You probably won’t meet too many photographers with a Ph.D. in the social sciences, but maybe it’s time you did. So much of my community psychology and social justice academic background informs my intentional approach to photography.
My 10+ years in domestic and international community development work has made me highly attuned to the ethical needs of the humanitarian and photojournalism sector. It’s time there’s a new norm for ethical and human-centered photography.
I’ve worked in personal branding and do freelance web design and copywriting. I’ve also facilitated storytelling workshops for both youth programs and undergraduate classes. Basically, I’ll make sure your images are more than just documentation.
“When a photograph evokes immediate empathy, you become invested in a stranger’s story in a way that the strange is washed out and you are left with familiarity. Hy’s work captures universal human feelings and presents them naturally. It is evident in each photograph that the moment captured is carefully framed but spontaneous in form. You get a feeling of being in the middle of the story without intruding, which speaks to Hy’s skills in making the effortful seem effortless.”
– Julian Cadena, Asheville, NC
“Hy is able to capture the LIFE in people, their moments of progress and milestones, small and large; their moments of promise; their humanity. A lot of times what is missing from humanitarian organization websites, is real, in-the-moment photos in which the personality and humanity of the individuals and community served shine through. There’s a great need for the humanitarian field to capture the essence of individuals in the real moments, and I truly believe they need someone like Hy to fill that niche.”
– Nghi Phan, Oakland, CA
“I see Hy’s work as both thoughtful and thought provoking- much of his work displays his perspective and invites the viewer into contemplation themselves. His work is deeply respectful. His photos never feel voyeuristic. He’s able to capture a person or place in such a way that the viewer can feel the respect, love, and connection he feels to his subject. In this way, his photos feel more like sharing than displaying. This is an incredible talent and a common thread in his work (and his way of being in this world).”
– Elizabeth Green, Boston, MA
[Travel Diaries from El Salvador | March 2019]
This year’s lunar new year celebration was so nourishing and heartwarming, from the video conference with my cute parents and the giant 9-course Vietnamese dinner party, to the guided group meditation, photo-booth antics, and lunar new year themed team trivia (there was a very organized schedule, don’t worry).
A picturesque historical town set high in the Andes with 16th-century cobbled streets, terra cotta tiled roofs, whitewashed buildings, and the biggest and oldest plaza in Colombia.
Villa de Leyva, you’re a dream.
so happy to be back in this place of refuge //
three special days in one of my favorite places on earth //
by far the most inner peaceful and grounding old and new year celebration I’ve ever had //
wishing all of our loved ones that same inner peace and grounding this year. <3