photographer | director


Give and Take

Since coming to Italy, I have been overwhelmed with the glossiness of fashion magazine-like characters walking around the city. God knows I do love Durham, but it unfortunately lacks the groomed refinement of the Milanese.

If cameras had years like a dog has canine years, I'd say Nelson has reaching his teething stage. He's chewing and biting his way to snap everything in sight. Every where I turn there's something to shoot. My camera went crazy in Rome- with good reason though. Aster, my first "muse"- was such a great subject to capture on camera. She has a child-like buoyancy that magnetizes and the inner calmness of a Diana. If Leonardo da Vinci had painted Mona Lisa's whole body, I'm sure we would have found black steel converse pumps with rainbow shoe laces over her striped leggings-- a la inspiration di Aster.

I took at least 600 pictures in one day in Rome, of which one was a true gem. See below. It captures Aster with Roman-esque frivolity. Aster posted this picture, and within 24 hours it got 124 likes on Facebook.

The response to the picture got me hungrier to take more pictures of people. I was thinking about what models I would use, and then it dawned on me that I was surrounded by models. Everywhere I looked people were taking selfies. I like to call selfies- braggarts. They are all at once narcissistic (showing off on 'gram or FB status) and beautifully intimate, as a portrait ought to be. Though I do love seeing selfies, I imagine that there are many that wish someone else could take the picture, especially those people with obnoxiously short arms.

Then I thought to myself, the next time I see some braggarts, I'll ask if they want me to take a picture. I started doing this at the Colosseum, where there are countless braggarts, and I loved the response I got. Everyone's reaction was nearly the same, a bit surprised for a split second but very eager to jump on the chance. I met people from Brazil, Italy, Norway, and Taiwan. It was a lot of fun.

In return, I thought I could ask those whom I found interesting for a portrait with my camera. See below. These two are in front of the Spanish steps, sweet couple. I had fun snapping away at them. They were so natural about me taking their picture.

So thank you Rome for teaching me about the art of give and take.

Genevieve KimComment