Category: Uncategorized

Emerging Photographer’s BS


Ive got an email from a magazine called Emerging Photographer to submit my work.

I didnt know how they know I am a photographer but i didnt really care because i was glad that id have a chance to show my works to big audience that the magazine might have.

to submit the photos i have to register first to find it will cost me $20 for each photo.

i was planning to submit 10 photos of mine which will cost me $200.

guess how long it will take for them to look at 10 photos on the computer screen!

1 minute—probably less than that.

what makes me feel bad about this is that they should know most of the photographers, who are in college and who just graduated, are on budget.

most of them dont have enough money.

what do you expect from the new job seekers who just graduated from college?

having a whole bunch of money or something?

unless their parents are really a big shot, most of them are working at restaurants delivering some food or something.

most of the photographers, photojournalists and journalists wannabe know how hard it is to get attention in the market, and most of them are eager to earn some type of attention that will potentially lead them to get a full-time job and freelance works.

but it seems like its impossible to get attention without someone’s financial supports.

i have several friends who can reveal this bias.

The guy whose name sean something, who i once personally met. he has to do wedding photography to be a war photographer. hes still doing both.

another one of the most talented photographers, i know through University of Missouri’s photojournalism program that I personally attended.

She’s just got a job that has nothing to do with photography, probably because shes tired of working as a part timer.

you re the one who makes us love taking pictures. but no one tells us how to survive in this competitive field that is full of passionate talented photojournalists, who are willing to risk their lives bearing financial burden themselves.

Another friend of mine just switched her sequence from photojournalism to magazine, even though it’s obvious she still love photography.

i understand most of the young photographers have to put up with financial problem.

big-ass news agencies including al jazeera hires journalism interns without paying them anything.

i have several friends who cant afford to such fancy internships.

but i believe any publication in the journalism field is not supposed to take advantage of their passion.

What the fuck makes you think its cool to make someone work without paying anything—do you think you are so cool to pay someone without experience or crap? then hire someone with experience like randy olson or some big shots.

the problem is that if this trend continue to go on, journalism field will be filled with some kids with middle class background, wearing abercrombie and probably ralph lauren.

they wont be able to see what they are missing—fault lines will be fault lines like forever.

$200? you should pay me $200 for having a chance to look at my work.

Eding Portfolio Layouts

This is my editing portfolio for the Photography Desk for the Columbia Missourian. 

It’s been great time with the inspiring photographers: Julie Dimas, Sarah Rothberg, Andrew Schriver, Marissa Weiher and AP photographers that I dont remember the names of.

As an editor, I learned other photographers’ ways to approach to the story.

Love you all. Thank you all. True FOTOS. Viva PhotoJ!!/index







Dancing Elise in Starbucks

i love artists: dancers, painters, sculptors, photographers or whatever. it just seems like they just dont give a crap about things. Not all the time though, most of the artists give up a lot of things to do what they want apart from money. they might not be able to drive fancy cars living in a big-ass house. they just decided to do it because they love what they are doing. it is not something easy if you think about it, when everyone else wants to be a doctor, lawyer or some big deals in new york.
Elise is one of the artists, who has to work at starbucks to make a living. it is a story about artists.

“Producers” Review




“My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get,” is well-known quote. That is so true, and it can be applied for the journalists—especially for photojournalists. Even though they have plans about how they will organize the story but most of the case, the plan will be likely to be modified, simply because they can’t control the subjects.
My plan was to shoot the video of their lives without showing how they are working on their arts, and in the end i would be about to show each of their works without unveiling artists’ name on the works. My plan was to unveil the artists’ lives who love their works, apart from money. But i couldnt ever go to where the artists were at the right time for whatever the reason was.
After giving up shooting of their mundane lives, due to the coming deadline, I had interviews with the three artists, which might lead the projects to be a typical story about artists. if you know me, i hate to make “the same shit in different toilet.” But sometimes you just have to do what you can do, brainwashing yourself that the next one will be better.
But i still have 12 hours of video shoot anyway, even though most of them are about the artists’ lives, philosophy and love about the arts.
It doesnt sound something you wanna do, but i did look through all the shots i have. and i found the conversation that interests me. in order to do it, i had to kill a lot of shots but im sort of happy about it.
The work ends up becoming a sort of essay or a side of the artists’ lives. As far as photography goes, it sucks. But i like it because it is different from others and because it is my work anyway. “What matters is what it’s showing. It don’t matter how it’s shown,” Eugene Richards reportedly said. do you think i can make an excuse with it?

