We had the good fortune of connecting with Jun Yu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jun, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
In general, photography and filmmaking are the things that make me happy. The fact that I could cherish the moment with a camera feels so special. The best feeling comes when I share my works through YouTube and Instagram which helps me share my perspective throughout the world. I love seeing the comments from my followers and hearing some feedback on my projects. Among those, whenever I get messages from others saying that my works were inspiring to them or the video that I post made them feel better while having a hard time means a lot. I feel so happy that my works are giving positive impacts to myself and to others. The things that photography and filmmaking bring always connect to happiness.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My journey started in 2020 as a filmmaker and photographer. At that time I was 16 years old. I started to make films using my iPhone and ended up buying a camera with the money I made through film festivals. At the age of 17, my whole family moved to the US from Korea, and my whole life changed. I felt really blessed to enjoy the beautiful views of Socal and I felt this place is the best place for me to improve my photography and filmmaking skills. As soon as I moved here I started to do more projects and do more collaboration work to build up my portfolio and start my creative journey. It wasn’t easy for me to do all those things that I planned and imagined considering my status as a newcomer. I spent lots of time studying English when I was in Korea but the cultural difference was huge than I expected. The cultural difference and the language barrier were blocking me from improving as a creative person which ended up making it hard for me to communicate with others and be with a community. All of these barriers went away way easier than I expected. I found myself being a whole different person through being more passionate about the thing that I want to do. I found myself contacting a local rapper to shoot a music video and getting in a group chat on Instagram with all the famous content creators throughout the Socal area. From then I was able to grow a lot as a photographer and filmmaker.
I am really proud of my black and white photos which is not a famous genre that another photographer prefers. While lots of viewers enjoy the shots of famous locations and beautiful tones with the Socal sunset, I fell in love with black and white photos. I really loved how it creates a moody vibe and adds a lot more storytelling. I love that I have my own unique style of photography. When it comes to filmmaking, I’ve made a documentary film called ‘A Modern Day Monk’. (A Modern Day Monk / Van Life Documentary
https://youtu.be/CoPjL9CKWc4) It was the first time for me to make a documentary. My interest in van life led me to make a documentary of it. The main character of the film is my uncle, Sam Park, who is living in a van. I am proud of this film since I made this whole film by myself. I can’t wait to create more photos and films in the future.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Definitely all the beaches in the Orange County area. Laguna, Huntington, San Clemente Beach. Among all these beautiful beaches, my favorite place is Laguna beach.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to shout out to my buddy Se Hyun Yim. I’ve started my journey as a filmmaker with him. It all started in 2019. I remember him always finding spots to shoot photos with his father’s old DSLR camera. Since I was already interested in photography, I started to follow him whenever he went out to shoot photos. My first project started when we decided to visit the most famous spots in Seoul. The only thing I had was an iPhone and I just started to film those places. Since then, I bought a camera with the money I made through film festivals and started to go out to shoot some more photos with him. He taught me some techniques since he had more experience when it comes to photography. Thanks to him, I was able to start and keep up with my photography and filmmaking journey.