A couple of years back, I got a call out of nowhere asking if I’d be interested in making a few portraits for a big conglomerate for a new product they would be launching. The catch would be that I’d never be able to share those images or the final product. However, it would lead to opportunities to work with the design firm producing the project down the road. While none of us ever got to share that initial project, we have had plenty of chances to work together since and one of those has been on a magazine called “Social Innovation in the Community.”
Aptly titled, the Korean-language magazine focuses on those working to make the community a better place to live in and not necessarily just a more profitable place. So far, we’ve photographed those who redevelop older properties into useful spaces, educate children in new ways, support minority communities, promote entrepreneurship, and more. With the huge economic development wrought in South Korea over the past few decades, both positive and negative changes have occurred alongside the developments. Now is the time for South Korea to shift its focus back to the people and we have worked with several individuals trying to do just that.
For our first set of shoots, we met with Kim Sumin of Local Stitch (a co-working and co-living space), Kim Mijeong of Toad Housing (a company that renovates empty homes and provides them at low cost to those who really need them), Lee Junseok of SK Hynix (who helps the company be socially responsible), and Lee Seoncheol of Potato Blossom Studio (a centre for a creative community). These shoots were to be conducted alongside the interviewer and I had very specific guidelines as they would need to fit into a design that was all-but-ready. Each would need a vertical portrait to cover the first page of the article and a photograph from the interview itself to capture the person speaking. On top of that, some would require an additional image or two of related items or spaces. It was refreshing to bring someone else’s ideas to life and fit them to a pre-existing template.
I had a blast working with the team from Hong Design, as usual, and look forward to more of this great magazine. For any editorial enquiries, please get in touch! I’d love to hear from you.