Archive for the ‘Portraits’ Category

Going Back To The Basics & A New York City Wedding

May 9th, 2012

Part One: Going back to the basics – Why I chose to shoot an iPhone-only Wedding (*Disclaimer – This blog post is actually two combined into one. So it’s going to be long. But there’s a reason behind it. If you choose to go all the way until the end, it will be well worth […]

 

Part One: Going back to the basics – Why I chose to shoot an iPhone-only Wedding

(*Disclaimer – This blog post is actually two combined into one. So it’s going to be long. But there’s a reason behind it. If you choose to go all the way until the end, it will be well worth it.)

As a wedding photographer, I often get asked this one common question: “Kenny, do you ever get tired of shooting weddings?” My immediate response to that is “NO WAY!” It is a legitimate question to ask as an observer to someone like me, who has been fortunate to photograph about 200 weddings in the six years I have been in this business. But I want to share with you that every wedding is different. For a wedding to take place, many different elements need to come together harmoniously: people, culture, story, location, time, size, theme, purpose, style, etc. A good illustration is like looking at fingerprints. From just quickly glancing at them, they may all look the same. But when you have the time to observe them carefully, you’ll notice not one of them is ever alike. And I LOVE every single one of them because they give me the opportunity to capture the essence of what weddings are all about. As a photographer, the excitement is renewed with each wedding I photograph because it challenges me to tell a story and find details & moments that my couples will cherish for the rest of their lives.

Part of the reason why I decided to take on the project of capturing a wedding with only my iPhone last week was because it allowed me to strip away all the elements as a wedding photographer. Things such as: Latest technology & gear which forced a theory in my head that every single image has to be absolutely perfect and technically sound. Or a “business-only” mentality clouding my vision to see my clients only as a means to make a living for myself instead of two beautiful souls committing together to love each other for the rest of their lives. While all these elements are essential and necessary to run a successful wedding photography business, sometimes we need to pull back and retune our thoughts to remind us of what is most important. Shooting an iPhone wedding allowed me to do just that. Take a look at this image I captured with the iPhone at my friend Kenny Nakai’s wedding (not last week’s wedding but the first wedding of this year which I stood as one of the groomsmen):

iPhone-only wedding photography by Kenny Kim

What is the first impression that comes to your mind when you look at this image? For me, it was a nice moment of genuine love and happiness shared between a bride and groom who just finished their ceremony. It was a moment many people probably did not notice. I doubt even the subjects knew that this moment was being captured. Joe Buissink a highly sought after celebrity photographer whom I respect and can call as a friend said it best:

“There is no such thing as a perfect image, only a perfect moment.”

If you are looking at the image above and the first thought that comes to your mind is full of skepticism (bad exposure, poor lighting, too much grain, ‘why shoot with iPhone!?!’ mentality), then perhaps you might want to ask yourself if you have deviated from the passion for this craft. While there were many other reasons I photographed a wedding last week using just my iPhone, one main reason was because doing so brought me back to the basics – the heart of it all which made me fall in love with this profession in the first place six years ago. The timing was perfect for me because I have a busy wedding season ahead this year and I needed the reminder (shooting 25 weddings – going to places like Bermuda, Mexico, England, New York, California, Houston, Chicago and traveling to France & Italy). It restored in me the joy of photography and going back to the basics was what led me to this discovery.

Part Two: When Alex met Thalita – A New York City wedding
This wedding I am about to share with you is a special one because everything I talked about as a photographer above is exactly what my clients did as bride and groom. Meet Alex and Thalita. He’s a successful opthamologist (aka eye surgeon – I had no idea what that meant when I first heard it) in New York and she’s a highly sought after international fashion model. I do not want to toot their horns, but while they certainly had the means to have a big extravagant wedding, they also chose to go back to the basics and have a very small intimate wedding to commit their love to each other. So on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon in New York City, the five of us (bride, groom, best man, maid of honor and myself) took a quick trip to the City Hall where they had a short but beautiful ceremony followed by a photo shoot around the city where I had the freedom to exercise my creativity with them. When the night rolled around, they invited their closest family members & friends and had an intimate dinner together celebrating their wedding.

