I must get it from my dad…

…who has always a bit of an historian. My sisters and I were lucky that he captured our childhoods on his trusty Nikon F, keeps old knick-knacks from important life events, and has rare, well-kept albums of his family from when he was my age (and his father was his). “We’re a family of artists,” my dad used to say, as he flipped through photos of my ancestors pointing out the ones who were painters, photographers, entertainers, actors. I didn’t know it then, but I’d inherited some of those genes.

I realized some of those talents after he handed me a camera to play with on vacations. It was an early digital camera—so early, in fact, that the ‘memory cards’ were floppy discs (yeah, those existed). I recall carrying stacks of floppies around Hawaii, Brazil, and wherever we happened to be. The stacks of plastic were truly inconvenient, but less wasteful than spending precious film.

My sisters and I were blessed to have become well traveled by the time we were teenagers; we’d encountered new cultures, new languages, new colors. There was a lot to take in, and no way I could carry enough floppies to store it all. I learned to avoid frivolous shots that just took up space and focus on the moments that matter, the ones that we don’t want to forget.

So,that’s basically my job now. I try to capture your memories that matter…including the ones you didn’t know were happening. That moment when your nieces & nephews were making silly faces during the ceremony, or when your grandmother held close a photo of your late grandpa during the reception. Those are the tints and hues I look for, the ones that paint the picture of your day. Because when your kids become your age (and you’re as old as your parents were), these images will be the colorful memories you get to pass on.


Alvin Kim has a degree in Photojournalism and has worked locally for publications like OC Register & The Daily Titan, and is sent on assignment locally around the US and abroad in locations including Paraguay, Mexico, Guatemala & Kenya. When he’s not taking photos, he’s known to climb a rock or make sourdough.