Savoring the Moment

I just checked out of my hotel in Seoul, and was on my way to the subway. I had a bunch of bags I had to carry, and ended up missing two potential street photos I would have liked to capture:

One of the shots was a guy in a suit, with his suit jacket propped over his right shoulder with a finger. My camera was still in my bag.

The second shot was a muscular black man carrying an umbrella (similar to what old Korean ladies wore) also wearing spandex.

My camera was in my bag for both of these potential shots, so I missed the moment. However rather than being frustrated at myself for not taking the shots, I tried to savor the moment.

For example, I smiled at the muscular guy who walked by me and said “love your outfit.” He gave me a huge grin and smiled back and said, “Thank you.” His smile felt so warm and genuine.

This reminds me : I don’t need to capture a photo of everything I experience. Sometimes by not taking a photo of something, I better appreciate the moment and commit it to memory more.

So nowadays if I’m seeing fireworks with Cindy on new years, I try to purposefully put the camera away and just enjoy the moment.

Whenever I miss potential street photos, two thoughts come into my mind :

  1. Always have my camera around my neck (I never know when a good photo opportunity might arise).
  2. That was a nice moment I missed, but I’m glad I’m alive and experienced it.

Furthermore, missing the potential street photos from today further invigorated my love of street photography. I thought to myself, “Wow, life is pretty incredible and amazing. There are so many different colorful people on the streets, and all these wonderful moments happening all the time.”

So I guess in conclusion my thoughts contradict each other a bit: always have your camera with you (preferably around your neck or in your hand), but sometimes it is good to just savor and appreciate a moment (especially if you didn’t take a photo of it).

At the end of the day, I think experiencing a moment is much more valuable than capturing it.

Advice for Young Street Photographers

1x1.trans Advice for Young Street Photographers

Toronto, 2012

A few days ago I wrote a letter to my 18-year old self, and gave myself some advice on if I started street photography all over again. I told myself things I learned in the 8 years I’ve been taking street photos. I wish someone told me this when I started off.

Similarly, I was inspired to write this post for young street photographers starting off. I think this can apply to both young photographers (age wise) and also street photographers just starting off (young, experience-wise).

Here I go, I hope you enjoy :)

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Seoul Diary, 2014: Josh White and Documenting my Personal Journey

1x1.trans Seoul Diary, 2014: Josh White and Documenting my Personal Journey

Photo by Cindy

After being in Vietnam for about a month and a half, I am currently here in Seoul, Korea for a week. I’m primarily here on holiday, and wanted to have a chance to see my grandmother, some family, and some close friends here. In the spirit of my “Saigon diary” series– I wanted to share some personal reflections about my trip so far:

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Saigon Diary #7: Trip to Hanoi, Now in Seoul

1x1.trans Saigon Diary #7: Trip to Hanoi, Now in Seoul

Hanoi, 2014

This is the last installment of my “Saigon Diary” series. I plan to continue this “Diary” series moving forward in my travels.

I’m currently in Seoul. Just left Vietnam a week or so ago, so I wanted to share some reflections towards the end of the trip.

After a great time in Saigon, I headed up to Hanoi with Cindy. We didn’t have a real reason to go– we just wanted to check the place out (because it was so close in Vietnam).

Hanoi was a beautiful place. Much smaller than Saigon, a lot less hectic, and more peaceful. It felt almost like Paris in the sense that the streets were narrow, windy, and a bit random. But there was great beauty in the randomness of the city.

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Stories Behind The Photos: Dimitris Makrygiannakis and Kaushal Parikh

1x1.trans Stories Behind The Photos: Dimitris Makrygiannakis and Kaushal Parikh

Photo by Dimitris Makrygiannakis

A.g.’s note: We previously had the chance to feature That’s life street photography collective members Dimitris Makrygiannakis and Kaushal Parikh. Dimitris treated us with his Transformative Experience of shooting street photography abroad  and an interview Eric had with him about  Surrealism and Symbolism while Kaushal shared his thoughts on how he is Conquering the streets of Mumbai. They are back this time telling us stories behind some of their favorite the street shots. They also have a series of upcoming workshops. Details of it are at the bottom of the post.

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The Quick Straight Right of Sye Williams: Interview by Chris Stoltz

1x1.trans The Quick Straight Right of Sye Williams: Interview by Chris Stoltz

A.g.’s Note: Chris Stoltz shares to us one of his favorite photographers he got the privilege of shooting with, the L.A. based Sye Williams. Sye shares some of his inspirations, personal work, Photography Origins, and nuggets of wisdom. All of the photos are the respected copyright of Sye Williams. Here’s Chris with the interview:

Chris: Sye might be my new favorite photographer. I met him recently on a video shoot while working as a grip. He showed up because he was friends with the rest of the crew, arriving via skateboard. I hit it off with him immediately because he had a Leica M8 dangling over his shoulder. I asked him about his recent purchase and, in-between grabbing lights and helping with the video, he told me how his career in photography started.

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Alec Soth Advice on Approaching Strangers, Working on Projects, Photographing Abroad, and More

1x1.trans Alec Soth Advice on Approaching Strangers, Working on Projects, Photographing Abroad, and More

Copyright: Alec Soth / Magnum Photos

While in NYC, I visited the ICP bookstore and picked up “Ping Pong Conversations: Alec Soth with Francesco Zanot a lovely photobook/series of interview questions. I found it to have lots of great wisdom regarding photographing strangers, editing, and projects.

I copied my favorite excerpts which I found was particularly helpful, especially to those of you who want to be more serious about your photography and projects. Read more to learn from him!

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A Letter to My 18 Year Old Self: If I Started Street Photography All Over Again

1x1.trans A Letter to My 18 Year Old Self: If I Started Street Photography All Over Again

Dear Eric,

You are 18 years old. You just got a point and shoot digital camera from Mom as a high school graduation present. You are super excited, as you never had a camera before. A lot of exciting things will happen in your life surrounding photography. I wanted to write this letter to you and give you some advice I wish I knew. This is coming from your 26-year-old-self.

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