Hanoi, 2017 #cindyproject. Silhouette, see the negative space to the left of her, which allows her to exit the frame.

Image-Driven Society

Hanoi Cindy silhouette
Hanoi, 2017 #cindyproject

What is an image, and why is it important? And how is it related to photography, and how does it affect our personal lives and the society in which we live in?

Hanoi, 2017

We live in an image-driven society.

We curate our “image” by showing our best selves on social media. We curate our idealized image of ourselves through the car we drive, the clothes we wear, how we walk, how we talk, and how we interact with others.

Hanoi, 2017

In photography, we create images.

To me, an image is an impression of the external world, digitized into pixels on a screen. We aren’t really making photos or pictures anymore…but rather images for others to consume, share, and intake.

Hanoi, 2017

Images fascinate me in many ways.

First, an image creates an emotional response. The aesthetics of an image are important. How does an image change your feelings, and outlook of the world? Do images uplift you or depress you?

Hanoi, 2017

Unfortunately, we are drowning in a sea of images. Images constantly barraging our eyeballs via screens. Screens on our phones, tablets, refrigerators, cars, laptops, at work, and advertisements and billboards. Just consider, how often do you look at screens? Better yet, consider when you don’t look at a screen, if ever.

Hanoi, 2017

Obviously images are important in society. Images dominate advertising, our social lives, and how we present ourselves to others.

We decorate our homes to create an idealized image of ourselves. Are we modern, trendy, and “cultured?” Or do we go more for that old-school rustic look? Do our clothes curate an image of being some hipster who still grows his own potatoes and drives a tractor?

And in terms of photography, what kind of images are we trying to make? What statements are we trying to say about society?

Hanoi, 2017

For me, I’m trying to create images that reflect how I see the world and modern society. Partly pessimistic of consumerism, the culture of materialism, and ennui. But at the same time, hopeful and optimistic for individual change and freedom.

Photo by Cindy

I’m also trying to create images of GRATITUDE– gratitude of being alive, and for my loved ones like Cindy. Because we all share the same fate – death.

Hanoi, 2017

Sorry I’m rambling random thoughts, but as a takeaway, just consider what kind of personal and social purpose your photography is for.

  1. Why do you make photos?
  2. For whom do you shoot for?
  3. What kind of statements are you saying about society through your photos?

Love to hear your thoughts and ideas on ERIC KIM FORUM.


Hands of a 92 year old woman. Hanoi, 2017
Hands of a 92 year old woman. Hanoi, 2017
Scroll to Top