I LOVED this idea. Just to be clear, I am not saying that having a big extravagant wedding is not a good idea. As I mentioned before, every wedding is different and beautiful in their own way. The main thing is to decide, as a couple, how you want to celebrate it. Big or small, extravagant or not, the most important thing is that you celebrate your love in a way that is special to you. I loved their wedding because it reinforced what I was trying to share above. It is about going back to the basics to remind you what is important. So thank you Alex and Thalita for the reminder. You guys are beautiful people inside and out and your wedding was truly an unforgettable one filled with stories which I am sure we’ll talk about for a long time. Thank you for the privilege of allowing me to capture your wedding and to now call you friends.

Here are some images from their wedding day. In case you were wondering, no I did not use my iPhone for this wedding. 🙂 I did keep this shoot very simple though. Just my one body (Mark 1DIV) and two lenses (16-35mm f2.8 & 70-200mm f2.8). I felt like it was an appropriate thing to do for this occasion.

Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography

Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography


Thalita & Alex - A New York City Wedding by Kenny Kim Photography

By the way, I am having a PhotoVenture Tour to Italy this Fall from November 6-12, 2012. If you have never been to Italy, you owe it to yourself to go. This trip will help you get back to the basics and fall in love with photography all over again. While many workshops out there will teach you “how” to become a photographer, this “unworkshop” will teach you to discover yourself by asking “why” and before you know it, you’ll be transformed into one. Interested? Visit the website and contact me for more information.

PhotoVenture Tour to Italy - Next stop: Tuscany & Umbria

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A FAMILY PORTRAIT SESSION INSIDE MEDIEVAL TOWN: LABRO, ITALY

March 11th, 2011

Ciao from Italy! A family portrait session inside a medieval town in Italy? Why Not? When you want something, you have to go after it. You cannot wait for it to fall on your lap. Two years ago, I did a mock wedding session organized by my good friend/business partner Max Brunelli with a vision […]

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Ciao from Italy!

A family portrait session inside a medieval town in Italy? Why Not? When you want something, you have to go after it. You cannot wait for it to fall on your lap. Two years ago, I did a mock wedding session organized by my good friend/business partner Max Brunelli with a vision to shoot my own weddings in Italy in the future. That vision came to reality last year when I got to photograph two weddings in Italy – one in Montepulciano, Tuscany and the other in Rome, Italy.

This time, it was not a mock session but with the help of Max again, we organized an actual family photo shoot with a real italian family. Meet the Parisi family from Terni, Italy. They have a beautiful family and from the moment you met them, you can tell that they all love each other and appreciate photography. They own an original 1960’s FIAT 500 and wanted to incorporate that into their shoot using a backdrop that symbolized the heart of Italy. So we chose to go back to the same city Labro where I did my wedding session couple of years ago to do this family photoshoot. It was a perfect afternoon and we had so much fun together. Here are some teasers from this afternoon’s shoot:

Labro, Italy - a medieval city that is still inhabited by the noble family from centuries ago. A prince still governs this city.

Their family has owned this FIAT 500 since the 1960's and it is still in mint condition!

This is an actual car but I swear it was designed for kids!

They were having so much fun and just enjoying their photo session

Parisi Family Photoshoot

Parisi Family Photoshoot

Parisi Family Photoshoot

Parisi Family Shoot

Grazie mille to the Parisi family! We had so much fun together that they even invited us over to their house for dinner. I love building relationship with clients. Big thanks to also Max for making this session possible. I am looking forward to extending my clients out in Italy through sessions like this in the near future.

ThinkTank Photo

On a side note, ThinkTankPhoto – makers of my camera bag, has got some great sales going on. Their products are so well made and they rarely ever go on sale. Check out some of their items: Speed Demon Waist Belt | Speed Freak | Speed Racer

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Chicago Family & Lifestyle Session: Christy & Dennis Kim

May 24th, 2010

Even though my main focus is in wedding photography and will probably continue to do so in the future, once in a while, I like to venture into other types of photography such as family & married couple lifestyle sessions. Last winter I was introduced to the Kim family by a good friend of mine […]

 

Even though my main focus is in wedding photography and will probably continue to do so in the future, once in a while, I like to venture into other types of photography such as family & married couple lifestyle sessions. Last winter I was introduced to the Kim family by a good friend of mine to do their family photoshoot in December. Because it was so cold outside, we both agreed that doing any shoot outside would be a bad idea. So we agreed to split the photo session into two and we just finished the second one last week. Noah is even cuter than before. I love all the fun faces he made and even at this early age, he is practicing his tough mean look. I also suggested to Dennis & Christy, since they never had engagement sessions done before, that they do a short lifestyle session. We spent couple of hours at the Botanical Garden in Glencoe, IL and had a great time strolling through the park and snapping some fun photos. Here are some of the results from their session. They are such good looking couple/family I had hard time narrowing the photos for the blog:

Here’s Noah clapping for their parents as they share their moment.

