Photographer Spotlight: Heji Shin

Seoul-born photographer Heji Shin has always had an eye for making the simple things extraordinary.

"I remember spending a mediocre day with a school friend," she says, trying to remember when she began to take her photography seriously. "I was taking pictures of her randomly. The photos turned out far better than the I remember the day was -- I thought that was terrific."

Since then, Shin, who splits her time evenly between Berlin and New York City, has worked on a diverse set of photography projects, from edgy fashion editorial spreads to, most recently: "a German sex education book for teenagers."

"My photography is considered to be fashionable even though there is no fashion you can see," she explains. "I would say it is not as explanative. It plays more with ... suggestions." An air of melancholy, present even in her documentary-style images of dancers or attendees at a Chanel show, imbues her entire portfolio with a mysterious, dignified air.

But while most photographers wait for that magic to happen wildly snapping away on a shoot, for Heji, the creative process begins long before she steps behind the camera. "My photography is not unimportant but secondary," she says. "I believe the best photographs emerge in the head." 

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