KENDRICK PAYNE: FINDING HAPPINESS IN SOUTH KOREA

“IT WASN’T UNTIL I FOLLOWED MY TRUE PASSION THAT I WAS ABLE TO EXPERIENCE TRUE HAPPINESS. LIFE IS SHORT.”

 

HI, I’M KENDRICK. THIS IS MY RAW TAKEOVER.

I’M FROM HOUSTON, TEXAS – BORN-AND-RAISED – AND THREE YEARS AGO I DECIDED TO TRAVEL THE WORLD. I’VE ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN TRAVEL AND PHOTOGRAPHY SINCE I ‘RAN AWAY’ FROM HOME AT THE AGE OF FIVE WITH MY GRANDMOTHER’S DISPOSABLE CAMERA. MY PARENTS DIDN’T LET ME GET FAR.

 

GREETINGS FROM BEIJING – KENDRICK PAYNE PHOTOGRAPHY

 

AT 26, I DECIDED TO LEAVE MY FAMILY AGAIN. EXCEPT THIS TIME I WASN’T RUNNING AWAY.. AND I HAD A SLIGHTLY BETTER CAMERA (THANKS THOUGH, GRANNY).

IN AUGUST 2014, I CAME TO DAEGU (A MID-SIZED CITY IN SOUTH KOREA) TO TEACH ELEMENTARY ENGLISH. CHOOSING SOUTH KOREA AS MY NEW PLACE OF RESIDENCE AND WORK WOULD ALLOW FOR CHEAP TRAVELS THROUGH SOUTHEAST ASIA.  HOWEVER, I ALSO KNEW THAT I WOULD STICK OUT AND EXPERIENCE SOME CULTURAL DIFFERENCES BUT NOTHING COULD COMPARE ME FOR THE STARES, GAWKING, UNSOLICITED TOUCHING, AND MURMURS. HOWEVER, ALONG WITH THAT CAME SOME POSITIVE INTERACTIONS.

 

STUDENT LETTERS ARE THE BEST LETTERS

 

TEACHING WAS TOTALLY NEW TO ME – JUST AS I, A BLACK PERSON, WAS NEW TO THE STUDENTS.  IT TOOK A LOT OF PATIENCE AND UNDERSTANDING TO TEACH MY STUDENTS ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE. WHAT THEY “KNEW” WAS MIND-BLOWING.

 

I ASKED STUDENTS WHAT THEY KNEW ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE. THIS IS WHAT I GOT.

 

INITIALLY MY PHOTOGRAPHY WAS STRICTLY LANDSCAPES AND CITYSCAPES BUT THAT QUICKLY BECAME BORING.  I WANTED TO CAPTURE PEOPLE IN THEIR MOMENT; LIVING AND LOVING LIFE. I LOVE TO CAPTURE CANDID PHOTOS OF PEOPLE WITH AN INTERESTING CITYSCAPE AND LANDSCAPE AS THE BACKDROP.

 

HOLI HAI FESTIVAL IN BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA – KENDRICK PAYNE PHOTOGRAPHY

 

PEOPLE OFTEN ASK ME HOW I GET STRANGERS TO POSE FOR THE CAMERA.  SINCE I’M BLACK (AND PROUD OF IT) AND TRAVEL ASIA FOR THE MOST PART,  PEOPLE OFTEN ASK FOR MY PHOTOGRAPH.  I SIMPLY ASK FOR ONE IN RETURN, WITH ONE CAVEAT.  I ASK THEM TO DO WHATEVER THEY WERE DOING BEFORE THEY SPOKE TO ME.  AND THERE YOU HAVE IT: A “CANDID” PHOTO OF A STRANGER.  THIS HAS BEEN A GREAT WAY FOR ME TO MEET AND DIALOGUE WITH PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD.  I GET EXCITED JUST THINKING ABOUT IT!

 

EVERYDAY KOREA – KENDRICK PAYNE PHOTOGRAPHY

 

I WASN’T TRULY HAPPY IN AMERICA AND I DIDN’T KNOW WHY. THE LIFESTYLE I’VE BEEN FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO LIVE THESE PAST FEW YEARS HAS DEFINITELY FACILITATED MY GROWTH AS A PERSON.  IT WASN’T UNTIL I FOLLOWED MY TRUE PASSION THAT I WAS ABLE TO EXPERIENCE TRUE HAPPINESS. LIFE IS SHORT.

RUN AWAY.

 

LIVE YOUR LIFE – KENDRICK PAYNE PHOTOGRAPHY

 


GET CONNECTED

KENDRICK IS A 29-YEAR-OLD TEACHER AND PHOTOGRAPHER CURRENTLY RESIDING IN SOUTH KOREA. YOU CAN FIND HIM TAKING PHOTOS OR HOPPING FLIGHTS TO HIS NEXT SOUTHEAST ASIA ADVENTURE. FOLLOW HIS JOURNEY ON INSTAGRAM @SEOULBOUND87INSTAGRAM HERE.

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5 Comments on "KENDRICK PAYNE: FINDING HAPPINESS IN SOUTH KOREA"

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Poorna
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Beautiful post, and so true! Have a happy day!

Globejamun
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Super decision to travel… I to wanna do tht too.
South Korea 🇰🇷 looks awesome

Carina
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Absolutely love these photos! You capture people so well!!

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