Momenta welcomes this week’s guestagrammer, Randall Hom!
Current job: I am a product designer for a company called Flexport. Our mission is to fix the user experience in global trade and bring the world free trade through technology.
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Connection to Momenta: I first learned about Momenta during the summer of 2017 when I had quit my job to travel for a little while. I was pretty passionate about photography, and wanted to learn more about it. However, most of the workshops I was looking at seemed a bit self-indulgent and heavily focused around travel photography.
Then I came across Momenta’s website, and became very drawn to their mission of training photographers in travel documentary and non-profit storytelling for social change. I signed up for “Project Colombia”, and it turned out to be the best decision I had made that summer!
Tell us about your journey as an image-maker and how you got to where you are today.
Photography really clicked for me while I was on a trip to New York with my family in 2010. My mom was just getting into it as well, and had set up a shoot for us with two ballet dancers at her friend’s studio. I was really nervous and didn’t know what to do, because I didn’t prepare at all. So they just danced. Something clicked in that room where I came out of my comfort zone and found myself pouncing around with my camera, trying to capture different angles and emotions.
It was the first time I used a camera to empathize with people I hadn’t met before. The world really opened up when I left that studio and walked into the streets of New York. I felt really empowered just wandering around and observing people.
As of late, I’ve been trying to understand how I can be more purposeful with my camera, getting more involved with documentary and street photography.
What stories or issues are you most passionate about covering?
In Colombia, I covered stories of families who had been displaced due to terrorist violence in the region of Uraba. Most of everyone I interacted with was living with nothing. Their houses were built from scrap metal and wooden planks. They need to fish for food once or twice a day to feed their families. Yet they were all very happy supporting one another.
It was my first time covering a story through photography, and I’m eager to cover more similar stories.
Where do you look for inspiration for your work: books, movies, authors, photographers, art, certain people?
I draw a lot of inspiration from designers. I think a lot of their principles can indirectly apply to photography. Here are a couple examples…
I’m fairly new to studying other photographers, but some photographers who have influenced me lately are…
Emily Garthwaite Alan Schaller Steve McCurry Vivian Maier Henri Cartier-Bresson
What social media or news feeds do you follow regularly? As far as photography, I’ve been following these Instagram accounts pretty heavily:
Leica Burton Rast Alex Strohl Rory Kramer
What is one passion you have outside of photography that might come as a surprise to our readers?
This is probably not a surprise since it’s my profession, but I’m a design nerd. I love the similarities and differences between photography and design. Both practices exist to help solve large complex problems in the world, and requires one’s ability to empathize with people and synthesize their stories. The solutions in photography and design are wildly different from one another, which keeps me passionate about learning and practicing the two studies.
You said list one, but I’m going to throw out skiing here too! Especially skiing backwards ;).
What can we expect to see this week from your guestagramming on our Momenta Instagram account?
I will be posting my photos from the 2017 Project Colombia: Working with Nonprofits workshop in Medellin and Uraba with Momenta this summer. Medellîn was preparing for The Festival of Flowers when we arrived, so it was a great opportunity to observe just how much affection people give to one another.