Where It All Went Wrong —

Lessons from the Field in Losing $8,000 Worth of Gear


UPDATE: After a few weeks and some persistence from a friend in Seoul, the equipment was recovered. Surveillance footage showing Eugene entering the cab allowed police to track down the company and driver. We now have insurance on our equipment.

It was gone within a split second. All of Alex’s photo gear in a hard rolling case disappeared into the streets of Seoul, most likely to never be seen (it hasn’t turned up since). You’re often planning relentlessly to get the bigger details right. But sometimes all it takes is for an innocuous and unexpected oversight to derail everything. After losing the gear, Eugene and Alex still had to do their interview with Korean popstar and newly-signed Roc Nation rapper, Jay Park. While that went well, there was still the lingering afterthought of how to not only account for the gear but make it to the airport on time to catch their flight that night. As much as it hurts to see almost $8,000 USD worth of gear vanish into thin air, there’s nothing much you can really do but reflect back and think, what am I going to take away from this. The biggest learning so far? Get insurance for your gear.

On the way to the airport, Eugene and Alex could only do one thing, figure out where it all went wrong.

Heads-up, this conversation features coarse language.

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Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

David Kenji Chang talks with the founder in his LA studio and new shop to talk about his life’s work and staying weird in a weird world.