About Yunghi


Rwandan Refugee 1994. ©Yunghi Kim




Yunghi Kim is a photojournalist who has covered conflicts and in-depth, issue-driven stories all over the world for more than three decades. Intimate storytelling and giving a voice to her subjects through the camera remain important to her.

Kim came to the United States from her native South Korea at age 10. She graduated from Boston University in 1984 and began her career as a photographer at The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass. She was the first female photographer hired in the photography department. She then went on to a position staff photographer at The Boston Globe for seven years Kim was a member of Contact Press Images in 1995 to 2008 and is presently a Special Contributor.

A turning point in Kim’s career came in 1992 when she was covering the famine in Somalia for The Boston Globe. She and reporter Wil Haygood were pinned down by heavy fighting and then taken hostage by warlord Siad Hersey Morgan. Intervention by the United Nations and the aid group, CARE, resulted in their rescue after 13 hours in captivity. Kim returned to Somalia a few days later to complete her assignment. She returned months later to cover the entry of US troops into the region. Her coverage of the Somali famine was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize that year.

Kim remains proudest of her documentation of the lives of former South Korean Comfort Women. These women, affectionately called grandmothers, were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese army during its occupation of Korea during World War II. In 1996 her photo essay was published worldwide and helped introduce the Comfort Women to the West. After publication, the Japanese government eventually issued a verbal apology to South Korea that included a promise to account for this atrocity in Japanese historical texts. Her work was the first intimate, behind-the-scenes profile of the grandmothers.



Comfort Women, South Korea 1996 ©Yunghi Kim


Kim has received some of the profession’s highest accolades, it include World Press Photo Awards, POYi awards including Magazine Photographer of the Year by POYi (one of two woman ever to receive it ), The Olivier Rebbot and The John Faber Awards from the Overseas Press Club, Visa D’Or for News from the Visa Pour L’image in France, The White House Press Photographers, Boston Press Photographers Association, Communication in Arts and Society for News Design, recipient of Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University.

Kim has also served as a speaker at the Nieman Narrative Journalism Conference at Harvard University. Past appointed member of NPPA Board of Directors (National Press Photographers Association), 2012 recipient of the United Nations’ Leadership Award in the field of photography by The International Photographic Council. She has also served on the faculty of World Press Photo, Eddie Adams and Missouri Photo Workshop.

In 2015, Kim ‘paid it forward’ by instituting a $10,000 grant to photojournalists. Ten selected photojournalists receive $1000 each based upon a project proposal or other related criteria. The grant was initially funded with copyright settlement proceeds that Kim has recouped from the unauthorized use of her work. One of the main goals of the grant is to bring awareness of copyright protection through registration.  In recognition of the grant, Kim was named the 2016 recipient of NPPA’s The Clifton Edom Award for the “individual who inspires and motivates members of the photojournalism community to reach new heights.”  

In 2019,  Kim launched educational site TrailblazersOfLight.Com, a site dedicated to the pioneering women of photojournalism from the film era (1889 thru 1980s) – a time when few women had work that was digitized and memorialized on the web. In 2019, CNN produced a web essay honoring the Pioneering Women of Photojournalism by delving into research accumulated and aggregated on the Trailblazers site.  For this she received NPPA’s 2019 Joseph Costa Award, one of NPPA’s highest honors.  In 2021,  she debuted a short documentary film  “Unflinching Grace” which looks back on decades of reporting by three photojournalists: herself along with Carol Guzy and Paula Bronstein. 


Mourning Freddie Gray. Baltimore 2015. ©Yunghi Kim


Copyright Yunghi Kim, All Rights Reserved. Student Protest Indonesia.

Student Protest 1998. Indonesia. © Yunghi Kim


San Juan Pueblo Reservation 1989. © Yunghi Kim


Kirkuk, Iraq War 2003 ©Yunghi Kim


Somalia 1992 ©Yunghi Kim 

Copyright Yunghi Kim, All Rights Reserved.

Marshfield,  Massachusetts 1987.



Yunghi Kim photo

Somalia 1992




Documentary “Unflinching Grace



PetaPixel: Yunghi Kim on the Power of Women Photojournalists

Latest:  She Traveled the World, Faced Every Danger and Hardship. Now, She is Home and at Peace.



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Project:  Trailblazers of Light,  Pioneering Women of  Photojournalism.

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CNN: These are the  pioneering Women of Photojournalism



American Photo: Intimacy In Photojournalism

Ai-AP: Empower Other Photographers

NYT: Comfort Women

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NYT: Revisiting Life and Death in Africa

New Yorker: Coney Island Winter

Full Version: I walked Into Iraq

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Nat Geo: I walked into Iraq

American Photo: Heroes of Photography

NYT: Photo Editors Who Made A Difference

NYT: Brooklyn Chinatown

DPP: Master Of Standing Ground

New Yorker Interview

NYT: Revisiting Africa

SVA Talk/Video



Geci Family. Kosovo summer 1999

Kosovo 1999 ©Yunghi Kim

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