I first became aware of Hye-Ryoung Min when I saw a fashion spread featuring her multiple exposure images. Combining fashion with a strong fine art twist, the series was complex and dense, and startling beautiful. And then I found her personal work, and more multiple exposures and really fell in love!
But Hye-Ryoung’s work is more than just multiple exposures. Perhaps her most Iconic images are of models defying gravity. She also documents scenes from New York City in a style that is uniquely her own.
How did you get started as a photographer?
As a kid, I was always playing with my father’s old film camera. My first introduction to traditional B/W photography -and my first exhibitions- came about when I joined Han Yang University’s Photo Club, ” HY Focus”. At the time I was fascinated by fashion and advertising, so when I completed my BA in Advertising and Public Relations I enrolled in a one year intensive advertising photography school. When I completed the program I found work as a first assistant at a major fashion photography studio in Korea. Later, I came to New York for additional training in photography which I got at FIT and SVA, and also started shooting assignments for Korean fashion magazines based in NY.
Your work has appeared in major magazines in Korea and elsewhere in Asia – and yet you live in New York City – how do you manage such an International career?
Assisting in Korea allowed me to make connections with fashion editors. As soon as I arrived in New York, I started getting assignments for subjects such as street fashion, interviewing designers, artist or fashion people, or shooting fashion week. Having completed a few jobs, the editors recommended me to other editors or ad companies. Korean fashion magazines and advertising companies shoot many stories and campaigns in this city. Most of the time we communicate through email or by phone, and I do castings, interviews, shootings, and write articles, or sometimes I work with magazines’ correspondents, or for big jobs with crews that fly here from Korea. Sometimes I get to meet with editors in person during NYC’s Fashion Week. Other times, I never have a chance to meet them until I visit Korea, even if we may have been working together for long. I think working abroad requires more responsibility, a better understanding of what is expected from me. Maintaining a good relationship is also very important.
Your multiple exposure images are so beautiful! Do you create them in-camera, or do you combine single images in post? And how do you decide what to combine?
I used to make multiple exposure images in-camera when I shot film. Falling in love with digital, I wanted to try digital multiple exposure, which allowed me to have more control, accuracy and a greater ability to execute carefully planed concepts. My works are built on a series of layers, and I work intensively to find ways to make them true digital multiple images, not just an accumulation of layers.
My digital multiple images are interested in showing the interior worlds of my subjects: the thoughts racing through their minds, or the emotions they hold in their hearts. That’s how I see the world and that is our complex life.
For more on Hye-Ryoung Min please see her website at http://hyeryoungmin.com.
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