Q&A: Meet the Sacramento photographer who is now a TikTok sensation

David Suh gives insight into his world of photography

Patrick Posuniak

Adeola Ogunsanya

David Suh’s passion for photography began in seventh grade, when he used to dance, which led to him wanting to document his dances by posting videos on YouTube. 

Now, the 26-year-old Sacramento-based photographer has acquired a massive following of 1.6 million followers on TikTok and 75.5 thousand on Instagram due to his fun and creative style of picture taking.   

Suh said his inspiration to photograph people came from wanting to help others feel empowered in the way that they view themselves. 

Suh currently has his own studio located in Sacramento and his own website at davidsuhphotography.com. He says he receives 20 to 30 inquiries per month for photographs and that all of the sessions have to be scheduled ahead of time. He talked about how each of his sessions begins with a phone call and how he has his clients take a look at different mood boards for the photoshoots.

The State Hornet talked with Suh about his inspiration to photograph people and what goes into each photoshoot.


@davidsuh✨it’s the ✌🏼and 👉🏼👈🏼 and ❤️ for me✨ #FeelingGood #xgamesmode #notaperfectperson #posingtips #fashioninspo♬ Tokyo Drift – Xavier Wulf

Question: What made you decide to get into photography?

Answer: As a kid growing up, around high school, I took photos of everything, videos of everything, and I became that media kid. Sport events, hangouts, picnics, and I was just there taking photos. That is how I got started with photography.

Q: Can you please tell me about the process of how you capture each of your images?  

A: It all starts with a phone call that I have with my clients. We have style consultations, and we have an extensive back-and-forth communication in building the mood board, styling and shoots and letting me know about any of their past experiences that they want me to know about. It’s really just about creating a space in my studio that’s comfortable, that makes them feel safe and feel confident and at the same time, having a professional hair and make-up artist and just connecting with them emotionally. That way it just helps me create the kind of work that I do.

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Q: What inspired you to focus on body positivity in your work?

A: I just focus on photographing the person and helping them celebrate whoever they are at that moment. I could see why people tie me in to body positivity, I don’t know if I would necessarily label myself that, for me again it’s just about bringing someone to the studio and saying, “Hey, you can have balls or not have balls, but I just want you to be able to say you’re beautiful, and I want to be able to show that so you can celebrate that.”


Q: What made you begin to utilize TikTok in the way you’ve been doing through photography as a way to get your point across to people?     

A: I don’t think there was ever a time where I was trying to get my point across to people. It was the mere joy of what I do that I wanted to share with people, and that includes everything that has to do with photography, and what I love to do, and the love for my job, and the love I get to give to my clients, and the same thing that I receive back. That’s what I wanted to do on TikTok.    

Q: How do you think your approach towards empowerment and positivity impacts your clients?    

A: I mean, it’s priceless. They get to see themselves in a way that they don’t usually get to see themselves. We’re so used to seeing ourselves in a certain perception, a very biased perception when we’re seeing ourselves in the mirror. We grew up with that. It’s very mundane towards us. We might even pass negative associations toward ourselves when we’re looking at ourselves and their reflection. 

It’s almost like a Rubik’s Cube. We only get to see one side, and I like to see it as being able to show someone all six sides and show them how I see, and I’m sure of how a lot of people are not seeing how other people see them. Again, providing them with that physical proof where we’re told that we’re beautiful many times. For me, it’s being able to show that physical proof to my clients, I mean, it’s priceless.    


Q: Since you work mainly in the Sacramento area, have you ever considered going more international in the future?  

A: Yeah, especially with the wider audience that I have through social platforms, I get inquiries from people all around the world who want to have an awesome portrait experience. A lot of these people either never even had any experience or had a poor experience before, and they want to know what a good photography, portrait experience feels like. 

I mean, with the state of the world right now, obviously it’s not so feasible, but I am working on what I call “The David Suh Photography Destinations,” mailing lists, email lists where people can sign up, and if I get enough inquiries from that city, I’ll be arranging something to go out and do a David Suh tour and get clients there and hopefully that can be more of a global thing when the pandemic dies down.