Because im not a premium member of vimeo, i cant upload on the internet until wed. but you will see if you are interested.

profile project

Well, this is not even a story.

i had a plan to greatly make it work. 

But i found myself frustrated when i realized that i failed to make a good relationship with the subject. 

i dont even know why the subject continued to bail on me, but it doesnt really matter because i know i am the one who should be put the blame on. 

i dont even wanna put this project into anywhere. 

it just frustrates me. 

if theres one thing i learned this project was to find i still have a lot to learn. 

while uploading it, i looked at Renee C. Byer’s Mother’s Journey.

and i saw how small i am. 

it is obvious that she made a great rapport with the subjects who allowed her to put herself into their lives. 

what did i do wrong? 

will it be better next time?

i dont know. 

but im gonna do this thing until i feel like i made something. 

almost wanna cry. 



sorry for whining. 

have a good night. 



POYi reveiw

Photo nerds enjoy saying, “Photos change the world.”

Well, even though i am studying photojournalism, i was pretty skeptical about it. 

Change is not something that can happen with PHOTOS, i believed. 

But given LA Times photographer Barbara Davidson’s work on a burning child,  it seems obvious that at least photos can change one person’s philosophy to see the world. 

Her photos dont take nicely written captures to understand the story because themselves show everything. 

Apart from everything, I appreciate Barbara that she successfully opened the subjects’ mind, so she can approached them in an honest way. i believe every photographers should appreciate it. That is not something everyone can do. I have learned that great photo stories made not only by talented photographers but by the subjects who are willing to unveil their privacy. No one can make any story without great subjects. 

Every photo in Barbara’s story has rich emotions: innocence, fear, pain, tragedy, love and joy. Some people say as a genre photo story’s day has gone just as LIFE magazine; it cant deal with complicated issues and multimedia has the solutions or whatever. But I have never seen any multimedia piece and even Hollywood movies. They made great story but they fail to put all the emotion in a 

Emotion follows empathy. Empathy makes a great photo story teller because it allows photographers to see the things from the subjects’ points of view. To do so, photographers should be ready for putting themselves into the subjects’ lives. And I believe Barbara’s story shows the quality. 

Sometimes, I miss those days when i have no idea about photos: the days I have old nikon cropped body camera; the days I could just have fun with the little toy. the more I know, i found, the more it’s frustrating me. The gap between what i can make at the moment and what i wish to make is too huge. I still have a lot, i mean A LOT, to learn.

But, as Anne Lamott says, “But be careful: if your intuition says that your story sucks, make sure it really is your intuition and not your mother.”

Dear Mother Review


“I need to find a subject,” W. Eugene Smith said in the documentary movie that Rita showed us. That might be a hard part for photojournalists to make a story. The hardest part for me is to allow the subjects to unveil their lives—because it is not easy for photographers to figure out how much is the actual situation and how much is the fake.

Few days ago, i had a chance to watch a T/F film director panel discussion at the Missouri Journalism school. it was petty fun to watch, when a panel said, “docu films cant be judged by the journalism standards,” in a response to the critic over some parts of his so-called documentary that would mislead the viewers to the false. Well, it is pretty amazing and pretty dumb at the same time given that he said that in front of a hundred of journalists.

If photographers have only one day to make a project, it is even harder to determine if it is reality because photographers dont have enough time to learn the characters. Being a “fly on the wall” to the subject is not as easy as it sounds like. As a photojournalist, i dont wanna use any photos making me feel like this is manipulated—as i dont wanna manipulate the subjects.

I still dont know how much true i can find through Dear Mother project. But it always gives me great feelings to photograph babies.