One of the highlights of my crazy reintroduction to Korea after 5 weeks in northeast India for my Tattoos of Asia project was having the chance to work with Will and his family. This little guy could light up a room full of the sternest fellows in the business. His bright smile and fun-loving attitude made our hour-long shoot something to remember. Join me on this short journey with a happy little fellow and his family.
It’s hard to miss Seoul when you’re surrounded by the mountainous landscape of northeast India, but I had a few things lined up for my return that made me want to hurry back. Working with new families is a joy unlike many others and the Porters were high on my list of reasons to return to the land of the morning calm. Young Will showed us all what it means to have a good time that day.
We met early in the morning for our session at Changgyeonggung and it seemed like Will might just have woken up, so we started with a bit of running around to warm him up. He quickly took to his new surroundings and it was all we could do to keep him roughly in the area we’d be shooting in.
When it came time for the little fellow to get slightly tired and show off his introspective side, we decided it was a good chance to change up the location and headed to the back corner of the palace. Here, Will let us in on his love for being upside down and for lying on the floor.
Early mornings in Autumn are some of the cleanest we get here in Seoul. The air is cooler than the hot summer mornings and the light shines its brightest of the year. Although this was the end of our session, thanks to our early start, the light was still wonderful. We managed to work with the beautiful flare and shadows it created to wind up our session on a high as Will’s energy ran out.
If you enjoyed this post, please take a look at my other family photography in get in touch to book your own session during your time in Korea!
This family portrait session started with one of my favourite portraits. Hyeok was still a little unsure of my presence, and wasn’t really ready to accept me being a part of his family for the short time we would have together. For me, this sense of uncertainty mixed with curiosity is what makes this portrait so special. It is a side of him that didn’t last long, but was intense while it did. A few minutes later, we were making telescopes from our fingers and spying on each other from a distance. All the while, I kept shooting here and there, just to let him know that this was going to be part of our game today.
Although our session was short, we managed to get some running and playing in, along with a few portraits with mum and dad, and even some hide-and-seek. Hyeok’s playfulness was evident from the moment he opened himself up. Thankfully, we had the palace almost all to ourselves, so we could play as much as we liked. An old chimney was a favourite to hide behind as dad tried to find him. Once we moved out into the sun, we were able to some beautiful shadows and a view over the whole grounds.
Nicole, Hanno, and Hyeok, I hope to see you guys again when you come back to Korea!
Looking to have your own family session? Please get in touch. Autumn is coming up, which is my busiest time of year for family sessions, so book early!
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How often is it that your good friends visit from abroad, invite you to one of the most beautiful parts of Korea, and ask you to make family photos for them while you’re there? Honestly, I wish it was more often! The Orths and I headed down to Jeju Island together in what would turn out to be one of the windiest times of the year so far. Despite the constant spring gales and subsequent flying hair, we drove around the north-east coast together for a day and made some fun photographs.
I’ve known the Orths since Davis first joined their family in 2014. We sat down one snowy evening at a tea house and swapped travel stories as they acclimatised to Seoul for the first time. Since then we’ve been in touch and I’ve worked with them for their second adoption and now as they visited Korea all together as a family. This time, we decided to spend some time together on Jeju during their visit. Before that, though, we had to get the boys out for their portraits as the Gentlemen of Jongno.
Being a family photographer certainly has its perks. I mean, how many jobs are specifically about creating happy memories with people? I’ve loved every minute of working with the Orths and getting to know them over the time we’ve shared. It’s been a really quick four years, and I’m so thankful to have this family in my life. Can’t wait to see you guys again soon! One day we’ll get to your part of the world!
To enquire about your own session, please drop me a line. I look forward to creating lasting memories with your family as well!
Zebra Technologies held their APAC Summit and Partner Event at the Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport in 2016. It was a three-day affair including everything from presentations and workshops to a visit to the BMW Experience Centre for a few laps around the track. The goal of the event was to educate and entertain Zebra’s partners in the APAC region. They certainly did a great job of it. This was a really great event.