Then shortly after Noah fell asleep then mom & dad decided to take some fun casual lifestyle sessions of their own:

They are such great looking couple and relaxed in front of the camera that I had to keep snapping away!

I love these moments in between poses where their true personalities come alive:

Noah then woke up happy from his nap sleeping…

We are all one big happy family! Thank you so much Kim family for your kindness, generosity and your giving spirit! I cannot wait to spend more time with you guys and see Noah grow up.

For more, visit: My Portfolio | Facebook Page | contact@kennykim.com | 800-539-1294
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NOW AVAILABLE: The Digital Wedding Photographer’s Planner by Kenny Kim

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Now Available: Digital Wedding Photographer’s Planner

April 19th, 2010

I am filled with emotion as I write this blog post. I am proud, humbled, amazed, thankful + probably about 10 other adjectives that I cannot think of right now when I think about the fact that I am now an author. Thank you Wiley Press for giving me the opportunity to write a book […]

 

Digital Wedding Photographers Planner by Kenny Kim

Digital Wedding Photographer's Planner - Book by Kenny Kim

Digital Wedding Photographers Planner by Kenny Kim

Digital Wedding Photographer's Planner - Book by Kenny Kim

I am filled with emotion as I write this blog post. I am proud, humbled, amazed, thankful + probably about 10 other adjectives that I cannot think of right now when I think about the fact that I am now an author. Thank you Wiley Press for giving me the opportunity to write a book that I am passionate about. I am really thankful for many people out there that have given me so many opportunities to be where I am today and this is yet another major milestone in my career.

If you had asked me five years ago what I would be doing now, I doubt being a wedding photographer or writing a book would have been my answer. The truth is, I really had no clue what I was going to do. I probably would have guessed working in sports management or managing a coffee shop or possibly working for a top design agency, or even better: a sports photographer. But my life took a different path to wedding photography, and for the first time in my life, I have found something I am really passionate about.

By picking up this book, you are either considering becoming a full-time photographer or perhaps you already started and need a little direction. While there are many planning guides available for couples, this is one for designed you, the wedding photographer. The more prepared you are the more you can concentrate on taking the photographs and getting the images that will delight your clients. In this planner you will find numerous tips and checklists from the more than 100 weddings I have photographed in the past four years, as well as some lessons I learned from other photographers. It covers everything you need to think about and plan for when it comes to photographing a wedding—from the initial meeting with the prospective clients and how to make a good first impression, through the various stages of the wedding how you can deliver the final product to the newlyweds. Just remember that nothing here is really set in stone. The beauty of this industry is that you can study books like this and make it your own.

Welcome to wedding photography. You are in a community of people who will help and encourage to you become a better photographer. Think of this book as just a starting point—the tip of the iceberg. Use it to develop your own style and explore new ways to doing things. I hope you find this profession as rewarding and fulfilling as I have.

For more information, visit: Wiley Press

You can purchase a copy at:
Amazon
Books-A-Million
Barnes & Noble
Borders
Wiley

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Chicagoland Family / Lifestyle Session: Kim Family

January 14th, 2010

I was introduced to Dennis & Christy through a mutual friend. They recently had a beautiful baby boy and wanted to celebrate their occasion by capturing them together. This session is part 1 of 2 series. Just like the photoshoot I did for the Mayo Family, we are doing a family session first then once […]

 

I was introduced to Dennis & Christy through a mutual friend. They recently had a beautiful baby boy and wanted to celebrate their occasion by capturing them together. This session is part 1 of 2 series. Just like the photoshoot I did for the Mayo Family, we are doing a family session first then once the weather gets warmer, we will do a couple’s lifestyle shoot w/ just Christy & Dennis and few more shots of the baby. I do not photograph many family sessions as weddings and other events are my priority but as schedule allows, I try to take a a few requests throughout the year. Dennis & Christy are such great people and I enjoyed spending time with them. I did not know this but they scheduled their photoshoot on the same day as Dennis’ birthday. So afterwards we went out to eat w/ their family to celebrate his birthday. Talk about good times! Here are some photos from their session:

Thanks Dennis & Christy! I am looking forward to our next session! 🙂

For more, visit: My Portfolio | Resources For Photographers | Twitter: KennyKim | Facebook Page
contact@kennykim.com | 800-539-1294