For this month’s featured photographer, we bring you our good friend Kenny Kim of Kenny Kim Photography. The author of two books, Kenny is an international wedding photographer based in Chicago, IL. We constantly see Kenny speaking to crowds of people at photography conventions and workshops around the country, and he’s always been a loyal fan of the Lens Flipper. We asked him a few questions that we thought our users might like answers to, as well as some that we at Lens Flipper were curious about ourselves. Here’s the interview, including some photos of Kenny in action, as well as some of his personal favorites.
What first made you pick up a camera?
As long as I can remember, I enjoyed taking photographs. The real motivation came for me back in college days when I wanted to get better seats at popular sporting events such as tennis, football and basketball. I saw that the photographers had the best seats in the house and I wanted to be part of them.
There is no other field of photography that is as rewarding as wedding photography Weddings are also fun for me. I love the different dynamics each wedding brings to the table. It makes every single one unique. It is an honor to play a major role in helping preserve my client’s legacy through the moments I capture for them. It is surreal to think that these prints will outlast any one of us and it will be enjoyed generation after generation.
Creatively speaking, what’s your favorite part of a wedding?
I love the reception. By then, everyone is relaxed and just enjoying the night surrounded by friends & family, beautiful ambiance and great food & drinks. They tend to be themselves more and not worry too much about someone pointing a camera at them. This is when I tend to get more creative also because the day is almost done and anything I do at this point is extra for my clients. In most weddings, during this time, I have to work with available indoor lights provided by the decoration or I have to create my own using various lighting equipments which allows me to expand my creativity a bit more.
What’s your current go-to camera/lens/lighting setup?
I use two Canon 5D Mark III cameras with various Canon lenses. My lighting setup is simple. I use four Cheetah Stands (which are great because the legs collapse automatically when I pick up the stand making it easy to maneuver around the guests’ seats and tight dance floors. Each of these have Canon strobes with Gary Fong’s Lightsphere light diffusers on them.
How have you incorporate the Lens Flipper into your assignments?
I attached the Lens Flipper onto my Moneymaker – a duel camera strap created by Holdfast Gear. During ceremony & photoshoot part of the day, I do not always have access to my camera gear bag so I prefer to have everything ready by my side. Camera one will almost always have the 70-200mm F2.8L II lens attached to it. My second camera usually has either a prime lens like the 50mm 1.2L or a medium zoom lense like the 24-70mm F2.8L II. The Lens Flipper will have my other trusted lens in 16-35mm F2.8L mounted and ready to be used.
What’s your favorite non-wedding, odd-job assignment that you’ve photographed?
I would say two non-profit volunteer projects I did for Thirst Relief in Tanzania, Africa and Churches Helping Churches in Haiti were couple of the most rewarding experiences I had as a photographer. I even once got to photograph an event inside the White House a few years ago. It was a meeting for Korean- American leaders to connect with the President’s administration. The best part about this was that once the meeting was adjourned they served us catered Korean food! Imagine this: a Korean American eating Korean food INSIDE the White House. I bet not many people can say they have done that.
Where do you see your company in 10 years? Expanding employees? Genres? Regions?
I am still passionate about photographing weddings. I do not plan on slowly down at all. I would live to continue to explore the glob and still do what I do.
Lastly, if you could photograph a wedding anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Inside the Colosseum in Rome!