I wanted to make movies. That’s how my photography career began back in 2007. Burnt out, unemployed, and ready for change, I spontaneously applied for work in South Korean and landed (no pun intended) a job to teach English.
It looked like a great opportunity to save up for film school while getting in touch with my family’s roots.
After a few months of working, and with a visit from my friend Liz who acted as translator, I bought a Canon 40D and a lens.
At first, I didn’t like my photographs. The composition was okay — but they didn’t have that magazine look.
So I started researching and asking questions. Jessica Lam of Studio Lapin told me it’s 50% photography and 50% editing, so I started using Photoshop. I bought a new lens, looked up techniques, and put myself out there.
There was a director/screenwriter from Canada who put up an ad looking for someone to edit a script. When I sent in an email, they said the script was already good to go, but they needed a continuity supervisor.
The skeleton crew was made up of a director of photography (Michael), a boom mic operator (David), and a few actors and actresses. Michael, the screenwriter/director/actor who was a professional casting director and actor, let me bring my camera to the shoots.
My stayed in South Korea lasted for two years. I photographed actors and actresses, an aspiring model, punk bands, and various landscapes in South Korea, Japan, and China. But it wasn’t until I came home in 2009, that I decided to make photography a career.
I came up with the name Candor Studios because of what it meant to me. I wanted to capture photographs of the moment — of what was there in front of my camera.
Photography to me is an art, and art reflects the personality of the person that creates it. But I consider photography to be a collaborative effort between the photographer and the subjects.
For the last four years, I’ve collaborated with business people, dancers, newscasters, radio personalities, families, and couples saying, “I do.”
I’ve seen my photographs on print, on Facebook profiles, on advertisements, business cards, and in picture frames. As I’m writing this, I’m looking forward to several projects which will display photographs I’ve taken on vinyls wrapped around a car and a large garage bay door for a local sign maker.
Photography has taken me places, and it’s introduced me to fascinating people. The saying, A picture is worth a thousand words, means so much more to me now. A photograph of a newborn baby brings to mind all of the hopes and fears, the dreams, the achievements, and the hours, minutes, and seconds that came before and will come after that one quick moment the camera’s shutter clicked. From a photograph of a couple getting married, it’s the culmination of a courtship that came together in a beautiful ceremony that took hours to plan. There are minute details, like the dress fit for a blushing bride, the groom’s best friends in a line, and a polished ring covered in fingerprints as it’s fit over a finger.
Memories like these should be kept.