Hi, my name is Xiaopan Xue (pronounced shee-yow pan sh-way), and I am the CEO and founder of Xiaopan Xue Photography. Here’s what you need to know about me:
I am a lifestyle and branding photographer based in Southern California.
I am a proud queer, Chinese-American child of immigrants.
My pronouns are she/her/她.
My core business values are authenticity, connectivity, and social justice. You can read more about this on my values page.
I love to spend time with my wonderful wife and fur baby Leni (since you asked, she’s a shih-tzu pug mix), playing my Nintendo Switch, or baking.
My life would not be complete without reality TV. You can catch my commentary on my IG story when shows like The Bachelor/ette air.
I love McDonald’s because of its sentimental value for me. I won’t stop going!
I am ridiculously passionate about my clients.
Being photographed can be a very vulnerable but rewarding experience. Because of this, I am invested in creating deep relationships with my clients because I believe that each and every one of them is absolutely worth it. I believe that everyone has a story that is worth sharing with the universe.
Growing up, I watched my dad document event after event, detail after detail. We would roll our eyes on vacation because we would only get a few steps further before stopping because Dad, pointing his Nikon D700 with his eyes scrunched up, needed to get the perfect shot. He would always walk back up to us and say, “You’ll regret not capturing these moments now. Who will tell our story if we don’t?”
In high school, I went to a leadership conference in Fresno and asked my dad if I could bring our small point and shoot camera. I wanted to take selfies and mirror pics with my friends in our snazzy hotel room. (I was really cool, and you would have wanted to be my friend, ok?) I came back with a lot of cool pictures I couldn’t wait to upload to Facebook. My dad excitedly pointed to an overhead shot I took of the hotel courtyard filled with bright red umbrellas. “This is the photo that proves you have a good eye! You have to take my camera and use it. Don’t throw this talent away.” I just kind of laughed and told my dad he didn’t know what he was talking about but took the camera anyway. And then the idea for a graduation gift to my friends changed my life.
College was the vehicle that allowed me to take photography seriously. I proudly identify as a first-gen college student and carried my ancestors’ dreams and stories with me on campus. I grew up in a low-income household where both parents worked blue collar jobs in Chinese restaurants. Because of this, I became creative with gift giving. In undergrad, I decided to gift my graduating friends with graduation photoshoots. I figured that if I couldn’t buy them something nice, then I could capture an achievement that meant a lot to them.
I never dreamt that I would end up booking dozens of graduation sessions. I would later go on to create this business and a photography experience for my clients that is entirely and uniquely Me. Best of all, I’ve built so many deeply rewarding and authentic relationships with my clients so that I could tell their stories and show them that they matter.
Today, I use my business to empower clients to be their authentic selves in front of the camera so that they can tell their own stories. My dream is to one day own a million dollar business that brings photography to every single person of color, woman, and LGBTQ-identified human.
Monday through Friday, I work full time as an educator. (Yes, I moonlight as a lifestyle and branding photographer when I’m not helping students.) I work at a university, educating and advising student leaders, giving them the same type of mentorship and guidance that I received as an undergraduate.
Any free time I have is spent on playing board games with my wife and friends, at the drive-in movie theatre, or reading a good book! I’m destined for that retired life tbh…
I’m a foodie at heart and I. LOVE. EATING. I love trying new foods but also ordering my favorite at a restaurant. I love all things combination savory and sweet. I like dimension and texture. I like expecting the unexpected.
Escape rooms are my vice… is what my wallet would say. I would say they’re well worth every penny. Well, most of them. I’ve done over 25 and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
photos edited since 2013 and counting
corny jokes made per photo session
comfortable jumpsuits bought and counting (they are a necessity for a photographer who will get into just about any pose to get the shot)