Esther is a visual storyteller living in Seattle, originally from Los Angeles. She recently visited Korea and used the Canon EOS R5 C to capture some photos & videos during her trip. It has been quite the journey of connecting with her Korean heritage, most of which has happened throughout her travels in Korea over the years.
She is often captivated by the visual elements of the landscape, history, and people whom she’s encountered. She finds that she sees and understands herself little more with each encounter, sometimes even evolving with it. During her last trip, she was able to connect with her family and experienced other parts of Korea she’s never been to. She loves capturing the beauty in people's stories through her work and she loves that her trips to Korea helps her to connect with the beauty in her heritage and history.
About BL Creators
BL Creators is a series of content pieces where we get personal with industry pros like photographers, cinematographers, creative directors and producers, among many other creative fields.
Discover more Creators here.
1. Is there a single project, photo or video that thrusted you into the next level?In 2014, I created a hashtag called #thatcolorproject on Instagram that helped brands and other artists find my work. That helped me build a community around me and gain more experience.
2. What is one trade secret you are willing to share with the public?I don’t like to stick to one photography style. Shooting multiple genres helps me expand my knowledge from one subject to another.
3. How do you stay creative? What are things you do to get inspired?Changing perspectives helps me to stay creative. When I’m home, I try to find a way to enjoy the everyday, ordinary things. I shoot the same subjects in different lighting and seasons. When I’m traveling, I’m always looking for unique architecture, great cafes, and bookstores.
4. Do you feel threatened by all the chatter about Artificial Intelligence and image-making? What are your thoughts about the future of the industry?I think the threat is definitely real, however, there are certain elements to photography that still require a human experience such as empathy with the subjects. There are other aspects of the industry that I believe can be taken over by machines but that’s something almost every industry needs to face eventually. When that time comes, I believe other doors will open for me since I try to exercise my creativity outside of photography.
5. Who are some notable people that you learned from? What did you learn?The most notable person that I learned from would have to be my husband. I learned a lot about different things like gear, lighting, business, etc. but most important how to be more confident in myself.
6. When and how did you know you wanted to be an artist?I was unsure if art would be financially sustainable but I also didn’t want to become someone playing it too safe. But I realized I’m the happiest when I create. The first time I really decided to follow my creative path was when I failed my job interview in the law enforcement field.
7. Please share recent work that you are most proud of. Why is this important to you?I took a trip to Korea in September of this year and was able to capture photos of my grandma and aunts. Growing up, I wasn’t able to spend much time with them and my grandma hadn’t had her photo taken in decades so leaving them with memorable images made me happy. I was very proud of making that shoot happen. These photos now hold a special place in my heart.
8. What is some bad advice you hear given in your field?“You need expensive gear to be taken seriously.”
9. What is something that you always have on set? Why?
I always have snacks with me. I’m usually shooting on location so I need something to keep my energy up. I also don’t like to take long breaks that might stop my momentum so I’d rather snack while I shoot.
10. What is the most under-rated skill in your field? What is the most over-rated?
Under-rated skill: Composition. Everyone can take photos, but to take a good photo requires strong composition.
Over-rated skill: Putting Instagram filters on everything.
11. What is something people in your field should try to avoid?Saying yes to everything, because you will experience burnout. If that happens you can potentially lose your passion. I struggled with saying yes too much for so many years until I finally decided to start saying no. This brought me to understand the meaning of “healthy balance.”
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