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Meet Dustin Tran of Sixpounders Creative in North County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dustin Tran.

Dustin, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was first introduced to photography and creative arts when I was a kid. I remember on family vacations, my dad would bring his film camera and video camera everywhere to capture moments and turn them into memories for the future. Funny thing is, I hated when he would do that! As I got older, I understood why he did the things he did and I began to appreciate the art. My interest in creative arts really started when I was in high school.

Growing up in San Diego, the surf culture was instilled in me. As a kid, I had trouble in school. Focusing on books and studying was a far fetched concept. Yup, I was the kid who had to be separated from the other kids for talking too much in class and couldn’t sit still if my life depended on it. Turns out, I have ADHD! Surfing was the first thing I could remember that really calmed my mind. It brought me from 100 thoughts a minute to ONE; serenity. Something about the feeling of riding a wave and just being in the water was unlike any other feeling I had felt and I was addicted. The activity was beautiful. Even just watching other people surf was calming and I wanted to capture these small moments. When I was a senior in high school, photography was one of the electives my school offered. Without even batting an eye, I knew it was the elective I wanted to take and so I signed up. I would take pictures of anything and everything. That class changed my perspective on things. I had to learn the basics when it came to lighting, composition, and I even learned how to develop the film. My parents bought me my first camera as a Christmas gift and from then on out, I would bring my camera everywhere I could.

As I got older, life happened as it does for everyone. College, jobs, friends, family. Finding a balance was difficult and I lost track of the activities that truly made me feel at peace. I went to San Diego State University for a bit with a major in business management. Being a kid with a hyperactive mind, I quickly came to find that college would not be any easier than school was in the past. Words in textbooks were just words on a page with no meaning, numbers in equations were puzzles that I had trouble making sense of, and science was a completely foreign concept to me altogether. Creating art in any form was the only thing that made sense.

I ended up getting a job for a company creating content for their products. I came to realize that I could do the same thing for myself and so after a couple of years with that company, I took a leap of faith and started my creative marketing agency.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has definitely not been a smooth road nor is every month easier than the last. Companies tend to push marketing aside before anything else and several don’t like to invest in quality creatives. Several brands will higher a photographer but that is where I set myself apart from other people doing what I do. You can hand anyone a camera and with today’s technology and access to tutorials, they can take a decent picture. Thus the industry is saturated with “photographers”. The difference between a good creative and a great one is the ability to tell a story. The ability to make people feel a connection to the brand. Not only that, but marketing goes beyond just taking a picture. There are very specific strategies that are different for every brand that must be implemented to create value and generate revenue. The hardest part is getting companies to understand the difference between a photographer and someone who understands brand strategy and development. That is why I don’t like to label myself as just a photographer. Brands these days will just try to higher the cheapest photographer and they don’t realize that this could hurt their companies more than help them.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
My business is Sixpounders Creative. I specialize in brand strategy and development. This is done through several avenues such as content creation (i.e. photography, videography, graphic design), strategic planning, building relationships with partners, and more. Our goal is to help build your brand to be one that people care about. Not just another clothing brand, not just another fitness brand, whatever it may be, we don’t want you to be “just another” which there are already too many of. Having been in the marketing industry for about 4 years now, I have built relationships with very diverse groups of people from various industries including other content creators that will tell your story exactly how you envision it. Not only content creators but distribution companies, influencers, etc. I have several clients that I have built relationships with and have seen consistent growth over the years. We believe in long term relationships. The reason for this is because growth doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to grow and we want to be there along side you the whole time while we figure out exactly what’s working and what isn’t so that we can help build a company that will be around for years to come.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
San Diego is a great city for a business like mine. New brands are launching all the time. The key is how to set yourself apart from the others. Not only for startups but even for me which is why I pride my business in more than just photography.

Contact Info:

  • Phone: (858) 780-6367
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @sixpounders

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