As I reflect on 2020 coming to an end, I can’t help but also reflect on the past decade. At the beginning of 2011, I was in Seoul teaching English at a private school and was extremely involved with my church. I went to Korea to find some sort of purpose for my life, to “find myself” and to get away from my life in Canada. …

As I’m taking time away from Instagram and social media, I figured I could go back to some old ways of sharing my work. I like the intentionality of a blog and the space it gives for sharing work.

September was an incredibly busy month. I definitely appreciate working and getting assignments, but I think I took on a lot more than I should have. Before freelance photography, I worked as an English teacher in South Korea, both privately as a tutor and also as a teacher in a classroom. The hustle changed, but has never gone away. I’m trying to find that sweet spot of working assignments and also creating the work that brings me life. I think this is a never ending search.

Here’s a round up of some assignments I did in September.

Mary Kief stands for a portrait while holding an old photo of her son, Benjamin
Mary Kief stands for a portrait while holding an old photo of her son, Benjamin
Mary Kief stands for a portrait she holds an old portrait of her son, Benjamin, on September 3, 2020. Benjamin died of an overdose in April. It was difficult for him to get access to any resources during the height of the pandemic. Hannah Yoon for the Wall Street Journal

Photos: Hannah Yoon

Documenting the shutdown on Germantown Avenue, which crosses three zip codes with deep economic divides

Philadelphia has long been considered one of the poorest big cities in America. As of March 6—before the coronavirus pandemic sent unemployment numbers skyrocketing—more than 7% of its residents were unemployed. Now, that number has swollen as more than 2 million residents lost their jobs in the wake of the crisis. Neighborhoods that were already struggling with deep poverty and institutional neglect have suffered badly, while in wealthier areas homeowners and business owners are anxious about the future but have had less difficulty in weathering the storm. …

By: Pavlina Cerna, Colin Chrestay, Lillian Hightower, Jozette M. Williams, Hannah Love Yoon, Miles Wall

Crystal Jackson goes through donated clothes in front of her store ‘Perfectly Flawless’ on Thursday October 10, 2019. Jackson has been giving free clothes out to people in Germantown every Thursday since August 2019. Photo by Hannah Yoon

On a warm morning in October, Crystal Jackson, 31, was at her Germantown Avenue clothing boutique and make-up studio called Perfectly Flawless, preparing to hand out piles of clothes for free out front. Jackson has done this every Thursday since July to help community members in need, something Jackson considers to be her responsibility as a local businesswoman. For her, this includes ‘spreading love amongst neighbors’.

“It didn’t make sense for me to have a business and not do anything to help my community. I…

Hannah Yoon

Photographer based in Philadelphia.

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