Jeon Seungho, known as Shotslugger Ray, started street fashion photography in 2014. He currently publishes his photos in two Korean digital fashion magazines. He has also been featured for his own style on Hypebeast. It’s most surprising to learn that this talented photographer is a 17 year old highschool student that carries his hagwon textbooks in his bag along with his gear. Let's get to know Seungho!
Interview Gissella Ramirez-Valle, Header photo The Good Glass, Edit Shay M,
Interpretation Yena Chung
To start off, please introduce yourself to our readers!
Seungho: Hello! My name is Jeon Seungho and I am a street fashion photographer in Korea. I started taking pictures in Garosu-gil in March 2014. I upload my photos to my personal blog and I also contribute to Musinsa. On the weekdays, I am an ordinary high school student!
You're a high school student!? How did you get into street photography?
Seungho: Up until middle school, I was a regular student who simply had a lot of interest in fashion. When I was a freshmen, some of my friends and I hung out in Garosu-gil for my birthday and suddenly a street fashion photographer approached us to take a picture. After getting my picture taken, I just thought it would be fun to take the pictures myself. So for about a month, I started shooting in Garosu-gil every weekend. I enjoyed it a lot, so I continued to take street fashion pictures ever since!
What kind of people do you photograph?
Seungho: Firstly, I choose someone with a unique style that isn’t too over the top. Second, when I see someone with a very attractive and good looking face, I’ll ask to take their portrait as well. The styles that attract me the most are unique, street, and classic styles.
Can you tell us a little bit about where you shoot? Why do you choose to take photos there?
Seungho: In a back alley off Garosu-gil, there’s a place with a white brick wall and great lighting. Since the background is white, the focus is fully on the model. So, when there’s a model I like or someone with a beautiful face, I enjoy taking my pictures there.
Tell us about some of your favorite shots!
Seungho: Most of my favorite pictures were taken during the most recent Seoul Fashion Week! Here are my top 4:
You’ve been photographed for you own style and have been featured on international street style blogs like HypeBeast. Does shooting street style influence the way you dress?
Seungho: Obviously the two are related. If I really like the outfits the models are wearing, I would ask which brand it is and buy it. Taking street fashion photos has influenced the way I dress a lot. For example, I bought the jacket I was wearing for the picture on HypeBeast when I saw the item on a street fashion photography blog called Le 21ème.
How would you describe your own style?
Seungho: Most of the time I prefer a simple style. On the weekends or special occasions like Seoul Fashion Week, I try to be more unique and noticeable. On the weekends, I like wearing hats like fedoras or panama hats. For fashion week, I shop for my clothes a month before the event. Although I’m the one who takes the pictures, it also feels good when someone takes a picture of me as well! Recently, I’ve been interested in street brands like Bape and Raf Simons so I’ve been collecting a few items from them.
There seems to be an increase in global awareness about Korean fashion. What are you observations regarding the globalization of Korean labels?
Seungho: I’ve recently been visiting many street fashion blogs outside of Korea, and sometimes I see celebrities wearing Korean brands or cool street fashion photographs with models wearing Korean brands. Even Colette in Paris has a few Korean brands now including SJYP and KYE ! Also, a few days ago, I really liked the outfit of a guy I took a picture of, and it happened to be Hyein Seo.
It seems as though the number of street photographers in Korea has also increased a lot recently. Why?
Seungho: I think social media has been the greatest influence, especially Instagram, which has given better access to street fashion photography. Also, events like Seoul Fashion Week have affected people as well. For example, one person I took a picture of during Seoul Fashion Week 2014, came to Seoul Fashion Week 2015 as a photographer. Other popular photographers like Hyun-Bum Nam and Scott Schuman could also be another influence.
You've photographed many popular models in Korea. Who would you like to work with next, given the chance?
Seungho: The model I would love to work with is YoonYoung Bae. She’s only in her senior year of high school, but many photographers and designers are already keeping their eyes on her. Since I’m also a great fan of her as well, I would love to work with her someday.
What do you carry in your bag on a day out shooting?
Seungho: I only go out shooting on the weekends. I head off to Garosu-gil after my morning class at an academy. In my bag, there’s always my textbook from the morning class, a bottle of sunscreen since I have to stay outside to look for my models, and things like my cellphone, phone charger, and a wallet.
What kind of camera and lenses do you shoot with? Do you have any tips and tricks for the aspiring photographer when it comes to shooting?
Seungho: I am using a Nikon D800 with a 85mm f1.8 lens, and I am content with it! I’d love to get a 24-70mm lens though. Since the 85mm lens is a telephoto lens it’s very hard to use in smaller places like backstage at a fashion show. For the rookies, I would recommend the 24-70mm lens - it’s also great for outdoor pictures as well!
What are your goals? Where would you like to be in five or ten years?
Seungho: Considering the fact that I will keep on taking street fashion photographs, my goals for the next five years would be to have 100,000 followers on my Instagram. In the next ten years, I want to be the most famous street fashion photographer!
Also, since I’m in this field, I would like to help change the fashion culture and perspective in Korea. What is considered fashionable and stylish in the fashion field, is often times ridiculed by other people for being 'too much'. I personally think such an attitude is a huge obstacle for Seoul Fashion Week to be part of the major fashion weeks.
You're young, talented, and driven. The world is your oyster!
To wrap up, any final thoughts?
Seungho: I hope that more people become familiar and interested in street fashion photography and my pictures as well. Thank you!