How did you get started?
When I was a kid my family lived on Jeju Island for a year. My dad took a bunch of photos while we were there. After we moved back home he gave slide shows for friends. That’s when I first became interested in photography. Later I took a class in college where we developed our own black and white film. I loved it but thought the process was too slow and expensive for a poor college student. Then in 2007 I took a trip around Mongolia, China, and Korea with my first digital point and shoot camera. I was hooked after that.
How do you get inspired?
I go out and shoot. Action leads to inspiration for me. I’m not always motivated to take photos, just like I’m not inspired to go to the gym. But after I workout I feel good. It makes me want to do it more. The same goes for photography. In fact, I’ve produced some of my best work when I’m least inspired. I’ve also created my share of crap. It doesn’t matter though. Cultivating a creative practice is my goal and inspiration. Like Picasso said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
One of your favorite photos
Some of my best memories are from these night photographs of Busan. I like the vibrant colors and bright lights of Korean cities. Also, Busan is my Korean home, the place where I learned about photography and made some great friends who share a similar passion. It’s not just the images but the stories and people behind them I value most.
Your plan 5 years from now
Travel. Shoot. Share. Repeat.
Reveal one of your secrets
Start a project. Pick a theme. Set a goal. Shoot it. Don’t take on something so big that it prevents you from completing it. Start small. Shoot 10 portraits of people in your neighborhood. Photograph your cat in kids clothing. Take a photo a day for 21 days. It doesn’t matter. Just do it for you. Not for someone else. And don’t do it for money, although your project could lead to a paying gig. Also, a voice in your head might tell you that you don’t have enough time, money, or the right gear to complete your project. Ignore it. Go and shoot. Go and create.