Years before he’d even graduated from high school, Cody Min C’17 had a resume many professional photographers would envy.
He says he “stole” the family’s digital camera at age 10 and began taking pictures. With encouragement from his dad, who “saw that I had some kind of unrefined eye for it,” Min experimented with photography and eventually tried his hand at making videos, too. He landed his first professional videography gig in 8th grade and “once I saw I could make money from doing something I loved, I started thinking seriously about it and honing my craft,” he says now.
In the years since that realization, Min has shot photos and created videos for Google, ING Group and Hillflint knitwear, as well as politicians, schools and businesses. He says he’s scaled back on outside work since starting at Penn last fall, but that doesn’t mean he’s put down the camera. Over on The Blog of Cody Min, he shares his latest shots and answers questions about photography.
“Every weekend, instead of just sitting in my dorm or sleeping in, I try to get out in Center City or around campus with my camera,” he says. He also keeps busy shooting photos for various Penn groups, including the Wharton Undergraduate Consulting Club, student dance groups and the student fashion pub The WALK Magazine.
Min shared several of his favorite photos with us and offered some background on each shot.
Min shot this in the Quad, right outside his dorm. It was before his first Penn football game and “we all wanted to dress up in Penn colors,” he recalls. “I have a huge print of it hanging up in my dorm. People think it’s pretty funny.”
He’s also organized numerous photo shoots with his friend Kevin Wang W’17, a hip-hop dancer/breakdancer. “The concept was to have photos of him flying around Philadelphia,” Min explains of the following three shots.
(That’s the Delaware River in the background, above.)
Here’s one from a field in Normandy, France…
…and one from a street in Paris:
He’s also shot portraits for his Penn pals, including this one of Taylor Brown W’17 in the Quad near Riepe College House:
and a studio shoot with Victor Adeleke W’17:
“As evidenced in this photo, prep culture influences a lot of my work,” he says.
For those who’ve asked about his editing process, Min recently created this video, which details his work on one of the above photos:
As for general photography advice, “just remember that the point of photography is to tell a story,” he says. “Every single photo you take will tell some sort of story, no matter how good or bad it is, how well-recognized it is, or how many Facebook ‘likes’ it gets. I think what separates good photos from not-so-great photos is that they tell better stories. If you look for that as you’re starting out, I think that’s the key to improving.”
—Molly Petrilla C’06