Most Incredible Family Photos EVER

Trust us, you’ve never seen family photos this creative or this cute.

Wedding photographer Jason Lee began taking pictures of his two daughters when his mom was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2006. The girls, who were very prone to getting sick, were rarely able to visit their grandmother in the hospital.

Lee did not want his mother to miss out on her grandchildren, but also knew that he couldn’t let his daughters get their grandmother sick. He decided to utilize his occupation for a more personal project and decided to keep her updated with her grandchildren through photography.

Of course, he didn’t want just any picture. He wanted pictures that told a story and would make her laugh. The results? Visually stunning family photos.

My Modern Met sat down with Jason Lee and asked him to divulge more information about his incredible photography:

Q: How did you get into photography?
A: I picked up my first digital camera a year before my first daughter was born, which was about 8 years ago. I really enjoyed taking photos and getting the immediate feedback from digital and it just grew from there.

Q: How do you come up with such creative photos of your daughters? What’s your creative process like?
A: Most of the ideas come from the girls, from observing them play, or hearing the funny and outrageous things they say. Their day to day life also plays a big role for my inspiration. Creative process, hmm, thats a tough one. After coming up with an idea, I then ‘set up’ the scene, and often use artificial lighting to enhance the images. It helps to plan out the shoot before hand, so at most, I only have them in the shoot for a minute or two.

Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring photographers?
A: Don’t be afraid to experiment. Take notes. When you have an idea, jot it down somewhere for later. Practice, practice, practice. Start a 365 project, or at least try to shoot something on a consistent basis.

Q: Any quotes you live by?
A: Like in Finding Nemo, Dori advises “just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” Replace swimming with taking pictures and I think you have a winning formula.

 

 

 

Check out his incredible pictures below:

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The Cost of Beauty: A Look Into Korea’s High Rate of Plastic Surgery

Based in Brooklyn and Seoul, photographer Ji Yeo strives to call attention to a very controversial aspect of South Korea’s modern-day culture: plastic surgery.

In her series “Beauty Recovery Room,” Ji Yeo captures the scars and bruises of women who have recently undergone plastic surgery. DailyMail explains that by showing the painful recovery, Ji Yeo aims to shine light on the physical cost women endure in “Korea’s beauty-obsessed culture.”

“Plastic surgery has become an integral part of Korea’s current culture, often regarded as an integral step in the self improvement process,” say Ji Yeo. “It is a culture where men are judged on their financial balance sheet and women on their beauty. The male-dominated media endlessly reinforces its model of the idea woman. As a result of these cultural forces Korea has become a beauty-oriented society where people are judged more for their appearance than their character.”

“Beauty Recovery Room” has garnered both positive and negative reactions. Some people believe the take-home message is that women simply go too far to meet societal expectations. Others disagree with Ji Yeo’s focus on the negative. “I think people have a right in our day and age to change whatever physical feature they deem necessary” says a Huffington Post reader.

Check out the images for yourself and tell us what you think:

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Check out all the full gallery here.

Funny Art Piece of The Day: Awkward Kisses With Strangers

For his series “Return to Sender”, photographer Tommy Kha has put together photos where he kisses strangers, lovers and friends. The best part? He looks awkwardly stoic in every picture.

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It’s easy to react to this photo series with laughter. This is clearly just a ploy to practice his kissing skills, right? As it turns out, there’s a much deeper meaning behind these pictures. Although he admits that humor plays a large part in these photos, he also informs us that these photos are a commentary on the perception of Asians in the media.

Rather than playing the supporting role often given to Asian characters, Kha has decided to take the steering wheel and be his own protagonist. And his bored expression? Not only does he put a humorous and unique twist to the photos, he is also able to very clearly show his dissatisfaction with the representation of Asians in the media.

Throughout the series, Kha takes on the roles of actor and director. As the character, Kha is playing off the stereotype of Asians seen in mainstream media, though it isn’t the defining idea behind the series.

 

“My work has to do with our roles that, in varied ways, are defined by cultural indifference along with the experience of being ‘othered’,” he wrote via email. “Much of these notions are informed by the little representation I see in the media, and part of these notions exist stereotypically. Almost always, Asians are regulated to a supporting role, shown incapable or not on the same playing field as the protagonist.”

 

Kha said is he playing up that stereotype by appearing almost disinterested in the kiss, but his motivation for the work is really more about his own views of intimacy. “I think [the motivation] was wanting to belong, of wanting ‘to be seen,’ to be an object of desire (as the receiver of the kiss) but at the same time, to appear reserved and contradictory by denying the kiss.”

 

A main influence for “Return to Sender” is Lilly McElroy’s “I Throw Myself at Men,” which Kha said made him rethink the idea of self-portraiture. “To do self-portraitures, the artist is automatically the protagonist. I don’t find myself completely interesting, but things like family, race, sexuality, societal ideals, etc., are part of forming one’s identity, which changes over time and [is] not bound to formulaic boundaries. Much of what I like to explore is questioning my role as the protagonist, usually through being a supporting character, in the background, or behind the camera,” Kha said.

