An interview with photojournalist Yunghi Kim about the power of women photojournalists and how to be successful in the field.
It is difficult to quickly sum up the ongoing career of photojournalist Yunghi Kim. Yunghi simply has too much personal energy, global photojournalism chops, and a record of giving back to the photographic community. In particular, Yunghi is known for her support of women photojournalists.
Yunghi Kim, decorated photojournalist and 20 year member of Contact Press Images, is bringing more than turkey to Thanksgiving this year. In an email to me, she announced that she is donating $10,000 to create ten one-time grants of $1,000 with money that
Yunghi Kim, decorated photojournalist and 20 year member of Contact Press Images, is bringing more than turkey to Thanksgiving this year. In an email to me, she announced that she is donating $10,000 to create ten one-time grants of $1,000 with money that she has received “from fees recovered from unauthorized use of my work.”
After traveling the world on assignment, Yunghi Kim discovered that taking pictures in Sunset Park’s Chinatown was a lot harder.
Yunghi Kim often pretended she wasn’t taking photographs when she started documenting Sunset Park’s Chinatown. She got in the habit of shooting from the hip rather than raising the camera to her eye in the bustling, if camera-shy, Brooklyn neighborhood.
Coney Island’s boardwalk is far from the minds of most New Yorkers during this brutally cold February. But the photojournalist Yunghi Kim ventured to the end of the Q train this winter to see how the seagulls, the Cyclone, the Polar Bear Club, and the local residents were faring during the snowy off-season.
Yunghi Kim does not regret going to Rwanda 20 years ago, documenting the genocide and resulting refugee crisis. Hundreds of thousands perished while much of the world did nothing, which makes her angry to this day. It also makes her feel guilty that while she was able to return to her middle-class life, her pictures failed to ease the Rwandans’ plight.
Veteran photojournalist Yunghi Kim is a strong proponent of photographer’s rights and offers suggestions to problems that all photographers now face as they tread through the morass of digital landmines. She also is quite vocal regarding protecting the value of one’s work. Kim says, “without monetary support, in whatever form that takes, photojournalism as an industry is dead!”
Photographers recall photo editors’ influence on their careers in Part 2 of a two-part series on that symbiotic relationship.
Yesterday and today on Lens, photographers pay tribute to the photo editors who most influenced their careers. As Yunghi Kim and Kenneth Jarecke wrote in yesterday’s introduction, these editors are “the people who pushed, pulled and occasionally strong-armed them into producing exceptional work. The people who believed in them when nobody else did — who recognized the photographer’s strength and took the time to develop it.”
Not one of the photographers featured on the following pages wanted to be called a hero. We sympathize: The word is immodest and certainly overused these days. Nonetheless, we can’t help but consider them heroic, and when you read their stories, we think you’ll understand why.
The photographers are:
Phil Borges, John Dugdale, Timothy Fadek, Stanley Greene, Chris Hondros, Yunghi Kim, Joseph Rodriguez, Fazal Sheikh, Brent Stirton, Hazel Thomspon
The photo above is from Stanley Greene. His book on Chechnya, Open Wound, sits on my bookshelf. It’s too powerful to go through in one sitting.