Ever wonder how a hot summer day in Seoul might feel like? Jiuk Kim’s wonderful series will get you an idea. Jiuk was also kind enough to answer our questions.
Where are you from, how old are you?
Hi ! I’m Jiuk Kim and I’m from jeju island in korea but currently living in Berlin 🙂 28 years old.
Would you like to tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be a photographer?
When l was little l got used to archiving things. Like by writing a journal and drawing pictures alongside. At the time I became a middle school student, digital cameras were newly released. I was very eager to have one and my father suggested me an offer for getting the very first camera of mine. The offer from my dad was to get a specific score in school test and finally l won a bet.
Everyday I took pictures of my friends and things which were all around me, my life was becoming much more special. For me it was very fascinating that the camera can keep and freeze the moment which vanishes away. Also l was really appreciated of all the compliments of my photography from my friends. But hobbies itself was a big thirst to me, so I had to leave to find something to stimulate me more.
The city full of strange, BERLIN. Since I moved here, photography has become a serious life beyond a hobby. Without photography now, there is NO reason for me to be here.
Do you professionally work as a photographer?
Yes, after l defined myself as a photographer l slowly got a freelance job. l still don’t like the term ‘professional photographer’, I dealt with various areas of photography like street, food, event, and fashion production. From these experiences I found what I really liked and what I did well. These days I’m more into fashion production and portraits.
Why do you like to take analog pictures? Do you shoot digital as well?
I used to shoot digital and analog at the same time until 2016. Analog photography makes me more focused, and my approach allows me to feel closer to the subject I’m shooting. Especially I like the view that only l can look through, l feel I’m more connected between the object and me. Also doing a whole precess like developing, scanning and retouching by myself makes deep affection to analog photography. It’s all from me, entirely my thing. I can not see the result immediately after taking a photo, so I cherish my one and only moments. Since then I’ve sold out all of my digital cameras and I’ve been sticking to film photography for three years. 35mm, 120mm, polaroids l tried whatever l could and l became more aware of myself as a photographer. l’m not saying l’m against to digital. I have enough will, if I need it at any time.
Do you have a favorite subject to photograph? If so, why?
As l referred above, l basically love to shoot people. I’m inspired from their twinkling eyes. l love the appeal to the concentration from the viewfinder to models. These days l try to shoot more fashion production because I enjoy works in a team project which resulted in nice collaboration. I always liked doing things by myself, but l got interested in the fashion work where the experts from each field are gathered together is really awesome! 🙂
You recently sent us a series that you took in Korea. Could you tell us a little bit what you had in mind when shooting?
This series from Seoul was in the middle of a walk with my friends (Yoonsu & Seoken). It is not really special but l want to capture our adventure of ‘the very hot summer in today’s Seoul’. Shooting at the playground was actually not in our original plan. The toy plane also belongs to the kids who were at the place and they kept watching us with full curiosity. They thought my friend was a famous actress so they screamed out to her with a smile. At that time, I tried keeping back my laughter but finally we took a photo together. Right after that we suddenly found a balloon on the road and while I was taking a picture of my friend with a balloon, it popped and got caught by her hair. It was a full day with lots of happenings and everything was in the right time.
Do you have a favorite analog camera?
l worked in the film lab for almost 3 years. l was exposed to various cameras, films and photographers’ work and came to know that the gear does not mean much. At first, real ability is to make their own color. Of course, there may be individual cameras associated with each photographer, but because it is the equipment that best expresses itself, not the picture quality. If l really have to choose only one special camera, is the first camera l brought in Berlin, the Canon prima zoom 70f.
It was an old camera from my dad, he used to take my family pictures with it when I was a child.
What’s your favorite revolog film?
Well, it’s still hard to tell because I have not experienced every revolog films yet. Revolog is a very creative experiment for me. One could say film photography is unpredictable, l can say Revolog is never to be known. l tried Dubblefilm Pacific last month, the effects of it was not excessive, and tone down is done calmly.
Do you have a favourite photograph that you took (revolog or not) that you would like to share with us (and the story behind it)?
Answering this question is still very difficult for me. The each picture I take is so precious because I really love taking pictures generally. I’ve been thinking for a long time, but I cannot tell my ‘favorite picture’ yet. Every picture has a story behind. It is good because it is good and it is GOOD because it is NOT GOOD.
Any advice for other aspiring photographers?
I have not learned photography in school, learned by myself, so all I could do was experiencing as much as l could. There is no right answer in the photography. It would be better if you could get crazy about your work. The amount of work is very important, but it is much important to experience a lot of trial and error. Learning through mistakes is a greater learning process than any of the content in the book.
Do you have any future projects you’d like to talk about?
Currently l try to make own personal projects monthly, it should not be overwhelming or compulsive however. It’s already been 10 days after the last summer holiday in Korea. Upcoming project is about summer in Berlin. ♥
Thank you, Jiuk!