The End of a Project: 52 Weeks of Self-Portraits

Jeez… End of the year…
I hope everybody had a great New Year Celebration… I did!!
Good company, good drinks, good times, especially good memories.

Man.. what a year 2012 was… to be honest I didnt expect myself to still be continuing photography.. thought it would have been another hobby that i just got tired of… but look at where its brought me to. In the beginning of the year.. i was telling myself how much of a slump ive been in the past 3 months before i started this project but thanks to this.. ive stepped into a whole another world which was fun, exciting, stressful, but most importantly rewarding.

I never thought I would be into conceptual photography.. but it was always something i wanted to try. i always thought people like alex stoddard, karrah kobus, rob woodcox and all the other big name conceptual art flickr people took really amazing photos that were visually stunning and epic… so i attempted to be like them.

This project of self portraits was a test of creativity and motivation for me. I am truly glad that i took on this challenge because not only has it given me a basis of skills, creative flow, and a solid foundation.. but it led me to believe that i am actually fairly decent at something in my life for the first time.

Thank you for following me on my journey. I truly and genuinely appreciate all the support everybody gives me and compliments me on my fraudulent photography.
Look forward to #2013 maybe.

In the jump, pictures and stuff that explain what happened

when i took my first picture.. i didnt think it was the beginning of the project..

i just didnt have anythign to do on new years… so i went out, took some pictures and came home and i liked what it looked like.


ahh it wasnt conceptual, but it was meaningful. going out to take pictures like i did with my 365.. it was refreshing to say the least…

and then week 2 was my first attempt at compositing.. throwing those leaves was fun.. the concept wasnt very strong but the process was necessary
thanks @dnuggins for the assists

the third week.. man i felt like i had created one of my favorite photos ever.

Not going to lie this is probably my best photo ever. the masking is clean, the idea is solid, and the creativity is somewhat original…
but this was the 3rd week and i was thinking to myself.. how would i follow up against this (past) week…

weeks 4 5 6 7 were pretty boring… i couldnt think of ideas that would top the 3rd week and on week 7.. i almost failed the project. i remember taking that photo about 30 mins before the day was over…

i was motivated to shoot something better… and then finally

Week 8 was fun.
running around in my back porch for atleast an hour trying to setup the backdrop of balloons… the combination of balloons in the front that were unrealistic and just being covered…

i had started to realize that i never really enjoyed exposing my entire face. i just felt embarrassed so i think that played along with my whole personality…


Week 9 was beginning of square crops. Doing a brenizer and applying color schemes that me and @derrenversoza would joke around a lot with, i decided to implement a color palette which was fall colors during the spring time. brown towns make for awesome coloring and having a good set of colors to base your photo on definitely helps a lot. i learned what was color theory (kindasorta)

At this point i felt like i was accomplishing something..

i had a ton of ideas that i wouldnt stop and i wanted to go explore and create new images.. something cool and something that would get me a lot of likes & comments on facebook or flickr!


I had shot with @christinanguyen at this location she had shared with me and i was extremely excited to shoot in the abandoned house. i kinda wish i wore more ragid clothing to fit the ambiance of the environment but whatever. the photo looked good and i was satisfied with my creation :]

week 11 was a little personal to me.. it was actually the 2nd time i had taken a nude portrait.. trying to get intouch with my art side but im still embarrassed to have it public so sucks to be you
week 12 was interesting.

i had help from @dnuggins again as well as @kchuphotography and in the blogpost i had made, i was excited to have finally shot this concept.

week 13 was a slight bum… nothing worked out for me and i didnt enjoy my photo at all..

but i did shoot another photo that week and it was really really fun but it wasnt the intended photo for my project..

i definitely enjoyed shooting week 14… one of my more favorite photos.. trying to expand on my workflow especially with clothing and how to dress up for an image instead of wearing casual clothing all the time…

i got a lot of compliments for this one and i was happy that it looked really good so thank you

the next two weeks… i played with my lights and more specifically my PLM.
Both @kchuphotography & I bought a PLM and its safe to say that im more inclined to shoot in studio solely based on the fact that PLM’s make nice photos in a really easy way.


a simple portrait of me but it was fun to test out the toy

as well as create huge amounts of negative space which i love.

now it started to get serious.

i want to say that during this time.. i was applying for Art Center therefore i was working on my portfolio.. trying to create images that would be stunning and give me a high chance of admission.. i wanted to create amazing photos and i copied a lot of people but in my own style..

i also really like the herschel brand and i wanted to show off my backpack like the narcissistic person i am haha


This photo is probably my most well received photo.
definitely stole the idea of adding a volcano/mountain in the background from @derrenversoza but whatever it was a good laugh and i was definitely inspired by it

19 & 20 were based on using clouds again…

this photo of mine got into honorable mention for the ryan brenizer “brenizer method” contest and i was extremely excited for that
i had completely forgotten that i applied to the contest and i was really really glad that i did.

