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!
Albert reached out in the middle of last year to check on my availability to photograph his proposal and a short e-session afterwards. The lines went dead for a few months, but I heard back from him again in January letting me know that he’d finally got everything sorted and would be in Seoul at the end of February. His preference of date slipped right in between my return from Laos and a family photography session, but we would be able to schedule the session.
Planning wouldn’t be able to happen until the day-of because of scheduling, but we stayed in touch on WhatsApp and I was able to scout and feed information to Albert in real-time as I planned the exact details for him. We had decided to use the beautiful Royal Residence, Unhyeongung, for the proposal. Albert’s partner, Logan, has a great interest in history and architecture, so it seemed like the perfect location and a great distraction for him so he wouldn’t know what Albert was planning.
Albert’s initial idea was to use Bukchon Hanok Village, but we decided to move the proposal to Unhyeongung because Bukchon gets extremely crowded. We could always go there after the proposal! I suggested a small courtyard that I knew because it would be backlit by the sun and show off the palace architecture really well. As Albert would be proposing just a couple of hours before sunset, we would have the beautiful afternoon sunlight behind him as he dropped to one knee. Provided we didn’t get a case of Seoul’s formidable pollution, things would look wonderful.
Despite the freezing weather, Albert had somehow managed to convince Logan to come out in nothing but a light jacket. For this, I will be forever grateful, as the pictures look great, but I think Logan will remember it in a very different way! By the end of the session, it was dark and getting very cold. Both gents were extremely good sports, especially considering they’d just flown in from Orlando!
It was a great afternoon out with Albert and Logan, and I want to thank them both again for entrusting this special moment in their lives to me. Please do check out the full story from Logan’s perspective over at The Knot, and get in touch with me to discuss your own proposal or engagement session in Seoul.
It’s that time of year again – Italian Food Festival time! After six years of running this, the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Korea have nailed down a great event. This year was one of their best. With great food from all over Italy that’s not normally available in Korea, it was a great chance for their guests to really get a taste of the true Italy. The official festival will start on the 1st of May, so head over to their Facebook to get more details.
As an event photographer, this is one of the more varied events I get to work on each year. First up there are plenty of sponsor images to be captured. Then, it’s important to get images of all of the one-off dishes that the chefs create just for this festival. Of course, the set wouldn’t be complete without actually having the chefs in there as well! Then, the event must be covered from start to finish. It makes for a rushed, but really fun afternoon on my part.
If you’re in Seoul, head over to the ITCCK’s Facebook page, or the Food Festival page linked above to check out where you’ll be able to taste the best that Italy has to offer for the next little while.
As Korea pre-wedding sessions get more and more popular, I’ve been able to travel to various parts of Korea including Jeju Island and Jeonju for beautiful sessions with a really different flavour from Seoul. Kim and Chris were tossing up between a session in Seoul, or traveling to the gorgeous Hanok Village in Jeonju. In the end, we decided to get a beautiful Hanok stay down in Jeonju and spend a whole day wandering the streets together.
Being a weekday, the number of tourists was limited, and we were able to see a lot of the city and work in many different environments. Having a longer session like this also means that we’re able to get the nice light at both ends of the day, and Jeonju did not disappoint. For the morning, we traversed the tourist areas sans people until the city started to wake up. Then, as things started to get busier, we grabbed a coffee and took a break for the early afternoon. Finding a beautiful (and empty!) tea-house, we started our session again for the afternoon period, and covered the other half of the town, focusing on the tight back alleys.
Jeonju is a perfect location if you’re looking to get a traditional Korean feel. Although the main areas have become extremely commercial, the side streets are still beautiful. Weekends are packed, and I don’t recommend the visit then, but weekdays are far quieter and make for a great time to visit. If you’d like to enquire about having your own couples session in Jeonju, please get in touch.
Betsy contacted me after seeing a family session I had done with some friends of hers from her son’s school. Juggling our relative travel schedules was tricky, but we finally managed to get together and organise a session for the beauty of autumn in Seoul. We got one of the last warm days of the year for this session, and Seoul did not disappoint with some spectacular autumn light for us to work in. With loving parents and energetic children to add to this, we came back with some gorgeous keepsakes for their time in Seoul.
One thing that often comes up in sessions did come up this day. The kids got hungry, and of course wanted a snack. What do we do in situations like that? We take a short break and let them have a snack. It’s better for everyone in the end. Once you lose the children to hunger or cold, you’ve lost them. They don’t really come back from that place.
Being a family photographer gives you the ability to really showcase the best in a family and record moments of joy and bonding that are unique to the genre. I believe very strongly in capturing what the children give me that day, and how they interact with their parents. My goal for each and every session is to show them at their very best and allow their personalities to shine through. Although a clean and perfect image is always in the back of my mind, if a cookie gets in hand and creates a beautiful moment, I will not try to take it away. Small details like this will allow your children to be themselves throughout the session without fear of reprimand, thus creating a natural environment for them to be themselves.
Looking for a family photographer in Seoul? Please get in touch to discuss your own session!