Getting to Know WPPI Speaker and Destination Wedding Shooter Kenny Kim

July 15, 2016

By Laura Brauer

Tamara Lackey is a photographer, author, program host of Adorama’s reDefine show, Nikon USA Ambassador, and founder of Beautiful Together (in support of children without families) and the eco-friendly Lush Albums. Here, she interviews Kenny Kim, whose has worked across globe shooting over 200 weddings and destination events, has been featured in several magazines and blogs including Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, The Knot, Chicago Social Bride, Shutterbug, RangefinderGrace Ormonde Wedding Style, Junebug Weddings and Style Me Pretty.

Tamara Lackey: You have taught at WPPI for the last eight years, yet you have shared that it felt very risky for you to attend your very first WPPI. Why was that?

Kenny Kim: I was afraid of the unknown. I had never been to a “photo-graphy conference” before so I didn’t know what to expect when Skip Cohen (president of WPPI at that time) invited me to attend. I loved photography but didn’t know any technical aspects of it. Looking back, I realized that whenever I wanted to try something new in life, fear always raised a red flag in my mind, telling me that it’s not a good idea and that I should stay in my comfort zone instead. While it might sound “safe” to listen to your fears, it also has a way of crippling you. So now you can imagine how hard it was for me to attend my first WPPI back in 2006.

TL: What’s something you know to be true, even though no one may agree with you?

KK: Being a giver—giving without expecting anything in return. I learned this lesson from my photography mentors: Invest your time in people. While your recipient may think that they are benefiting from this, it is the giver who experiences more joy. Stop counting the costs and always expecting something in return. The joy of giving far outweighs the gift your giving away.

All Photos Courtesy of Kenny Kim

TL: What book do you find yourself recommending to other people the most, and for what reason?

KK: Besides the two I wrote—Wedding Photographer’s Planner and Digital Wedding Photography Photo Workshop (ahem, shameless self promotion)— there are two books I recommend for anyone thinking of getting into this business: Love is the Killer App by Tim Sanders and Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. While they don’t talk anything about photography, it has everything to do with it. It’s the foundation of how I started this business.

TL: Your successful destination photography business looks quite glamorous from afar. What is the most challenging aspect of that much travel for you?

KK: There are pros and cons to everything. Yes, I have been fortunate to visit some amazing places around the world, but it requires flexibility, discipline, time management and necessity to adapt to time changes quickly. Becoming a savvy traveler can help you overcome these obstacles and once you do, it’s well worth the initial inconvenience.

TL: What are you most looking forward to in life right now, and why?

KK: I love and crave making new relationships and reconnecting with people around the world. I learn the most from the people I meet and the experiences I get to go through because of it. For this reason, I am always looking forward to my next adventure, travels and weddings coming up. If you already can’t tell, I really love what I do.


CreativeLive Video Tutorial: All in one Life: Health & Energy with Tamara Lackey