 

Scroll down for more seriously awkward photos, and read the full story here.

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Instagrams from North Korea

Associated Press reporters David Guttenfelder and Jean Lee have been posting photos and videos from inside North Korea on their Instagram feeds. This is the first time anyone has posted on Instagram from North Korea, and the immediacy of their updates lends a new perspective to our understanding of the secretive nation.

Earlier this year, North Korea began allowing foreigners access to its mobile Internet service, Koryolink. While foreign visitors can use the pricey 3G service to tweet and upload photos, North Korean citizens are restricted to voice calls.

Guttenfelder writes, ”On Jan. 18, 2013, foreigners were allowed for the first time to bring mobile phones into North Korea. And this week the local service provider, Koryolink, is allowing foreigners to access the Internet on a data capable 3G connection on our mobile phones. In the past I could post geolocated phone photos to my Instagram feed by turning my online laptop into a hotspot to link my iPhone or iPod touch by wifi. But, today I’m posting this directly from my phone while riding in the back of a van in #Pyongyang. The window on to North Korea has opened another crack. Meanwhile, for Koreans here who will not have access to the same service, the window remains shut.”

Many of the shots capture rehearsals of the Arirang Mass Games as North Korea prepares for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the July 27 armistice that ended the Korean War. But there are also glimpses of daily life and commercial offerings in addition to images of propaganda.

Top image: “Korean War veterans enter a cemetery for their deceased fellow war veterans in #Pyongyang.”

A view of Pyongyang from Guttenfelder’s hotel.

“The yet to be completed 105-story pyramid shaped Ryugyong Hotel can be seen from about anywhere you stand in Pyongyang. The North Koreans started building it around 1987.”

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“DPRK in B&W. North Korean farmers tend fields near #Kaesong.”

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“North Korean veterans of the Korean War gather together in a stadium in #pyongyang before a mass ‘dance party’.”

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“Inside the new Korean War museum on #Pyongyang, tiny models in a glass case depict U.S. Army Major General William F. Dean, the highest ranking American captured during the Korean War.”

guttenfeldernk4“A North Korean communal farm seen from the air.”

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 ”North Koreans in a passing car this morning in #Pyongyang.”

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“#NKorean schoolgirls sneaking a moment from a political ceremony to share a laugh. Their haircuts and school uniforms remind me of what my mother wore as a schoolgirl in Seoul in the late 1950s. Last month,#Pyongyang, #DPRK.”

Check out the reporters’ feeds for more footage as it comes.

“Kiss Me Please” Brightens the World One Smooch at a Time

“All the things are solvable by kissing,” reads each picture in Japanese photographer Nagano Toyokazu’s photo series, the Kiss Me Please Project, in which his four-year-old daughter, Kanna, showers her world with kisses.

Toyakazu shares, “Whether it is a fight between a couple, countries, and people, it is quite possible that everything can be solved with a single kiss. With this in mind, my second daughter is expressing this idea by kissing different people and things. This project is to show that love can be spread and shared among the people. We hope that it would bring peace to the world.”

Lofty ambitions for a photo series, but as you look through the sun-faded photos of Kanna smooching plastic swans, Ronald McDonald, and one of those stuffed animal-car hybrids unique to Asia, you find yourself believing that the world’s problems can indeed be solved with kisses.

Toyokazu has been documenting his two daughters’ adventures for years. You can see more of their adorable photos here. Whether making silly faces or blowing kisses, Kanna and Miu are sure to soften even the grumpiest scrooge’s heart.

Chinese Factory Workers and “The Real Toy Story”

Nearly 75% of the worlds toys are made in China. With so many of these plastic toys available to us at ease, we often forget the hard labor that goes into making them. Chinese factory workers must spend hours assembling, stuffing, painting, and working diligently to live up to the never-ending demands from the West.

Michael Wolf, a German photographer pursuing his career in Asia, decided to use his talents to remind us of the struggle that goes into making these toys. His website states:

“Wolf developed the idea around plastic toys, a fascination of his since they were off limits to him as a child. Over a period of one month, he collected over twenty thousand toys “made in China,” scavenging through second-hand stores and flea markets up and down the California coast. He transformed this vast collection into an installation, The Real Toy Story, which integrates portraits of workers in china’s toy factories into a series of walls covered entirely in plastic toys of all kinds. The result is an overwhelming, immersive experience; a graphic representation of the gargantuan scale of china’s mass production and the west’s hunger for a never-ending supply of disposable products. The gazes of the factory workers humanize this anonymous ocean of toys and invite us to reflect on the reality of trade in a world of consumer-driven globalization.”

Wolf effectively reminds us of the various faces that work endlessly to produce these items that we often take for granted. To get a full look at this series, click here.

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