I get asked whether photographing friends is more difficult than photographing… for lack of a better word, clients. And although the dynamics are certainly different, I wouldn’t say its more or less difficult.
There’s always that potential of something going terribly wrong and not only do you have an unhappy customer, but one less friend. But for me, I think the positives that could come from the shoot far outweigh the risks of a bad one.
I’m always saying to people, “The better I know my clients, the better the photos usually.” And that absolutely holds true when I’m photographing my friends. I think at first it might be a little awkward at both ends, but awkwardness comes with every shoot. It’s my job to quell that by taking the shoot seriously and professionally. I think oftentimes, I overcompensate and I’m more professional with my friends mainly because they know me personally, and I feel I have to make that distinction between the dorky Jason Kim they know in my personal life with the photographer/artist I am in my business life.
Anyways, I’ve known Emily since our college days in good ol’ Binghamton. I don’t exactly remember where or how we met, but we quickly became good friends and as cliche as this sounds, she became like a little sister to me. She’s an absolute sweetheart, super passionate and jealousy-inducingly talented in so many different things. If there is anyone that deserves a great guy and a fantastic relationship, it’s Emily.
And that’s where Vince comes in. I don’t know Vince nearly as well as I do Emily, but I know that he makes her happy and that he’s so good to her. And as the proverbial “old brother” and me being the somewhat overprotective type, I approve of Vince. Haha. I see him being very attentive of her, he’s just very down to earth.
I have to admit, I had more butterflies than usual heading into this shoot. I really wanted to provide Emily and Vince a service that they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else, from anyone else. It’s something I strive for with every shoot. But when they’re a dear friend, it’s like playing for the home crowd, you know?
And with that, I (finally) present to you some images from that shoot. We covered a fair bit of ground, starting off in Stuyvesant Town on 14th St. then heading over to Common Ground in Alphabet City. We then did a quick wardrobe change (they swear they didn’t plan on both wearing blue… I don’t believe them) and headed over to Momofuku Noodle Bar to wrap up and feast on some ramen.
I know David Chang, owner of Momofuku isn’t keen on photography in his restaurants (as ironic as this may sound, I’m actually a huge advocate of this!), but I think they made an exception with Emily and Vince because they’ve basically been to every Momofuku in this world. Kudos to the management team for allowing us to take a few quick shots inside.
Enjoy the photos everyone! Sorry for all the words, and happy Tuesday!