People say that if you pursue what you’re passionate about, then you won’t work a day in your life. But how do you turn your hobby or favorite past time into a lucrative business? For this #WebsiteWednesday we interviewed a .xyz adopter with one of the coolest jobs we’ve ever heard of. Learn how music photographer and videographer William Zhang made his dream a reality and created the website he needed to prove his skills: wearehypothetical.xyz.
wearehypothetical.xyz is the online portfolio of Sydney-based arts and entertainment photographer and videographer William Zhang. He’s traveled the world capturing photos and videos at music festivals like Lollapalooza, Electric Daisy Carnival Japan, and Falls Festival. His portfolio features some of music’s biggest names, including Flume, Odesza, and Anderson Paak.
I’ve always been fond of band tour videos, short films, ads, and music videos. During high school, I would go down the rabbit hole on Vimeo and Reddit watching the aforementioned content trying to dissect how stuff was shot. Being that engaged in something, you obviously want to give it a go yourself. Film school being out of the question, I made an assumption photography would be a good place to start and that shooting live music would be the lowest barrier of entry to achieving the first goal of making tour content. I also love a wide variety of music genres so it was a natural fit. I transitioned into video about 2 years ago and have a long journey ahead.
EDC Japan. It started pouring during Alison Wonderland’s set to the point where the water on stage was about a centimetre or two tall. She continued playing to an enthusiastic Japanese crowd in ponchos and, of course, I kept shooting with a towel over my camera. It was one of those moments where the show goes on and you gotta think fast but the content was definitely unique compared to other shows thanks to the heavy rain.
Around mid-late 2015. [The process was] quite easy thanks to the rise of content management platforms that anyone can use. The initial set up process was easy and getting the site live with content was intuitive thanks to the well thought out UX design.
‘xyz’ has futuristic and abstract connotations. They’re typically letters used in product models or in popular culture to denote that something (usually a machine) is advanced or is categorised to do a cool thing to its other counterparts. It also matched with my brand name ‘hypothetical’ which ties to the similar connotations around possibilities and ideas.
For starters, it’s my portfolio so it’s typically someone’s first impression of the stuff I make. Thankfully it’s left a good impression to most people I’ve sent it to, so that’s maximised the opportunities I get. In my other job within marketing analytics and automation, it’s a cool thing to show people when I tell them I’m a photographer/videographer and that I’m actually serious about it in the age of everyone having a camera.
I’m still well in my early days despite the cool opportunities I’ve received. For advice, reach out to as many people as you can and shoot as much as you can. The more you do stuff the better you get, obviously. To overcome the catch 22 of how to get gigs when you don’t have a portfolio, shoot anything that’s accessible (landscapes, portraits of your friends) to show you have a good eye and can use a camera.
Will has turned his music photography and videography dreams into a reality and he has the .xyz website to prove it. Having a top-notch website professionally showcases his talent and expertise and enables him to easily share his work with clients. Follow Will on Instagram with @Will.Hypothetical to stay up-to-date on the latest shows he captures, or contact him by email. Do you need a place to showcase your work and turn your hobby into a reality? You can head to Squarespace to register your .xyz domain name and build your website today!