The Fresh List: Joyce Kim
I have a horrible memory, so it came from wanting to record good memories. [It was] around 15 years old, when I was super angsty and just wanted a way to connect with my friends and surroundings. My mom did an incredible job at documenting my entire childhood, so I think I got some of that from her without realizing it.
Meditative, quiet, minimal, and natural.
A Canon 5D Mark III I bought less than a year ago—up until that point I had primarily shot on film. I’m used to a digital camera now and I shoot with it the most often, but if I had it my way I would always shoot with my Mamiya 7.
What is the biggest influence on your work?
I’m most inspired by travel and new places, and I’m most excited to shoot in a new environment. When I’m on the road I always want to bring my camera; I’m so obsessed with the world.
Who has been your favorite person to photograph?
Ty Dolla $ign. He was so generous with his time and hung out with me for the entire day.
Where are your favorite places you've taken photos?
Japan and Korea.
Favorite time of the day to shoot?
It’s hard to deny the golden hour. If I can get up that early, really early morning when the light's just coming out… nothing beats the sunrise or the afternoon sunset.
Who are some up-and-coming photographers we should be watching out for?
Daniel Shea, John Francis Peters, Milan Zrnic, Stephanie Gonot, Amy Elkins, Zoe Ghertner.
What do you think separates you from your peers?
I used the word meditative to describe my work because it very much describes my process; I take a lot of time to consider whether something’s a good image. I don’t even want to post a photo that I think is even touching on mediocre. I only want to show my very best all of the time. I really focus on a strong composition instead of letting a celebrity carry an image. I want to make sure all of the elements are harmonious. I think that consideration and that ability to take things a little bit slower and sit with it translates through my work.
How do you keep your work fresh and continue to evolve?
Technology! The acquisition of this new digital camera has been a huge inspiration and motivation to keep shooting. I think embracing new technology and realizing how powerful it actually is, is what's getting me excited again. All of it is very scary but important for my growth as a photographer.
What do you hope your photos convey?
I think every photo I take is a direct reflection of myself and how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking. I think the fact that I try to find a lot of stillness in my work, the overarching feeling is maybe taking a moment and trying to find something genuine. I want to shoot as naturally as possible, beyond just using natural light. I want to capture people and not pose them. Catching something real and making it feel genuine.
What's the best piece of photography advice you've ever gotten?
At the end of the day, just always make sure it’s an image that I like and I’m using my own voice. Take all the rest into consideration, and stick to an assignment but not lose sight of an image that you want to shoot.
When do you feel most alive?
I like when I hike to the top of something tall. I really like to get up high—walk, climb—and when I can look really far into the distance over a landscape… I feel pretty awesome.
What are your top five obsessions at the moment?
Green juice, my beanie, Canada, RunKeeper and seaweed.
What's coming up next for you?
Right now I’m heading to San Francisco to shoot a feature story for a magazine. Beyond that I’m just really trying to take control of my freelance life and travel abroad at least twice this year. And I want to just keep taking pictures!