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Photogs / Photo Exhibits This is the place to discuss a particular Photographer (work, style, life, whatever), as well as to post Gallery and Museum Photo Exhibitions and your own impressions of them. As we march on in this new digital world, it is often too easy to forget about the visual importance of the photographic print, as well as their financial importance to the photographer. It is also interesting to remember that some guy named Gene Smith shot with lenses that many lens test reading "never had a picture published in their life" amateurs would turn up their their noses at, as being "unacceptable."

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Thoughts about Eric Kim
Old 02-27-2012   #1
Lauffray
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Thoughts about Eric Kim

Not sure this is in the right category, but here are my thoughts about Eric. I have to admit when I first heard of this Internet sensation I was strongly skeptical about what he had to offer, but I have been following him for a while and I've changed my mind about a few things.

One thing I dislike is the Bruce Gilden cult following, I'm personally not a big fan of Eric's photographs from last year but that's entirely personal. The other thing most people I think will relate to is, how exactly is he qualified to do what he does ? I've heard he's a great instructor but we are the same age and have roughly the same experience shooting (4-5 years) so I can't help but wonder if the whole thing isn't a house of cards of some sorts, social media does give a lot of unfounded hype after all. But then again, what if he isn't, so what? Frankly I have no problem admitting I'm envious of the break he got, travelling the world taking pictures, who wouldn't jump on that ?
The last thing is this whole photography workshop phenomenon, everybody seems to be giving photography workshops, and not very reasonable offers. We're talking 400-700$ 3 day courses in Peru, Singapore, Tokyo. Maybe some can afford this but to me this is way past a luxury spending.

What I have come to appreciate about him though is that he seems like a good person. I read what he writes, I watch his videos, he answers his emails and tweets. He talks about his upbringing, how he was raised, his philosophy in life etc. The last thing I could say is that he's some sort of privileged spoiled kid, that he doesn't know what he's talking about, or that he's some fake poser with the wrong attitude. When he talks about photography he knows his stuff reasonably well and his interest for the subject is very contagious


Anyway, I'm not judging or criticizing, I'm just trying to understand this guy. What do you guys think ?
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Old 02-27-2012   #2
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Interesting topic, as Eric's probably one of the photographers, that highly profit from their use of social networking.

Nevertheless I think that he is a really good street photographer, even though I'm with you about the development within the last year. I'm just not a fan of this street-flash-photography-in-your-face-thing.

What I found really interesting, was his appearance in a current digitalrev episode, where you see him talking and interacting with strangers on the street.
Sure he probably learnt part of that from his sociology studies, but I think that it's a lot more about you personality and he seems to be absolutely aware of that.
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Old 02-27-2012   #3
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He just does what he enjoys doing. We all should.
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Old 02-27-2012   #4
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If i had have the passion Kim does...
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Old 02-27-2012   #5
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He seems like a nice guy with a passion for photography. I don't think he is hurting or scamming anyone - he offers a service that people seem to really welcome and enjoy. I think some people are a little jealous of him and they spread the hate...
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Old 02-27-2012   #6
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Who's Eric Kim?
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Old 02-27-2012   #7
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http://erickimphotography.com/
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Old 02-27-2012   #8
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Pretty mediocre work in my opinion but hey, more power to him. If he makes it work and manages to make a living, why not?

I've never heard of him before now and I doubt that I'll ever come across his work again in the places I usually look to for photography. Also, I think people tend to overestimate the significance of 'internet fame'. Having a few thousand followers on the internet doesn't make you a rich man.
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Old 02-27-2012   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lauffray View Post
What I have come to appreciate about him though is that he seems like a good person. I read what he writes, I watch his videos, he answers his emails and tweets. He talks about his upbringing, how he was raised, his philosophy in life etc. The last thing I could say is that he's some sort of privileged spoiled kid, that he doesn't know what he's talking about, or that he's some fake poser with the wrong attitude. When he talks about photography he knows his stuff reasonably well and his interest for the subject is very contagious
I agree with all of that.

From what I've seen though, he seems to have a limited selection of really good photos. The same 20 seem to crop up again and again on his blog posts.
Dont get me wrong, he has some crackers, but he also has some mediocre stuff that doesnt really excite me.
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Old 02-27-2012   #10
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This guy is making a living out of what he loves, in a way that not only does not harm anyone but also pleases many.

Part of his success is due to his marketing himself on social media and the internet? Honour to him for that skill too.

I wish there were threads titled "Thoughts on Andrea Taurisano" on forums one day..
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Old 02-27-2012   #11
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The difference between "most of us" and Eric is that he is doing it !

Everybody can do it !!!

But "you" look for a million excuses why you can not!
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Old 02-27-2012   #12
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I don't think he's a great photographer (a standard I hold myself, too, BTW), but he does seem to be a nice guy, enthusiastic, & a hard worker (including publicizing himself). Like Woody Allen said, 80% of life is just showing up, & that's particularly true in our social networking era. Maybe he's the Tommy Ton of street photography?
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Old 02-27-2012   #13
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I initially found him quite exciting, but he has since stopped posting anything new anywhere (something he has been up front about) for anyone to see. He has embraced social media; good for him, it's cheap marketing.

