Flight Mode with Documentary Photographer Emanuel Hahn

01.28.20 | By
Flight Mode with Documentary Photographer Emanuel Hahn

Emmanuel Hahn in Fort Greene, Brooklyn \\\ Photo: June Kim

Emanuel Hahn is a Brooklyn-based editorial and documentary photographer specializing in portraiture and human stories. If you ever get to sit with him for coffee, he’ll likely get you to share your story of where home is for you. As a third-culture kid – Hahn was born in Saipan to South Korean parents, grew up in Singapore and Cambodia, and has since made New York his home – he’s always curious about how cultural identities move across geographic space, especially with diaspora communities around the world.

His work “The Mississippi Delta Chinese“, an audiovisual narrative project on the oral histories of the Chinese community in Mississippi, was published in the New York Times. Most recently, his project “The Korean Uzbeks of Brooklyn” was published in PRI and The Calvert Journal. Emanuel has also worked with clients such as Airbnb, Tiffany & Co., Clinique, and has been published in Surface Magazine, The Atlantic, and Architectural Digest, among others.

Hahn’s interests and adventures have brought him to Milan Design Week to shoot for Google’s A Space for Being, to Greece with sustainable fashion start-up ADIFF, and to Colombian coffee farms to document the lives of the coffee pickers behind our beans. So we thought we’d ask this friendly traveler about what he packs when he’s on the road and leaning in, listening and observing people from all over, in this month’s Fight Mode.

1. Aer Fit Pack 2 with a Tenba Camera Insert
I like compact backpacks that don’t draw attention so the Aer Fit Pack 2 is perfect for air travel. I also love how cavernous and modular it is on the outside compartment and I have a camera insert bag inside to hold my essential camera equipment (1 body and 2 lenses). This is my go-to setup when I’m traveling for work.

2. Sandisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD
This SSD is a godsend – it’s smaller than a credit card and extremely rugged. It packs so much data and is great for storage backups and even video editing on the go.

3. Battenwear Field Cap
I like flat-top caps and these are greatly designed. I pull these over my eyes when I’m trying to sleep on a plane or on the move. It’s also great for when I’m shooting in the field and don’t have the time or amenities to wash my hair heh.

4. Apple AirPods
AirPods are indispensable for travel, especially on long flights. I know there are better over-ear noise-cancelling ones but for me the compactness of the AirPods can’t be beat.

5. SAXX Underwear
When you’re seated for hours, the last thing you want is discomfort in your, ahem, lower area. I won’t get into the details (you can check them out on their website), but let’s just say it’s been a breath of fresh air since I started wearing them, especially for travel.

6. Tradio Plastic Fountain Pen
I journal a lot when I’m on flights and often the writing instrument makes a huge difference in the experience of writing. I love this pen because it’s so smooth and yet cheap enough to replace if I run out of ink.

7. Travel Kinto Tumbler
This is my favorite tumbler, it is beautifully designed and great to hold. It also keeps coffee and tea hot for really long, which is great for long drives.

To find out where Hahn’s going next, follow along on his Instagram.

Keshia grew up in Singapore and moved to the U.S. to attend Dartmouth College. When she was living abroad after graduation, a chance enrollment at the Architectural Association Visiting School led to her becoming enamored with door schedules and architectural écriture. She's particularly interested in design for aging, rural architecture, and Asian design heritage.