21 & 22 were somewhat boring… i wasnt feeling inspired but to say the least.. i was going to korea the next few weeks to secure my education for the future (thank you family)

The next 5 weeks.. i was in Seoul, South Korea.
i didnt really know whether or not i was going to be able to continue with the project but i tried my best.. at first i wanted to make a series of “exploration” in korea but that turned out to be a bust… but i kept attempting to make photos and im glad i didnt stop.





i really enjoyed my time at korea but slightly regret that i didnt take as many photos as i should have.. i stayed indoors most of the time due to the heat and with the amount of errands i had to finish with my family before leaving was tedious.. but i made some awesome friends while there and i cant wait to go back to catch up with them again!

the day after i had arrived back on american soil.. @derrenversoza asked me to help him with his shoot and i obliged.
week 29 was a tough one because it was the end of the week and i hadnt shot anything.. i wanted to relax and not do anything before school started…

but im really glad i didnt give up

Week 32… i didnt know what to do because the countdown to school was happening..
and then i had an idea to make myself feel like a better photographer.


this photo is one of my top picks
i never really liked the color red but its so vibrant and fakepowerful that i like it

34th week was supposed to signify the return of school and the school portraits for ID cards

i liked it and it was fun


35th week “lets try to make something creative out of boxes” week
Lol it was really fun

and then.. school started.. and my photos started to go down hill..

36, 37, and 38 were all not so good concepts and this photo of week 39 wasnt strong either.
i was struggling with the workload of art center and lack of creativity…

i attempted to use a smoke machine that i had bought but it didnt work out… i was sad

the next week was shot on my 4×5 large format film camera.. i didnt fail my project.. it was just on film and i couldnt scan it
week 42 i had attempted to do something again.. but it was extremely unrealistic and not very well thoughtout..


my first instagram cheat ( of many more)
for good reason though… i was flying out to canada! worked with @crosscountertv for an opportunity to help & shoot video for Canada Cup Gaming 2012 which was a blast! met some really awesome people and i love canada so it was a great opportunity for me.

week 44 was ok but it wasnt strong…
but the next week was my 2nd wedding to confirm my new and improved editing style!

ahh i was excited to do new things and im glad i experienced it


for my film class we had to take a self portrait.

naturally i attempted something fun and creative.. “this was a good idea” said my professor.

and then the 47th week was another instagram self portrait. i had cut my hair again for the 2nd time in the year and everything is cold.

but finally were getting down to the last 5 weeks..
the 48th week was a portrait in studio which wasnt creative or conceptual but i didnt give up.

This photo is a combination of what i had learned through the past 50 weeks & what i learned in school.
a brenizer on film and being brave enough to attempt it.

Thank you art center.

now the next two weeks… were kind of cheat weeks.

realizing that instax film shots were just as good as any other photos this was my self portrait with my friends at school
a photo inside of a photo Inception~


and then this stupid balloon foto with a galaxy on top…

the last week before the end of my project..

and finally.. the last week
To be honest i had shot a couple of photos before hand and none of them really made an impact with me..
and i was scared that i was going to fail my project on the last week..

but i manned up and shot myself no help in a way that i had started from week 1.

my final photo. the significance of this photo isnt anything amazing but to think that i finished another project that was based on creativity and pushing myself to have strong image..

i think thats whats significant about the last photo.

Although i dont think ill be returning to conceptual photography anytime soon.. i will be attempting to make photos like this whenever i get an idea
please look forward to my next year.. it’ll be exciting :3

Thank You So Much

-Ryan Kim

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6 thoughts on “The End of a Project: 52 Weeks of Self-Portraits

  1. ryan, really loved your work throughout this year! your creativity is inspiring, and i’m glad you never gave up. one question, how did you brenizer method for self-portraits?
    p.s. very random, but apparently i met one of your cousins while i was studying in shanghai.

    • ahaha wow

      uhh brenizers are kinda tough to do solo.. its a lot of pre visualization before you shoot but it is possible. but to say it in the most simplest terms.. you have to shoot your body in parts like top half, lower half.. or head chest waist legs and feet

      and split the shooting. its a lot of running around and checking with your shutter remote ( which is completely necessary ) but its possible.. you’ll get a lot of failed shots but dont get discouraged. i have atleast 20 unused brenizer photos that i cant show because i failed them horribly! haha

      if you have any other questions feel free to message me on facebook or send me an email or whatever and ill respond as best to my ability as possible

      and stacy is a great person :3 shes funny

  2. Great images :)! I’m happy to see how much you’ve learned! Doing a 52 weeks definitely helps you realize what kinds of images you like to create. Congrats!

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