Personally I am really not a fan of Bruce Gilden, and EK is too close to that for my taste--but to each his own. I just watched the digitalrev video he did and I was really turned off by him. He is pretty pushy, and was more about posing people in the streets than I am. Again, I guess that's a matter of taste.

Who wouldn't want the break he got? We all do, so I guess all of our opinions of him are tinged with a bit of jealousy. Still, when I first saw his advertisements for workshops I was skeptical. He's pretty new to photography--which doesn't necessarily matter--but more to the point has no formal training as a photographer or a teacher. If he's still around in 10 years, I guess I'd be a little surprised. Internet fame is short and fickle.
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Old 02-27-2012   #14
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I read somewhere that he's on a self imposed hiatus from social media, he's not uploading any new photos for a year. Still, not a big fan of his photos
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Old 02-27-2012   #15
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I find the distinction between doers and non-doers a fascinating area of study. I spent almost three decades of my life as what I consider to be non-doing (others think I was quite busy, thanks) and the changeover from consumer to producer, non-doer to doer, didn't happen easily. It's hard to articulate the change, or what makes some do and some don't. EK is a doer (and self-promotion is also a form of doing) and a successful one. There are lots of unsuccessful doers, but they're still better than the people that put all their energy into simply taking up space in an unobtrusive way.
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Old 02-27-2012   #16
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Never heard of him until today, but I really like the samples I've seen of his work today. As for whether his overall output is as strong as the photographs on his website suggests, I have no idea, nor will I hold it against him if it's not. As a songwriter I can tell you that for every good, polished song I write that ends up on a record, I probably write a dozen crappy songs that never see the light of day. Creating art, at least for me, is about the process. He's out there doing something I would love to do but haven't the courage: to get that close to subjects on the street. Kudos to him!
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Old 02-27-2012   #17
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He doesn't have the best images but then you don't need the best images to teach workshops. At workshops you are just teaching a way of shooting and seeing things. A guy can know all the different techniques and still can't produce great photos.

I don't think what he has achieved is really that hard to do. If all of you quit your job today and go out and put all your 100% time and effort into this, you can become who he is right now.

Personally I don't like his current style of shooting but he does offer valuable information to the people who go to his workshop, so I have nothing against him in that regard.
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Old 02-27-2012   #18
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I don't think what he has achieved is really that hard to do. If all of you quit your job today and go out and put all your 100% time and effort into this, you can become who he is right now.
I'd guess that for most people, leaving one's job/security/comfort and putting everything on the line is very hard. Kinda like saying "speaking in public in front of a million people is easy, anyone can do it! All you need is supreme confidence and fearlessness"..
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Old 02-27-2012   #19
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I'd guess that for most people, leaving one's job/security/comfort and putting everything on the line is very hard. Kinda like saying "speaking in public in front of a million people is easy, anyone can do it! All you need is supreme confidence and fearlessness"..
That's why he said one of the best things ever happened to him was getting laid off from his last job. People here say they envy him. But would you envy a guy who just lost his job? If you are not willing to make any sacrifice, you will not gain any reward. There's no point envying someone else when you can do it yourself, if you are only willing to make sacrifices.
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Old 02-27-2012   #20
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That's why he said one of the best things ever happened to him was getting laid off from his last job. People here say they envy him. But would you envy a guy who just lost his job? If you are not willing to make any sacrifice, you will not gain any reward. There's no point envying someone else when you can do it yourself, if you are only willing to make sacrifices.
Ah, I see. I definitely agree. It's just like the Woody Allen quote that furcafe mentioned earlier - it's all (well, mostly ) about showing up. (Or as John Cage said: "The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It's the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.")
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Old 02-27-2012   #21
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One of the keys to success is to be able to appreciate other peoples success.
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Old 02-27-2012   #22
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One of the keys to success is to be able to appreciate other peoples success.
So true!
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Old 02-27-2012   #23
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Mixed bag, for me. I love seeing people pursue what they love, it's damn inspiring. He's done very well using social media to create a fan base, without puffing himself up. He seems honest in his writing, and seems to be a good person overall. Nice to always see a smile on his face, too.

On the other hand, I was NOT impressed when I saw him have a bit too much fun at the expense of others. When he put up the video of his Gilden-style shooting, he was clearly getting off on the fact that everyone thought he had "balls". On top of that, he shot a video where he used X number of "stupid street photography excuses" just to see what he could get away with. Street photography affects those around you, and I feel respect is important. You should consider others around you.

I think he's cooled down a bit since, and it was nice to see him and Kai having fun in the newest DigitalRev video - they took some nice shots, and while Eric still seemed relaxed, he was certainly more respectful to his subjects.

Overall, I quite like him, save for when his ego inflated due to his sudden popularity.
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