We had the good fortune of connecting with David Jin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi David, how do you think about risk?
I think some risk-taking is important for artists. Simply having the willingness to tackle challenges and place oneself in unfamiliar situations can lead to a lot of growth. It’s too easy to fall into doing what comes easily and therefore go though the same motions; I try to embrace risk as an opportunity to try something new out and learn some lessons. I think the ability to accept and assess risk is a marker for someone who is not complacent.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a talented artist, but I’m wholly aware that there are many who are as good, or far better than myself in photography. However, I feel that I am a relentless improver. I have gotten a lot better over my first year, thanks to the help of some of the photographers that I’ve met in Atl. I’m excited to see where I can improve in year 2. I don’t think photography was/is too difficult; the greatest challenge for me was getting out of my own way. A lot of talented artists have a harmful habit of comparing themselves to more experienced, or more skilled artists. It pushes us, successfully, in improving our craft, but it also results in a lot of pretty dark and negative periods. I’m only now starting to get better at maintaining that drive for improvement while limiting my poor self-comparison habits. Doing so has been amazingly beneficial.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’d have to hit a mix of spots that are widely known and spots that are popular moreso with just the locals. Probably gonna be grabbing grub up and down Buford Highway; I’m a big fan of El Rey Del Taco. The beltline should get a quick visit, as should the food markets along the walkway. I always like to spend a little time watching the skaters at the 4th Ward park, because a lot of them are better that I’ve ever been and are friendly. They also love getting their photo taken. Jack’s Pizza n’ Wings is a favorite of mine after @exuberant_minds took me there once. And we gotta embrace the nightlife for sure. Some of the clubs are more to my liking than others but it just important to not stay in every night.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family deserves the most credit for helping and encouraging me try out various activities, which eventually led me to photography (among other things) as a hobby. They’re all phenomenally talented people and they serve as a great source of inspiration, and sometimes, an intimidating standard to measure up to. I also have to give a little gratitude to Rollins School of Public Health, at Emory University for allowing me to come study in Atlanta and earn my Masters degree in Epidemiology. Without their acceptance, I would never have wound up in Atown. A few photographers in Atlanta really got me going when I began shooting. @leekstreetphotos and @exuberant_mind are the two photographers who primarily got me out in the Atlanta streets. They taught me to put myself out of my comfort zones, and helped me with my first portrait shoots with models. They also took me to places outside of the common downtown areas where most people shoot, and thus I was able to gain a bit of an eye for photographing rural places as well as urban places. I think they’re the biggest reason that I have some skill in a number of avenues within photography.
Profile image shot by @leekstreetphotos