Hello, I am Youngrae Kim, a visual journalist based in Chicago. Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, I moved to America after high school to pursue photojournalism and philosophy at University of Missouri and have spent most of my adult years documenting the Midwest.

I'm a frequent contributor to Chicago Tribune and The Washington Post. My images have also appeared in European Pressphoto Agency, Planning Magazine, Columbia Daily Tribune and South Side Weekly. Previously, I worked for daily online newspapers including MLive Muskegon Chronicle, the Columbia Missourian and The Maneater. 

My curiosity about people drives my work. I look for moments that are surprising in their humor or emotional intimacy, that reveal the essence of interesting and compelling characters. In documentary storytelling, I’m drawn to stories about family bonds in times of turmoil and the quiet struggles and triumphs of ordinary people.

Last spring, I received a photojournalism fellowship from City Bureau, a nonprofit civic journalism lab in Chicago, to work on a photo essay about air pollution in Little Village. For this ongoing project, I’ve documented how the legacy of industrial developments has become part of the daily lives of residents. 

I’m an alumnus of The Missouri Photo Workshop 68 in Cuba, Missouri, where I received the Cliff & Vi Award for my story, “The Family Man.” My news and feature photographs were recognized by The Missouri Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.


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