This story originally appeared in the July 2014 issue of our print edition.
Born in Vietnam during the fall of Saigon, followed by stints in a concentration camp and then a refugee camp in Malaysia, Allen had a childhood most people can’t begin to imagine. He came to the U.S. in 1980 at 6 years old. His world experiences led him to pick up a camera now and again throughout high school, but without the funds to support his film habit, Allen never fully committed to the profession. In 2011 he started to shoot again, focusing mostly on climbing. His wife, Heidi, recognized what he calls his “OCD for getting behind the lens and just holding down the button” and gifted Allen a DSLR. There was no looking back. As he says, “No one is safe from me and my camera.” Allen has had multiple editorial and commercial clients and shoots professionally in the U.S. and abroad.
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