Johnny Yoon Music Video Debut PARTY!

A Johnny Yoon original!

My friend Johnny had a release event for his new single “If I Had a Day” and a music video debut a couple weeks ago featuring Miguel Castuera of Before the Brave, and Tim Ouyang of Tim Be Told. Here is a glimpse of the beauty that happened that night:


See the music video produced by Tim Ouyang: If I Had a Day

Story behind the song:

Shout out to Johnny on his wonderful new single and music video.


      Miguel Castuera – @miguelcastuera, Soundcloud

      Tim Ouyang – @timbetold

      Johnny Yoon – @yoonjohnny, YoutubeSoundcloud

Venue: SoDoI Coffee House

Shot with: 50mm 1.8

Johnny Yoon Music Video Debut PARTY!

Firsts: Red Lights, Haze, and Earplugs

Last week, I attended my first Indie Folk concert, AND I got to dip my toes in concert photography!

My brotha Miguel (bassist for @BeforetheBrave) hooked it up with the opportunity to shoot their concert in the city, and they even got me an ultra exclusive, all-access press pass! Well, there wasn’t an actual press pass that I got to wear at the venue, BUT I did have a press pass next to my name on the list so I guess it was unofficially official, only people around me couldn’t see it. One day, I will get to wear a press pass somewhere. One day. (Coachella 2020 I’m coming for you)

Here are some of my favorites:

Concert photography is a whole new playground with the same set of rules.

Here are a few quick points from my experience:

  • Lighting at concert venues can be REDiculous
  • Put in ear plug, your eardrums will thank you later
  • Processing in black and white is more addicting than ice cream

The inconsistent lighting was what made it complicated, but it was also what made the most unique shots. I learned beforehand that it was important to anticipate lighting so I tried to anticipate the lighting throughout the concert, but it changed patterns every few seconds, and from song to song as well so I couldn’t anticipate (I’m blaming the lighting guy lol). I had to hop on an angle as quickly as possible once I saw cool lighting that I liked, like an ultralight beam from above or backlit subjects. The haze was also really cool because it gave the lighting a more visible effect, and it gave a faded, foggy appearance.

Then, there’s the red light, which is the most irritating color of light ever. I noticed it mostly in the highlights during post. I forgot the sensor is much more sensitive to the red and blue light because it only detects red, blue, and green, so you have to really underexpose to make sure the highlights aren’t completely blown out when there is so much red light on the skin. Often, the light wasn’t on the face either, but it was shining on the outline of the head or body. I was so tempted to make all my shots black and white because it fixed all the coloring/lighting issues (except for blown out highlights), and I loved playing with the shadows and contrast for black and white.

Fortunately, I had a full frame camera and a fast lens because concert photography is generally dark so I was able to crank up the ISO before images got really grainy. I generally shot manual around 1/200 at f/1.8-2.0 and ISO 1600, but I’d probably go higher in shutter speed for the next time depending on the stage lighting.

These are the areas I want to really really really pay more attention to for the next time:

  • Focusing
  • Movement and action
  • Underexpose
  • Facial expressions

Finally, I just wanna say this was SUPER fun (so shouts out to Miguel and Before the Brave for the awesome awesome opportunity). I was definitely nervous since I’ve never even attended an Indie Folk concert, and here I was taking pictures at one. I definitely loved the challenge of finding shots in a very unfamiliar and unpredictable environment, and all that while listening to some really good music.

Check them out if you like Indie Folk and don’t like overplayed mainstream radio music!


Madi Sipes & the Painted Blue – @madisipesmusic

The Singing Limbs – @thesinginglimbs

Before the Brave – @beforethebrave, check them out on Spotify (I highly recommend their track Poet’s Prison and Hand Holding is Encouraged 🙂 )

Venue: Rickshaw Stop

Shot with: 50mm 1.8, 80-200mm 2.8

Firsts: Red Lights, Haze, and Earplugs

The Joy of Easter

I had the privilege of taking some pictures for my church’s Easter service and festival this past Sunday. I focused on capturing the celebration in a way that would allow people who were there to take a look at the pictures and remember exactly how they felt that time, and for those who weren’t there to see the emotions they missed out on. Here are a set of my favorite pictures that I believe embodied all the joy, warmth, and the loving, lively atmosphere that day!

Shot with: 50mm 1.8

The Joy of Easter

Throwbacks: Toreno x Derrick

I got a lot of pictures stuck in my archives from the past since I didn’t have a blog to share them on back then so I’m going to share some of my favorites here and there throughout with a “Throwbacks” series.

These shots are from a collab’ shoot in ’16 with Toreno and Derrick. The shoot was in SF in a few different settings, and here are some of my favorites:

I love the street because you can use anything on the street that you find that fits your aesthetic and perspective. The possibilities are almost limitless! Red bricks and green leaves are a basic, but awesome backdrop. It allows the model to stand out, but it isn’t a plain white wall and it gives different textures. The outfits they were wearing were perfect for the clean and minimal aesthetic as well. I thought the stained glass windows in the cathedral were visually beautiful with the light coming through it in the dark room of the church so I wanted to focus on that and the architecture, and I made sure to compose to get both in the background near and around the subject.

COLLABIN’ is the word of the day.


Derrick: @der_ipsni

Toreno: @toreno__

Shot with: 50mm 1.8

Throwbacks: Toreno x Derrick

My Favorite of the Year So Far…

Every photographer knows there are certain shots in photography that make you even more ecstatic than the other shots. It’s THE shot out of all the shots you got that day or month. It’s the shot that required a little bit of luck and ridiculous placement and timing. It’s the shot that captures your personal vision together almost perfectly. While there is “no such thing as a perfect picture in photography” (as quoted by a famous photographer named Phil Stern), these are the shots that come extremely close to it for my eye and taste. This is that shot for me that I recently took last week in San Francisco. I’ll explain why I love this so much below.


What makes me admire this image so much is the symmetry. The subject (cyclist) is dead center, well almost… to the eye she is centered, but if you wanted to calculate length from side to side she is closer to the left than the right. However, the shadows, the trees and their dark, contrasting trunks give off the impression that she is centered in between, and the subject is not covered by any of its leaves making her perfectly clear. There is also some light that graces her back that brings her out slightly rather than just a dark silhouette. Thankfully, she wasn’t wearing green either…

In my perfect world of perfect pictures, I would’ve removed all the trees in the background and the leaves on the left border.

You never know what you’re gonna get each time you go out, and that’s one of the joys of photography. It will surprise you with its unpredictability. I love control, but you don’t get much of that in photography unless you stage everything; and that is what irritates me, but it’s also the most exciting factor.

Shot with: 50mm 1.8

My Favorite of the Year So Far…

When You Accidentally Cross the Golden Gate…

Last week, I got to catch up with my good friend Albert from high school. Our plan was to go to Marin Headlands, but I missed the last exit before the toll and ended up crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. So, we ended up going to Golden Gate Park and Sutro and this is what I got that day…


Shot with: 50mm 1.8

When You Accidentally Cross the Golden Gate…