Junior Susan Kim reveals the trials and tribulations of owning a photography business
By Journalism 1 Student Sofia I. Imitola
Through the halls of UAHS, junior Susan Kim has always been known as someone special. Middle School, it was Susan Kim the fashionista, always wearing the quirkiest but coolest outfits and setting herself apart from the crowd. Freshman year it was Susan Kim the acclimating student, blending into the crowd and focusing on her studies.
“Then sophomore year, bam!” Kim said. “Images By Susan!” As a self-taught photographer, Kim seems to have a knack for creative ideas and a curiosity to find exquisiteness in the most uncommon places.
In high school, it’s rare for a person to organically find their way into many conversations from people of all different grades and backgrounds. Kim did not achieve this through scandals or publicized weird habits but by unadulterated talent alone. However, every story has its beginning, and Kim was not born with a Nikon D850 in her hands.
She had to learn, fail and succeed to get to the level of skill she resides at now. With her Senior Year and the end of the high school project, Images By Susan approaching, now is a good time to look back on Kim’s journey from naive novice to thriving artist.
After her casual but successful photo shoot with her friends, Aryanna Carpenter and Theryn Dick, Kim had her first spark in photography.
Since her brother had already given her all of his photography equipment from his High School years, she was able to begin learning how to properly use a camera online.
Years later, Kim said her interest in photography has been maintained because of the number of things she continues to not understand paired with her desire to learn more.
Her eagerness to learn can be traced back to her first photography workshop in downtown Columbus. She did expect to be the youngest one there but what she didn’t expect was to be the one with the least equipment.
“I didn’t know you had to come with your tripods and people there obviously were super experienced,” she said as she reminisced on that hectic day.
Kim was eventually sorted out by a woman who helped her work with what she had. After a “brief photography basics 101,” she realized that “photography is like a second language because apertures, shutter speed, lighting, exposure were so foreign to me.”
The pictures ended up being, “amazing” and ever since Kim has been working hard on improving other skills such as the depths of flash photography and photoshop.
When starting out Kim had many firsts, including her first senior pictures. “Oh my gosh, they were terrible! I don’t even understand how she liked them!” she exclaimed. Though reassuring her, she still said, “Maybe in your eyes, but in a photographer’s eyes it was bad.”
She admitted that she didn’t really know what she was doing, but since then she has done numerous senior pictures. She has also transcended from informal photo shoots with friends to shooting at events and fundraisers.
Through the halls of UAHS, students view Susan Kim’s talent as pure, something that you’re born with. Nevertheless, Kim is not afraid to admit that she hasn’t always been perfect and that one is always going to, “have doubts in anything you do.”
Those doubts don’t stop her though, and her passion for, “plac[ing] a light on some people who aren’t known that well” have allowed her to persevere through the hardships of owning a business, and making her artwork public.
Her intentions for the future do not include photography, but one can bet that she will apply the amount of passion and hard work into whatever comes next.