Arriving early on day one, I headed out to the golf course with the Zebra executives for a few minutes to capture the tee-off before heading over to the BMW Experience Centre to jump in the passenger seat. Although looking through the viewfinder with a wide angle lens on may not have been great for my stomach at over 200 kilometres per hour, it was great fun for all and we got some fun shots. We then headed back over to the Grand Hyatt Incheon for the welcoming dinner.
Then it was back to my hotel to edit the day’s images for a slideshow the following morning. The morning consisted of several introductions to new products and technologies before a break to get coffee and hands on time with the new products. The foyer was filled to the brim with all manner of picking and sorting systems for every industry. Demonstrations of scanners that could not only count inventory but detect if a product was facing the wrong way on a shelf. For someone outside the industry, it was really quite impressive to see what goes into these sorts of operations. Then it was time for lunch, seminars, and, of course, dinner and drinks at the end of the day.
One thing you can say about corporate event photography is that no two events are the same. This one was no exception. On day three, I was asked to make a group photo of everyone in attendance – approximately 300 people. We set this up in the foyer and chose the vantage point very early in the morning. To get this many people in, I would have to be above the crowd, so I would be perched on the spiral staircase you see above. On top of this, the are was unevenly lit and the mixed light would mean that it would be difficult to get correct colour. In the end, I opted to break out two flash heads and pop them into the white ceiling. This created an even wash of white light over the crowd and allowed me to get the shot you see below. Then we had to scoot around and get shots of each of the booths before the morning’s presentations and wrapping up the photography at lunch time.
Thanks to Lyn at Jeannetic Koncepts and Zebra Technologies for having me along again this year. It was a blast and I look forward to working with you all again soon.
For me, family photography is all about capturing the best of every moment we are offered. Every child, just like every adult, is different. Some are extremely outgoing and we hit the ground running. Others need some time. Some are all smiles, while others are more serious or expressive in their own ways. Hannah was all of these and more, making for a wonderfully varied session.
We got together in the late afternoon at Changgyeonggung and spent an hour together in the warm light. Hannah’s personality shone through in all of its facets as we continued our session. From timid smiles in the beginning to all out laughter later on. Her curiosity had her looking around every corner, and her energy had us chasing her. Stealing dad’s glasses was a favourite activity, as well, which made for some very representative photographs.
As Hannah’s father, Rohan, was born in Korea, it was wonderful to be able to capture him with his family under the beauty of Korea’s traditional architecture. During the months of March, April, September, and October, we get the perfect combination of warm weather and palace opening hours. In the late afternoon of a bright sunny day like this one, the colours of the palace come alive and make for absolutely beautiful images. We could not have had a better day for this session.
Thank you again to Jennifer, Rohan, and Hannah for making this such a special afternoon.
Looking to have your own family session during a trip to Korea? Please get in touch. I’d love to work with you!
As the event photographer, you get to see it all. The ANZA ball is always a great party. It brings Seoul’s locals and expats together for a night of Australian and New Zealand entertainment. Not only that, but silent auctions and raffles are held every year to support some of Korea’s most important charities. If you are in town, this is the event of the year and is not to be missed. I’ve had the pleasure of working as the photographer for the last six years now, and it’s always a blast.
Before the main event gets rolling, myself and my partner for the evening always run a photo booth for the attendees. This year, the theme revolved around Kylie Minogue, and ANZA had provided plenty of props to make the photo booth a lot of fun. With 400+ attendees and only around 45 minutes to run the booth, we’re blazing through couples and groups and working up a sweat before the night even begins. As soon as we shut the booth down, it’s time to start printing so we can have images ready as soon as dinner is finished. Our trusty dye-sub printer is capable of 3 prints per minute, and we can generally get the required 300+ prints done before dinner is over.
While this is happening, we’re also inside the ballroom photographing the main event. Between speeches, raffles, sponsors, and entertainment, there’s not a moment to sit down for us or the attendees. Enough from me, though, check out the event below!
