Photography by Noe Alonzo

Anime Days & Neon Nights

Urban photographer Noe Alonzo has been living in Seoul, South Korea since 2011. Originally from Texas, USA, he moved to Seoul as an English teacher. Noe still teaches but his passion is photography, which he pursues by capturing the cityscapes of Korea and beyond.

Noe's use of vivid color gives a unique anime-like aesthetic to his work, which has caught the attention of Seoul Museum of Art, National Geographic, BBC Storyworks and thousands of social media followers. We spoke with Noe to learn more about his life and his photography.

I enjoy nothing more than to go out for a few walks and see what kind of scenes I can capture with my camera.

What's the best thing about photography?

For me, it is solitude. Photography for me is kind of like therapy. I am not very social, but it lets me be more of an observer and just watch people go about their lives without me interacting with them. I enjoy nothing more than to go out for a few walks and see what kind of scenes I can capture with my camera. I suppose in that regard, the places I can discover are what are most enjoyable for me.

From photoset 'Anime World'

Can you describe your most memorable photo?

This will be a tough one, I try not to get so attached to one photo in particular because I am constantly looking to outdo myself. I think, maybe my most memorable one is the photography of a girl who was carrying a huge teddy bear in the rain using a yellow umbrella. I remember it clearly because I hesitated to take the picture so I was not able to capture her from the front. I still got a nice photo, but it could have been much better.

For me social media is a full-time job... but I feel like all those years of hard work are finally paying off.

How do you promote yourself and your work?

I use all forms of social media. Everything from Twitter, to Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, even Facebook pages and Pinterest. For me social media is a full-time job on its own. This has been successful for me but I have been doing it since 2011, but I feel like all those years of hard work are finally paying off.

From photoset 'The Night'

How do you sell your work?

I have various places where I drop my work online, each platform has its own audience and collectors. I like to release NFT stealth drops on OpenSea from time to time in my photographic stills collections. For animated photographs, I like to load them on SuperRare.

MakersPlace is great for collecting my pieces with fiat and Foundation is where I like to load my collaboration pieces. Nifty Gateway occasionally asks me to have a drop day, and I spend a lot of time preparing for them. Occasionally I put a piece out on Tezos with Objkt.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I like to gain inspiration from anything I come across. My favorite photographers are Liam Wong, Masashi Wakui and _F7. I feel very happy to have met all three in my life. Besides that, I've been inspired by photographers like Fan Ho and Daido Moriyama. I get most of my inspiration from artworks on my Twitter timeline, by watching movies or from animations.

From photoset 'Infrared Light'

What advice do you have for younger photographers?

I think many photographers place too much emphasis on equipment. They think that if they had a better camera they could take better pictures. But actually, many of my photographs have been taken with cameras more than ten years old, or even with my phone's camera.

They also tend to think that success comes quickly, like I gained thousands of followers overnight or something, but I've been doing this for years. So my advice for them is to take it easy, it isn't a race. Just focus on getting better little by little and not on the numbers.

Thank you Noe for answering our questions. You can follow Noe Alonzo on most social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
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