francisco’s Chinatown and Richmond districts, and remember fondly going on family outings to the Marina, Golden Gate Park, Baker’s and Ocean Beach, etc.

I speak Cantonese fairly well (okay) and some Mandarin.

Education and Background

I am a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Film Studies program, and have additional experience in graphic design, illustration, web design and programming, and now a would-be novelist, too.

Film Studies

I had grown up on a lot of old movies, back in the days when having cable meant getting AMC (American Movie Classics) — before today’s deluge of digital media.

And what’s more, movies are simply series of still images strung together, playing at 24 frames per second, and thus creating the illusion of motion (due to a physiological phenomenon known as persistence of vision).

So my transition to still photography should not be all that surprising. Both media are ways to tell stories.

Graphic Design

At the same time, I had an earlier stint in college studying graphic design, which further helped develop my sense of aesthetics. After all, they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But some things — certain angles, ratios, color combinations — are worth analyzing, if only one should learn the rules before breaking them.

Comic Book Illustration

As we travel further back on my road to photography, we find that my first forays into storytelling come from reading and drawing comic books. In fact, my very first career choice when I was but a wee lad was to become a comic book artist. I actually drew my own comics from 7th grade on for over 10 years, and even have several published comic books to prove it!

Again, it was all about telling stories.


Speaking of stories, I just participated in — and won! — NaNoWriMo, the annual National Novel Writing Month contest. You can read about that here.


As such, photography was always something I was interested in, if not just to take photos of various San Francisco neighborhoods for reference material for my illustrations.

But being a starving artist precluded spending money on film and developing, and so it wasn’t until digital cameras came onto the scene that I really cut my teeth on this discipline.

Beginning in 1999 or so — when I purchased my first digital point-and-shoot camera, a Canon Powershot S10, a 2.1 megapixel beauty that, with extra battery and whopping 512MB memory card that set me back a cool $1K — I embarked on my journey into photography.

I had been learning and doing the swing dance called Lindy Hop for a couple of years, and so naturally, the first photos from my “Phase II” photo era were that of swing dancers.

Years went by, and finally, I purchased my first DSLR, the Canon 10D, and shot my first wedding (digitally) in 2003.

I haven’t looked back since.