Her Camera Captured The Worst Parts Of Her Life. And Then It All Turned Around.

We all search for a lot of things in this life.

Sometimes, we’re triumphant. Sometimes we’re at a loss.

But it is only when we lose what we already have, can we truly realize that what we needed was not searching for more—but loving those who are here now, better…

Diana Kim first learned about photography through her father, who previously owned a studio on the island of Maui where she spent her childhood.

Diana Kim Photography        

She was a happy child living a normal life, but when her parents split up—everything came falling down—mostly for her father.

Diana Kim Photography

After her parents had separated, the loving father she once knew was gone. So she decided to move away from home and live with her friends, relatives, and occasionally in cars just to ‘rough things out.’

Diana Kim Photography

In 2003, Diana started a long-term project where she took pictures of the homeless in hopes to raise the awareness of their situations and displaced function in the society. But what she stumbled on after 10 years of going all over Hawaii to capture pictures of the homeless, brought her to tears.

On one fateful day, Diana raised up her camera and realized she was about to take the picture of her father.

Diana Kim Photography

As any daughter seeing their missing father would do, she immediately approached him, but it was already too late. “He wouldn’t talk to me, wouldn’t acknowledge me,” she told the news of that initial attempt to interact with him.

“There were nights when I wouldn’t find him and other days when I least expected it—he would be standing on the corner of a street.”

Diana Kim Photography

During the time she left, her father suffered from severe schizophrenia and without treatment, he lost everything. “There were many instances when it appeared as if he was arguing with someone, but nobody was there.

Still, he paid no attention to me, so I waited.”

Diana Kim Photography

It wasn’t until her dad suffered a heart attack 2 years later, that he agreed to let her help him. And this where she realized that she can still turn things around.

Diana Kim Photography

With the help of Kickstarter, Diana raised funds to create a photo book of her journey with her father, called ‘The Homeless Paradise.’

“My goal, long before my dad ever became homeless, was to humanize those who lived on the streets,” she says. “They each have a story, and I hope that by sharing my own story, it helps to give [a] new perspective.”

Diana Kim Photography

Soon after he recovered, “I gave him my old camera, in hopes of sparking his interest in photography and giving him something to look forward to. I want him to stay in this good place.”

Diana Kim Photography        

After just a few months of assistance, he was significantly better. “It felt good to see him so healthy, and standing so tall again!”

My dad spends a lot of time with friends and is actively looking for a job.”

Diana Kim Photography

“Though this experience, I have learned to continue embracing personal and spiritual challenges as an opportunity for growth.”

Diana Kim Photography

“Life itself is a gift. I am so grateful to see him alive and doing better. I appreciate what we have right here, right now.”

Diana Kim Photography

(via Bored Panda)

Not all of us will be lucky enough to experience a second chance in life. As they say, never EVER take things for granted. Even the littlest of things today, can turn out to be best moments of our life.


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