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Check Out Christopher Kim’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christopher Kim.

Hi Christopher, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
My story in how I started my photography journey is a funny one to me. Currently, besides working as a photographer, I am a personal trainer. I originally bought my first camera about three years ago to take pictures and create workout videos of myself for my personal training business and page. Instead of creating content for myself, that somehow got reversed into creating content for other people in the form of photos and videos.

I was on and off during that time when I first started going through a creative drought and loss of interest. Fast forward to March 2020, I decided to reinvest in myself, bought a new camera, and then the pandemic hit. However, that did not stop me. My friend and photographer, Aaron Han, we would go out to the empty streets of Los Angeles, local parks, random places to really work on our craft and developing our skills. We did test shoots on each other, test shoots with other models, scout different locations, endless videos of tutorials of editing and learning this business. Even right now, I have another friend, Brady Keegan, who shoots a lot of products and landscapes that we’ve connected with for over a year now in a group chat of the three of us where we share our thoughts on each other photos, business advice, and more. There is a lot more I can say about what we did and are doing still to get to where we are and want to be. I’ve met a lot of people thanks to what I do and been able to create some amazing work for them. Overall in this mini-story of how I started is I reinvested in myself and have friends that support each other in what we do.

It’s a never-ending learning process but that’s the best part about it. Constantly learning is a lot of fun when you love what you are doing. The feeling of taking pictures and capturing something amazing for a someone is a very unique experience and that never stays the same. It always changes because each moment is different.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It definitely has not been a smooth road to get here. If anything, this lifestyle and business is a rollercoaster. It has its ups and its downs. I stated in the question before that I bought a camera right before the pandemic hit wondering how I was going to pay for this… I was working at a two different gyms a coach and at Trader Joes. Since gyms had to close down, it was definitely going to be a bit harder to pay off. Thankfully, I had Trader Joes at the time where jobs were very hard to come by. After paying the camera off, then I was looking into new lenses, lighting equipment, and more. For anyone planning on getting into photography, I warn you, it is a very expensive venture.

Throughout this time, I was getting bookings for photos, started my own personal training business, the gyms that I worked at before opened up again, and I was able to leave Trader Joes. This was the up part of the roller coaster, the excitement and constant work mode. Then when it goes down and it is slow, it starts to get to you mentally. I was experiencing a creative drought where I didn’t know what to shoot and wasn’t getting any bookings for a bit. I may have been upset about it for some time but then realized it was important to work on the internal part of my business. Putting my effort into redesigning my website, my niche which is in the health and wellness industry, and learning new editing techniques.

Taking a leap of faith and trusting the process was what I kept in mind during and still in this journey.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’ve been a fitness coach for over six years and that’s what helped me in finding my niche/specialty in my photography work. I specialize in the health and wellness industry in fitness/fitness lifestyle. My background as a fitness coach helps me visualize certain projects because I promote fitness all the time and I have an eye as a consumer in what to capture that would grab my attention. This also helps me in posing models a certain way if they don’t know how to do a specific movement I’d like to capture. Most common as far as I’ve experienced is when someone jumps in the air in an athletic way. I love to mixture creative poses and concepts into my fitness shoots to bring a little more life into it.

This sets me apart differently because when I’m shooting fitness-style shoots, I treat it how I would when I coach a group class or one-on-one sessions. My mindset is going with clear direction, setting the goal, and achieving the result.

I feel like what I’m known for is treating a fitness shoot like a workout class almost haha. I’ve brought real weights for models to use because I use that for props.

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
I recently discovered Chris Do on Instagram who gives out such great advice and resources for people in the marketing business. Pinterest is where I look up inspirations for my mood boards for clients. Youtube really for anything camera or photography-related.

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