Boston Globe Staff Photographer Yoon S. Byun Examines His Photography and Speaks on Current Projects

Renowned photojournalist Yoon S. Byun visited campus to discuss and present some of his recent works last Wednesday. Currently a staff photographer for The Boston Globe, Byun first discussed his latest yearlong project on a southeast Ohio farm, which recently won the Community Awareness Award in the Pictures of the Year International Competition. In his photos, Byun depicts the humble lifestyle of a self-sufficient family. Byun said, “I have always been interested in documenting different communities through my works, and I was very intrigued by their lifestyle when I first met this family in Ohio at a nearby farmer’s market. Their way of life seemed so humble and yet so independent and I wanted to capture that in my photos.” Jack You ’10 said, “I thought the collection of the photos really told the story of the family well even though we didn’t know the family in person. I think the narration made by Mr. Byun along with the slide show really added to the depiction of their lives.” Following his presentation on the Ohioan family, Byun shared several of his photos and narratives from his Boston Globe column, “On My Mind.” “On My Mind” is a weekly column consisting of photographs of people in the Boston area. A description of the things that they are thinking about complements the photograph. Cameron Hastings ’12 said, “I really enjoyed Yoon Byun’s ‘On My Mind’ column. I found the field of photojournalism very interesting because it documents the lives of people whom we don’t really encounter in our daily lives.” Byun told the audience that he first found his true passion for photojournalism after the September 11 attacks. He said, “When September 11 occurred, I felt a need to document historic events. Ever since then, I have pretty much carried my camera around with me everywhere.” Byun said his job and passion for photography and journalism have changed his personality. He said, “I was a very shy and quiet boy growing up, and who would have guessed that I would be approaching random people in the streets of Boston to take pictures of them for my photo column in 20 years?” “The camera is just a black box and a piece of glass but it has provided me with great opportunities to meet new people and go to new places,” Byun continued. After sharing his personal experiences as a photojournalist, Byun addressed the increase in videos and 3D art throughout the field of journalism. You said, “Photojournalism was not something that I was necessarily interested in before Mr. Byun’s presentation, but after hearing about his life experiences around the world as a photojournalist, I was greatly inspired by the profession and its artistic and social significance.”