I've been working on a lot of stuff these days, and really getting settled into a nice, calm rhythm. Still, someone remarked, in a recent conversation with me, that I seemed to be getting angrier and angrier, at least on the blog. I guess that's true, but the funny thing is that it actually reflects the fact that I've been feeling more focused on other projects and chilling out.
As little sense as that makes, it been working like this: I've said a lot of what I feel needs to be said on certain topics I'm more concerned with, namely racism, sexism, the education system, and things in Korea. So, my long, serious, more academic posts on these subjects have been waning. Yet, things still pop up in the news, so I do respond to the more egregious things I hear about, which tend to be the things that make me angry enough to actually sit down and write something about. So, all you hear these days is the more reactionary side of me, with less of the more pro-active thinking and writing that marked the earlier days of the blog.
Which isn't a bad thing, I think. It just seems that I need to highlight some of the other directions I've been moving into more, especially in the realms of photography and fashion. As with any person, life brings changes to one's activities and interests. I've been doing a lot more traditional fashion shooting, which brings changes to my frequency (less) and type (more fancy lights) of shooting on Feetmanseoul.com.
I was involved in the aborted launch of a Korean fashion magazine (Faddict), but gained a lot of connections and experience through it. Since I have a column in a fashion industry newspaper called TINNews (Textile Industry News), I leveraged the support I can get from them in terms of picking up the phone and getting models, interviews, and other kinds of face time to start my own "social networked magazine," which happens to also be about Korean fashion and lifestyle called Yahae!
The idea here is that, if you look at the majority of traditional magazines, they're in a state of flux because media itself is in a state of flux, and that a lot of money still gets wasted on delivering content. The cost of printing, layout designers, shipping and distribution, and a myriad of other things related to the physicality of paper and the medium makes paper magazines expensive. Even with the "online magazine" that exist on professional levels, a lot of effort is required to construct and keep a web site, maintain the server, collate the content, etc. Long gone are the days of the HTML equivalent of the Wild West, back in the late 1990's, when anyone (including myself) could be a "web designer" and put up simple sites. But even then, the barrier to entry was somewhat high, which is why I was able to make extra money in grad school making sites for mom-and-pop shops, even though I was little more than an avid amateur. Because nearly everyone was, back then.
But, as Biggie Smalls, "things done changed" and "this ain't back in the day." Nowadays, slick content delivery vehicles spread ideas around specific communities faster than you can say the word "meme." What is "publishing," anyway? Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress, and Tumblr all allow you to get the word out, to connect with communities, to have arguments, plan events. I realize that a lot of my energy to speak out and connect with others has been subsumed by Facebook. In fact, many of my most recent posts are digested and adapted forms of a Facebook-based debate or even an annotated photo set I put up there.
So, the idea is that I have reached a professional-level ability to produce fashion content about Korea, from the street to the studio to the runway, shoot pro models and Korea's top fashion designers, and have the connections to start my own major photo projects (such as the one I started with Darcy Paquet in which we do an edgy, interesting portrait of a Korean movie star (my part), accompanied by an in-depth interview, with both types of content working on a level a bit different from that seen in the mainstream Korean media.
Look for that and many more samples of this work in a new column about to start late this week or early next week in Oh My News!, which might seem a strange place to publish a picture column, but makes a lot of sense because of its high readership through both itself directly and through the Naver news feed. I plan to gain a lot of expsoure this way -- most importantly not just to the expat community, but to the greater Korean community at large -- so expect to hear a lot more about my pictures from that end of things in the coming weeks.
This doesn't mean I'm going to be doing less here. In fact, I want to focus more on light social critique through photography, as opposed to long, textual scribbles, going into the future. This blog originally started as a photography blog, to those who remember. It served its purpose to me in the way it evolved into the purpose it served. Now, I'm just naturally going in a slightly different direction, back to more expression through the camera.
What that should mean is more interesting content, as I continue FeetManSeoul.com and do street photo (and feed some of it into Yahae!), continue to blog and show pictures here, on my own personal blog, and gather a team to bring more fashion content into the Yahae! project. That project is in development -- live, not offline -- and producing magazine content already. Right now, a lot of it is experimental, but it's gelling together fast and is most definitely interesting. And that's what real "content development" is all about.
Expect a lot in the next several weeks and the immediate months to come. And keep track of me and these projects. Gonna do some shameless social networking promotion, but hey, it's my blog. If you can't do it here, where can you?
And of course, sign up for Seoul's only photo classes taught by a native speaker of English!
See you here, as well as 'round the Net!