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Looking at the world through star-colored lenses

Note: What they’re talking about in this article is a step up from the ubiquitous “sel-ca” photos, or “self-taken” photographs, that we see online everywhere. A lot of the photos in question do feature the celebs themselves, but this is referring more to the trend of stars becoming amateur photographers, publishing books and putting their work out for display.

“What’s the reason for the celebrity photographer trend?”

Actors aren’t merely models who always stand in front of the camera. Sometimes they stand behind the camera and see the world through the eyes of photographers. Some publish photo collections like Park Ji-yoon (Secret Garden), Bae Doo-na (Doo-na’s Tokyo Fun), Lee Byung-jin. Others operate photo studios themselves, like Jo Min-ki (Seoul Cheongdamdong St. Zio) and Bbaek Ga (Seoul Shinsadong BY100).

A number of others are photography fans boasting a bit of skill, such as Bae Yong-joon, Boa, So Ji-sub, Song Il-kook, Uhm Tae-woong, and Jung Jong-chul. Let’s take a look at the reason for the trend of celebrities getting behind the camera lens.

(You mean, other than vanity?)

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Singer-actress and photoessayist Park Ji-yoon

 

Photos are the cure-all for stress

Popularity is also a burden, and the tough, competitive nature of the entertainment industry inevitably leads to high stress. The best thing for relieving that stress is to indulge in hobby activities. In the past, exercise and travel were popular, but lately more and more celebrities are falling into the lure of photography. The reason for the rise of photography as the top hobby must be attributed to the wide proliferation of digital cameras. With high-powered digital cameras becoming cheaper and more available, their popularity has risen and the numbers of photos have exploded.


A photo by actor So Ji-sub, titled “Rest”


Photo taken by actor-director Yoo Ji-tae

 

They aim to express themselves openly

The main means stars use to show their photos are through their personal homepages and internet blogs. A good example that enjoyed extreme popularity was last year’s photoessay series published on a portal site that was called “So Ji-sub: The World Through His Eyes.” Mini-homepages at one point replaced stars’ official websites in popularity. The reason such stars display their own work is because of a desire to express themselves in a way that’s particular to celebrities. Considering that music and acting are art forms, the desire for one to express one’s inner thoughts must be strong. Of course, one must also have constant exposure to remain one’s status. There are also many instances when a star wants to show an artistic sense that hasn’t been expressed in their work thus far.

 


Actress Moon Geun-young’s “Family”


Actress Shin Ae, photographed by actor Jo Min-ki

 

All it takes for star photos to become popular is a push of the shutter

Once a photo is revealed to have been taken by a celebrity, that fact alone is enough to make it a hot topic. Now it’s not just whose photo has been taken that’s important, but who took the photo. Recently, Jo Min-ki caused a stir when a photo he took of Shin Ae was printed in a magazine. In June, when singer Shinji put out a solo debut album, her fellow singer [from pop group Koyotae] Bbaek Ga shot her album jacket photo and gained popularity amongst fans. In this way, photographs shot by entertainers are a top marketing tactic as well. The public receives works put out by entertainers beyond their songs and dramas eagerly. Recently, Bae Yong-joon announced his intention to publish a photo collection showcasing the beauty of Korea, causing some fans to do their own inquiring and researching into the sites of interest. Thus celeb-taken photographs are becoming a significant channel of communication between fans and stars.

 


Bae Doo-na

Via Sports Seoul

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Shinae is so pretty...

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I started noticing star photographs primarily from Kim Dong Wan of Shinhwa. I think he started his photography quite some time ago. Many people translate his diary entries from his cyworld which usually contains a lot of self taken photos of his day. I have to say he does have some talent. See links:

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb139/midnightgirl13/jung.jpg
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb139/midnightgirl13/DSC_0008.jpg
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb139/midnightgirl13/chung4-1.jpg
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb139/midnightgirl13/chung3.jpg
http://pic.yupoo.com/254141256/907395351a0f/x878v7v3.jpg

What I find surprising is that he isn't publishing it like many others are.

I think a lot people enjoy looking at celebrity photos hoping to catch a glimpse of a side of them that is not shown on tv.

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it sucks for serious photographers now to see that that their hobby's becoming a sort of trend among celebs. but some of the pics you posted are breathtaking.

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"it sucks for serious photographers now to see that that their hobby’s becoming a sort of trend"

so true. not only even korea..in the US too. [srsly.go to any american teenagers myspace/facebook/etc & YOU tell me how many are into 'photography'-- whether or not they realize their pictures suck. which most of the time, they do.]

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I can see stars take up on photography as a way to release stress.
It's interesting to see the world through their own perspective.

Dongwan has passion for photography . He should publish them one day.

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"whether or not they realize their pictures suck. which most of the time, they do."

And, take it from Edison photography can sometimes get you in trouble!!

I don't think there's anything wrong with photography. People take pictures for their blogs (which in itself is good for ego) anyway; ain't no thang but a chicken wang!

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i like
photo by So Ji Sub
photo by Yoo Ji-tae
photo by Moon Geun-young

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Yeah there's nothing wrong with taking photography as a way to freely express one's own thoughts silently without getting criticism directly.

Other than that, I especially like Kim Dong Wan's photos. Wow, at the lighting and superb vibrant colours! He does sure have artistic integrity. :)

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I managed to check out more of Kim Dong Wan's taken photographs, and I just have to add some more because I though they were really lovely.

http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/6554/080308jumoon1kp1.jpg
http://img363.imageshack.us/img363/7195/080515edit0632zs7.jpg
http://img154.imageshack.us/img154/7199/080515edit0615bi2.jpg
http://img154.imageshack.us/img154/5862/080528oduhz6.jpg

and these two which are a bit more personal.

Shinhwa practicing:
http://img178.imageshack.us/img178/2205/071206bandxr4.jpg
His grandmother's resting place (not so sure though):
http://img178.imageshack.us/img178/7179/080208yonginnm5.jpg

"What I find surprising is that he isn’t publishing it like many others are."

Maybe because he was more rational than other celebrities? Just like asianromance said, "it sucks for serious photographers now to see that that their hobby’s becoming a sort of trend among celebs."

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"YOU tell me how many are into 'photography'-- whether or not they realize their pictures suck. which most of the time, they do."

Wellll, wanna be/amateurish photographers are way better than self-proclaimed artists who can only launch Photoshop and add a couple of tacky filters to pics other have taken -and often without either giving credit or asking permission- and voila, they whip up "art". *snorts*

"this is referring more to the trend of stars becoming amateur photographers, publishing books and putting their work out for display. "

As long as they deserve it...;)

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I am a photographer and I don't see anything wrong with anyone picking up a camera, professional or otherwise. It's something wonderful and enjoyable. Art is subjective.

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i totally agree with Muffin, i can't say i'm a photographer but i love taking pictures and i would love it for more people to appreciate photography

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I am a photographer and its great that more people are having interest in this line.
Filming is a separate thing but I would like to say that Lee Dong Wook is very good at filming :)
Sorry off topic :D

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I only am impressed for those who go through an extent to keep learning good things of life, like taking hobbies or gravitate other skills, rather than being those kinds of celebrities who run the tabloids and give gossip the bad reputation that it brings.

Celebrity or not, useful people are better than its counterpart.

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