The cherry blossoms. Oh! The cherry blossoms. Wyatt contacted me about his proposal earlier this year, and we set out to plan the perfect scene for him to propose to Allison. She would be visiting for a few days in April, and Wyatt was hoping to capture the proposal under the gorgeous cherry blossoms of Seoul’s spring. We met early one Sunday morning under a canopy that would soon be covered with blossoms and got everything planned for the big day. Or so we thought.
You see, the cherry blossoms very rarely work out on the day you need them to. Our date had us shooting one day after the predicted peak of the blossoms. This should have been the perfect time as the blooms would still be fresh and clean. But, as tends to happen in spring here, we got some rain. Just a couple of hours drizzle and a light wind knocked them all to the ground five days before the session and we had to re-plan.
We quickly decided on a palace to give us something grounded in Korea and hopefully find some straggling cherry or plum blossoms to shoot a few frames with after the proposal. Arriving early, I found the palace empty of people and a single tree in full bloom. Realising it was too late to change the plans without something going wrong, I quickly formulated a few ideas I could knock out in the few minutes I would have with the couple.
I found a spot where I could remain relatively hidden from sight and locked down my exposure to make sure I’d get everything just right. Wyatt and Allison arrived and it was game on. I quickly ran over and switched on my time-lapse camera for a second angle. Although Wyatt had said he would do a lap of the palace first before arriving at our spot, nerves had kicked in and he bee-lined for the spot the moment he got to the top of the stairs.
Three minutes later, it was all over and as Allison examined her ring and finally took a look around, she spotted me and burst out laughing. We spent the next 15 minutes shooting quickly around the palace and then parted ways so the two could go out to lunch together.
If you’re looking to have a photographer for your proposal in Seoul or anywhere around Korea, please reach out!
Megan, Tim, and I met a couple of weeks before Conner’s custody for a cup of coffee. We’re all coffee snobs, so getting to know each other over a fine cup and a chat about the ins and outs of life in Korea was great fun. Each custody session I take part in is something I approach with a mixture of trepidation and anticipation. Every family has a unique story that needs to be told, and we have very little time to do it in. It is always great to get to know the family beforehand.
As with all adoptions, Megan and Tim had plenty of questions about just how things go during custody and my experiences with families afterwards. Having worked with almost 100 families during their adoptions at this point, I have been a part of so many different stories and was able to share a few of these with them before the big day.
On the day, Conner arrived with his foster-mother and we were quickly hustled into our meeting room to ask final questions and have a short play session before jumping in the van and speeding down the rainy highway home. Having worked with Conner’s foster-mother before, I had a good idea of what to expect from the session. She is an exceptional woman who raises polite and caring children with so much love and care. Conner was no exception to this. To all present, he was open and loving. Megan and Tim are so lucky to have such a loving woman being a part of their son’s life.
As we stepped into the hotel room, Conner’s interest was peaked and we spent the next hour or so playing in the room together with the array of toys that had been laid out for him. The cloudy afternoon provided a beautifully soft window light for our session. With all the love flying around, it was tough to leave, but I had another session to be at and had to tear myself away. Check out some of our fun below.
Last year, I shared with you the first meeting between Chandler and his family. A short time later, I was given the opportunity to work with Tara and Brandon again as they returned to take custody of Chandler and bring him home forever. We saw last time how it took Chandler a short time to warm up and become comfortable around his family. This time, it would be an outpouring of love that greeted the family.
Chandler leapt straight into his father’s arms and played with his parents without reservation for our entire time at the agency together. He bravely said goodbye to his loving foster mother, and we got into the van to bring him home with his parents forever. It was drizzling the entire way, and when Chandler wasn’t giggling and playing with his parents, he was trying to touch the raindrops on the outside of the windows.
After we got inside, Chandler ran straight away to explore the house and found some new toys. He flew his toy aeroplane around the room for a while, but then he discovered the pillows on the bed. That’s when the real mischief started. I continued shooting for just over an hour to catch as much of the fun as I could before heading out.
Thank you again to Tara and Brandon for having me there for the some of the most precious moments of their lives. It would be great some time to meet the whole tribe!