Meet Daryl Oh

Daryl Oh is a photographer, entrepreneur, and founder of Holyrad Studio. As a WOC, Daryl is dedicated to creating safe spaces for the other, by the other. Holyrad Studio aims to operate outside of broken, outdated systems of the creative industry through bolstering young enterprising creatives through creating and directing them to sustainable opportunities.
Daryl Oh for Passerbuys by Clemence Poles68.jpg
Suit, ASOS, Ring,  Vampire Crown

Suit, ASOS, Ring, Vampire Crown

on her morning routine

I'm a night owl trying to pretend to be a morning workout person, so as soon as that alarm goes off I have to literally jump out of bed brush my teeth and go straight outside to the gym without thinking. Otherwise I will snooze 'til noon. At the gym, I do a combination of weight training and cardio, but the one essential thing is the Spotify playlist, Middle School Thot. Listen to it next time you're at the gym. You'll thank me later. After that I come home for a bit of meditation to set my intentions for the day. Shower, make my stovetop espresso, a smoothie, and pull a tarot card.

on self-care

I'm pretty terrible at winding down at the end of the day. I've been trying to make a conscious effort to read, write in my journal, make a phone call to a friend, reflect on the day, but I think my favorite thing to do as of late, is to listen to an audiobook. Audible changed my life.

on skin-care

Growing up I had terrible skin. Like pizza face. Head gear. The whole 9 yards. So I have tried almost every combination of product, diet, and medical procedure short of Accutane. My biggest beauty secret is Manuka Honey. It's nature's Neosporin on crack. You can use it to wash your face, you can use it as a facial, you can use it to even skintone, kill bacteria, and reduce scarring. But you can also eat it raw for your immune system. It's all natural and can replace 10 different products in your medicine cabinet. I think that's why I love activated charcoal. You can use it to unclog your pores, brighten up your smile, and even eat it for a healthy gut. I would also recommend: Clarins Pore Minimizing Serum, Clarins Matte Pure and Radiant Mask, Clarins Hydra Matte Lotion, AESOP face oil, Clarins Foaming Cleanser, SkinCeuticals Blemish & Age defense, Aveda Beautifying Oil, and Clarins Toner.

Daryl’s Favorite Beauty Products

Daryl’s Favorite Beauty Products

“I could relate to so many of the struggling artists who just simply wanted the opportunity to have access to space that it made it hard for me to break even some months.”
— on challenges
Daryl's favorite books

Daryl's favorite books

Top, Zara ; Pants, Vintage

Top, Zara ; Pants, Vintage

on creating holyrad

I created Holyrad out of necessity. I was about to graduate college and was taking a class called the Business of Art. Like so many of my other classmates, I was freaking out that I was about to be thrown into the real world without a studio, without a community, without access to equipment and an economic environment that was completely different from what our professors and parents experienced. Scared and unsure of myself, I took the first job I was offered as the head photographer for a growing fashion start up. I had healthcare, equity, consistent income, but for what? To work 14 hour days for someone else's dream? Contributing to the corrupt world of fast fashion? It wasn't for me and there was no amount of money in the world that was going to make me feel like it was worth wasting my 20's. One morning I decided to quit my job and take the leap of faith to start Holyrad Studio based off of that small business model I made for my class just a few months earlier. I was broke, scared, didn't know anything about running a business. Looking back now it was completely insane, but I think that one of the most brilliant things about having nothing to lose is that it completely eliminates any fear of failure. 2 years later, I never in a million years would have imagined we would have come this far. I honestly think it is because so many other artists my age were hungry for an alternative, safe, creative space where they could affordably pursue their creative careers while at the same time navigate the new economy.

Top, Zara ; Pants, Vintage

Top, Zara ; Pants, Vintage

Top, Zara ; Pants, Vintage

Top, Zara ; Pants, Vintage

on where she comes from

I come from a long line of Matriarchs, so the mentality of being an empowered independent woman runs deep for me. Both my Nana and my Aunt Daryl (who I was named after) watch over me and have subtle ways of reminding me they are there. These women are the same women behind my family's famous and secret shortbread recipe. My mom makes them commercially now, but even before she started selling them, they were world famous. They melt in your mouth and are so good they almost cast a spell on anyone who tries them. So much so that people have coined the term, The Shortbread Effect. For me, The Shortbread Effect is about how a small gesture, a hand written note, a flower, to the people who normally get forgotten, goes a long way. It's about how an action, not words matter most.

on challenges with running a business

The biggest challenge running Holyrad has been saying no. I would say yes to almost every proposal that came my way. I was so excited that anyone would be interested in what I was creating that I just said yes to everything. It was also because I could relate to so many of the struggling artists who just simply wanted the opportunity to have access to space that it made it hard for me to break even some months. I'm still currently overcoming it, but I think it was the realization that the doorway to opportunity can only fit one person at a time. I realized that I can't fit through the doorway with everyone on my back. I'm no good to anyone, if I crumble under the weight of that responsibility.

“My top piece of advice for anyone thinking of going into photography is: Eliminate the fear. Make mistakes. Check your ego.”
— on transition
Suit, ASOS

Suit, ASOS

Top, Zara ; Pants, Vintage

Top, Zara ; Pants, Vintage

on her style and beauty

My sense of style lives somewhere in between, Blade Runner, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and The Matrix. So I'm not loyal to any particular designer or store. I live for vintage and thrifting. Currently my favorite vintage store is called Bopkat Vintage in Carroll Gardens. It's true vintage from the 50's and 60's. The owner's archive is incredible. It really is a magical place. It's like a time warp. As far as beauty products, I would recommend: Living Proof Style Lab Hairspray, OPI Nail Strengthener, NYX Concealer, Benefit Watt’s Up! Highlighter, Make Up Forever Primer, Make Up Forever Highlighter, Be Long Mascara, and Kat Von D Lipstick.

on her favorite book

One of my favorite books is Cleopatra: A Life, written by Stacy Schiff. It is actually one of the first biographies about her written by a female writer. Whenever I feel un-empowered I think about how Cleopatra at 21 wrangled an army of 20,000 men with nothing but her language and presence to take back the throne her younger brother and husband exiled her from. The most famous story is of her wrapping herself up inside of a rolled up carpet, paying a merchant to carry her on his shoulder to then present it as a gift to Caesar while he was visiting her brother. Accepting the gift, the merchant rolls out the carpet to reveal Cleopatra. That's why I think my current anthem is Rollout by Ludacris. I would also recommend: The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway, The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, and Ways of Seeing by John Berger.

“After being in the city for almost 7 years, I have lots of favorite places, but in the last 2 I have gotten lazy in the most important thing about New York; getting lost. It is the best way to uncover the things you won’t find on Yelp or Timeout.”
— on exploring
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Daryl Oh for Passerbuys 58.jpg

daryl’s favorite films

The Big Lebowski by Ethan and Joel Cohen

Lady Snowblood by Toshiya Fujita

The Ceremony by Lina Mannheimer

Death Proof by Quentin Tarantino

daryl’s favorite spots in NYC

Mmuseumm: one of NYC's best hidden gems is a tiny museum in an old freight elevator. Just Google it.

The reading room in the Guggenheim is one of my new favorite places. I uncovered it while walking through the Agnes Martin exhibit the other day.

Best Korean Food: The HMart Grocery Store in Queens and getting Kimchi Jjigae with the squad

daryl’s favorite game in nyc

There is game that I love playing called Follow the Walking Man. You start at any intersection in the city and start walking in the direction of the walking man in the crosswalk light. If you come to an intersection where there is a stop sign or a blinking hand you switch directions to continue following the walking man.