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Photographer: KangHee Kim
Location: I am based in Brooklyn. I like the energy that Brooklyn offers and my neighborhood is not as crazy as Manhattan yet.
Style: I enjoy shooting still life the most. I kept shooting and my style developed naturally.
Equipment: I shoot with a Nikon D810 and ProPhoto B2 heads. I use photoshop for post editing. I also have a 20-300mm Nikon AF-S NIKKOR lens.
Photography is all about capturing that moment. What’s the secret?
I don’t know if I would necessary say photography is all about capturing moments but it’s definitely a crucial part. I am pretty obsessed with recording stuff I see every day. A lot of my inspiration comes from the things I see on the street or at 99 cent stores, or finding refreshing or unexpected elements from familiar environments.
How did you get into photography? Tell us about your first experience.
I got into photography by messing around with my iPhone camera and Instagram. I started taking photos of things that I like. I never knew I would get so into photography at the time. It was in my junior year of college, and I was curious about how cameras worked and took a black and white photo class. I studied painting in college so I’m basically a self-taught photographer. I started using cameras intuitively.
Tell us the story behind one of the most memorable photos you’ve shot.
I got my first assignment from Popular Mechanics not been too long after I started taking photos in my senior year in college. I took a portrait of Carl Hoffman who is the author of Savage Harvest, as well as still life of the stuff that he carries around when he’s traveling. I went to DC from Baltimore carrying all of my gear, alone with zero experience, which was nerve wracking. I arrived at Carl’s house and it was pretty messy and there was no space for me to shoot, so I had to clean his house a bit before I started shooting. He ended up driving me back to the train station in his antique window and doorless Jeep Wrangler. It was a pretty wild first assignment.
What is a constant source of inspiration for you as a photographer?
I am very responsive to my surroundings so what I see everyday is my main source of inspiration. I enjoy bringing out traits every object offers such as colors and shapes. Maybe that’s why I like shooting still life.
Who has been a great influence or mentor to you and what did you learn from them that you still carry with you today?
I get great influences from great artists I’ve known. My older brother, Minku Kim, who is a painter, was my biggest influence when I first decided to pursue and study art. Jo Smail, who was my professor from college, has been a great mentor who encouraged me to believe in myself and my intuitions and always be ready for luck.
Tell us three photography tips.
I’d say shoot a lot. That is the only way to get better and figure out your interests and style.
Finish the sentence.
If I weren’t afraid I would… get tattoos.
I wouldn’t be where I am today if… I hadn’t moved to the States.
I’ve been listening to… Stevie Wonder and Hyukoh.
Kids these days… are robots.
I look and feel my best when… I am being myself.
When no one is looking I… take photos.
Traveling… outside of the States is my dream. Currently, I’m not allowed to step outside from the States because of my visa status.
I respect… my parents.