I think we are all innately storytellers. Some people reject this idea and others embrace it. As human beings, we have certain emotions, feelings or thoughts that we need to express or communicate with others. Telling stories is the perfect way to do this. When you attempt to convey your internal thoughts, hopes and fears to others, the chances are high that someone out there can identify and relate to it. For me, this is the whole purpose of storytelling.
As I continually grow and learn about the craft of filmmaking, it becomes clearer and clearer that everything is centered around the story. What message are you trying to get across to your audience? Why do they care? By using the combination of moving images and sound, I try to figure out what I can put forth that's meaningful, or at the very least, entertaining. Thinking about creating films in this way can help to foster a creative mindset. I believe the trick is to think deeply about what you want to say without overcomplicating the process. At times, it can be difficult to discern where the story is or how we can properly share it with others. This is where the challenge lays.
Recently, I've been trying to find the story in my photographs. Prior to this, I would share my photos on Instagram with a short description or quote, but I wasn't really thinking about what I wanted to say. I realize now that if I look at this simple act of posting as an opportunity to tell a story, I can add much more depth and meaning to what I'm putting out to the world. It takes much more time and thought, but it's worth the extra effort.
Here are some of these posts:
View from the top of Mount Apsan (앞산) overlooking the sprawling city of Daegu. With the daylight fading, we raced to the top of the trail to get a glimpse of the sunset...it did not disappoint.
As we felt the balmy summer breeze on our faces, we were in awe of just how far the city stretched out on the horizon. We tried to figure out where our neighborhoods were amongst the sea of lights. This little activity made me realize that our lives are similar—we're all searching for the place where each of us belongs in this world.
Seeing a place from a new vantage point gives us a renewed sense of clarity and perspective. It resets our minds and helps us remember what's truly important.
Teaching my friend how to skate while she teaches me Korean…we all have the opportunity to learn something new and valuable every day. We should trust in every experience, because each day will add up to a lifetime of priceless knowledge and growth that will pave the road towards our future.
Sunsets in Daegu have been spectacular recently. I've been dying to take some rooftop photos, and tonight was the night. Snapped this on the 15th floor of a high-rise apartment building. Although sunsets are commonly seen, each time strikes me as special and unique.
I have been itching to get on a city rooftop to photograph the skyline, and I wasn't sure how to go about gaining access, as most buildings have security codes. I just wandered into a building behind a group of people and headed upwards. Too easy. While enjoying the view up there, I realized I've been overthinking a lot of things in my life recently. As the golden sun slowly dipped below the horizon, I meditated to calm my mind a bit.
It's funny how we imagine all these roadblocks and obstacles that keep us from going where we want, yet oftentimes it's just useless noise created in our heads. If we are strong enough to choose healthy ways to combat our anxious thoughts, we can become better at replacing them with positive ones that will lead us in the right direction.
Shot of a new friend and fellow English teacher here in Daegu. I snapped this photo during an awesome night hike where we saw both a breathtaking sunset and an amazing skyline view of our city.
As someone who takes quite a few photographs, it's always exciting looking through them and seeing someone smiling. It's especially satisfying when they weren't smiling for the camera. Knowing that you captured the candid moment when that person felt joy or happiness is just an awesome feeling.
Photos like this remind us that the best feelings and emotions to reveal to others are the ones which come from an authentic and honest place—a place that is present within all of us.
Tried this delicious dish [Bo Ssam (보쌈)] after being invited to an amazing traditional Korean restaurant by a very generous local. I randomly met him on the subway which unexpectedly shut down for the night. Far from our destinations, our only choice was to share a taxi together. My new friend didn't have his money on him, so I offered to pay for the ride.
After chatting, we realized that we share the same passion—filmmaking. He offered to bring me to a fancy Korean restaurant the following week to repay me. After this amazing meal, we worked on a video together. It always astounds me who we can meet and connect with if we keep ourselves open to the new places and people that surround us every day.
Been really into photographing flowers lately. I was lucky enough to capture this yellow daisy in ideal late afternoon lighting this past weekend. I'm not sure if it's the vibrant colors or the aroma that draws us to flowers, but regardless, they are certainly attention-grabbing. Like many things in our lives, it's easy to overlook them because they may be considered commonplace or ordinary. We tend to block things out if they're not completely new or exotic.
If we attempt to shift our attitudes about what we regard as "normal" and see it for what it truly is, it will become easier to appreciate and better connect with the sheer beauty that is present all around us.
This little dude was electric on Friday night at the Samsung Lions baseball game in Daegu. He was jumping, chanting and bringing endless energy to our entire seating section. This boy reminded me of myself. Not too long ago that was me as I cheered on the Red Sox at Fenway Park back when I was a little guy. I think we can learn a great deal from young kids who are just living in the moment and enjoying what's happening in front of them.
As we get older, our lives become more complicated and our distractions can consume us. It shocks me how much children remind us of who we truly are. Let's not forget to enjoy what we're experiencing NOW.
Got the chance to visit the DMZ area at the border of North and South Korea this past weekend. It was certainly an interesting experience. We got to explore an area that has only been open for one year, and we needed a special permit to be granted access. The man pictured above explained about the conflict that went on here during the Korean War...he warned us about the mines that are still present and active underground. We were instructed to stay inside the gated area to preserve our safety and limbs!
It was certainly strange being in this area, and it really got me thinking...so many of us are truly blessed to have never experienced the cruelty and horrors of war that takes place in so many parts of our Earth. It always seems so senseless and unnecessary, but regardless of that, this is reality for many people.
I think when we get wrapped up in our own lives, it's easy to forget how lucky and fortunate we are. Let's take the time to appreciate and recognize it.
This weekend marked my first legit video gig since relocating over here in South Korea. I assisted two professionals in shooting a cooking video series.
It's thrilling to see opportunities arising after putting so much time and effort into working on my craft. At times, when we're following our passion in life, it can feel like we're all alone in our pursuit. In some respects, this may be true, but if we look a bit deeper, we see that if the hard work and commitment is there, things will slowly begin to move in the desired direction.
Sometimes we see success stories and wonder how these people could have possibly made their dreams a reality. It's more than likely that behind that success is countless hours of struggle, dedication and perseverance. This essential part of the process is unseen by most people; they only see the outcome. If we attack what we want out of life, our potential is limitless.
These recent posts have been introspective, and some were a bit personal. I like to think people respect and gravitate towards authenticity. Typically, people can smell bullshit from a mile away, so being real makes the most sense. It may not be easiest thing to do, because you may feel vulnerable or scared to let people into your mind and thoughts. This is how we really connect with fellow humans. Honestly, it's one of the most important and fulfilling acts we can do. If we let others into our world, we can empower them to do the same. This has the power to change people's lives. The main goal of storytelling and sharing is to help others in their own personal journeys.
Whether you choose to believe it or not, all of us are storytellers, using our hearts and minds to imprint our soulful words upon the book of the world.
Break Your Boundaries.
Check out more of my photos on my Instagram page