2016 Year in Review Part 3 – Seoul Photographer

The clock ticked over and we’d blown the funding goal out of the water for our Kickstarter project. Wesley, Pablo, and I sat down for a well deserved glass of whiskey and stared out at the Han River for a couple of hours. A mixture of shock, affirmation, and fear for what was to come kept us running on adrenaline as we chatted through how far we had come. The book was ready, but little did we know how difficult it would be to print. We had made samples and contracts well in advance, and had a relationship with our printer. However, as anyone who has lived over here can tell you, nothing is ever confirmed until the last minute. In the end, it took us nearly three months to print what should have been done in a few days. But we got there, and it looks fantastic. If you haven’t got a copy yet, please support the Lai Tu Chin people by picking one up from my store!

Back to photographing families in Seoul, though! I had a great few months here that began with Faye bringing her children over to Korea for a holiday and us spending a whole day exploring the city together. From their beautiful Hanok stay to the parks all around the city, we trekked around but could not wear the kids out. Thanks for a great day, guys!

Seoul, Korea - Documentary Family Photographer

Seoul, Korea - Documentary Family Photographer

Seoul, Korea - Documentary Family Photographer

Travis and Kim Bolton were my next family session for this quarter. We headed out to Seoul forest to soak up the beautiful greens and get ourselves a few mosquito bites! Despite Kai having a rough couple of days with a virus running through his system, he perked up in the sunlight and we had a great session together.

Seoul, Korea - Family Photographer

Next up was the Mohr family. With three adopted boys, they decided to visit Korea and give their children a chance to see their birthplace as they grow up. In amongst visiting their foster families and visiting everything they could, we got to squeeze in a family session to get some portraits of the boys at Gyeongbokgung one morning. Each of the boys had such a different personality, and it was quite a challenge to get them all showing themselves in one picture, but I think the below two give you a fair idea!

Seoul, Korea - Family Photographer

Seoul, Korea - Family Photographer

The joy that is a new adoption came to my doorstep again with the Swanner family. Tara and Brandon were adding number FIVE to their family in young Chandler! We had a fantastic morning at the agency and then again when they returned to take custody of him. Tara and Brandon are inspiring parents, and their love and dedication for their children is quite overwhelming. Hope we can see you all soon!

Seoul, Korea - Documentary Family Photographer

Seoul, Korea - Documentary Family Photographer

Seoul, Korea - Documentary Family Photographer

Seoul, Korea - Documentary Family Photographer

Seoul, Korea - Family Photographer

Seoul, Korea - Family Photographer

Between all of this, it was time for some editorial work for South China Morning Post and Malaysia Airlines’ Magazine. I love this sort of work because it forces me to re-explore Seoul. After a while, the city becomes the norm, a place to live and nothing more. Working for international publications means I have to see it in its best light. It’s a great exercise in renewing your love for a place. A couple of shots from that time are below.

Seoul, Korea - Editorial Photographer

Seoul, Korea - Editorial Photographer

Of course, it also helps when you get to travel a little. I’ve spent quite a bit of time on Jeju Island this year, which despite its over-the-top development at the hands of new land owners, is still one of my favourite places in the country. The ocean all around is a calming presence, and brings you back down to earth after the mayhem of Seoul. Here is one of my favourites from my time down there.

Jeju Island, Korea - Fine Art Photographer

Another favourite spot of mine is Jeonju. This beautiful little city is another example of rampant commercialisation, but pockets of beauty can still be found there as well. I spent a day with Chris and Kim photographing their pre-wedding photos in the old city. Ducking and weaving our way past the tourist hotspots to the simpler, prettier parts of town, we made some great images in the gorgeous light that the town gets courtesy of not having high-rise buildings everywhere. The following day, I squeezed in a little personal shooting time before heading back up to Seoul. Countryside Korea is wonderfully friendly and full of characters, and Jeonju is no exception.

Jeonju, Korea - Pre-Wedding Photographer

Jeonju, Korea - Pre-Wedding Photographer

Jeonju, Korea - Pre-Wedding Photographer

Jeonju, Korea - Pre-Wedding Photographer

Jeonju, Korea - Editorial Photographer

A couple more wonderful afternoons days out with families this month would get me through to my final assignment of the quarter. Both sessions were held at Changgyeonggung, my favourite palace in Seoul because it’s so quiet and rustic. Not to mention that it’s surrounded by park land!

Seoul, Korea - Family Photographer

Seoul, Korea - Family Photographer

Seoul, Korea - Family Photographer

Seoul, Korea - Family Photographer

Seoul, Korea - Family Photographer

Seoul, Korea - Family Photographer

Last up was a job with Thermo Fisher Scientific working on their staff stories. My job was to show Tony, VP & GM of Thermo Fisher Korea, in his story of unity within Seoul. Tony’s team address some huge issues in Korea, such as air quality, which anyone who has been here can tell you about. Tony’s story revolves around getting everyone working together to solve a common problem. Thankfully, we had one of the clearest days of the year to show off their good work!

Seoul, Korea - Commercial Photographer

On top of all of this, I am proud to announce that my second large personal project is under way. Myself and Marco Tessiore visited Taiwan during the week of Typhoon Meranti (hardly planned, but you take what you can get!) to begin working with additional tribes practising facial tattoos in Asia. Amongst the Taiwanese aborigines, many practised facial tattoos in the past, but very few living examples remain. We visited in order to explore their culture and hear their stories. Many are now too frail to participate in our project, but of the people we were able to meet, you can see some samples below. A new site has been set up to facilitate this project, and we are looking for funding to complete a pan-Asia project of tattooed faces. Please do let us know if you are interested in helping out or know someone who might be!

Asian Fine Art Photographer

Thank you again for taking the time to follow me on this journey. Next week will be the last instalment for this year. Check back then!

Lucy’s Little Brother – Family Photographer

Almost exactly three years ago, I met with Brian and Lisa as they travelled to Seoul to meet the newest member of their family, Lucy. The sweet, reserved little girl we met then has since grown into a sweet,  outgoing little girl, and I was absolutely beside myself when I got a message from Brian saying they were traveling again to adopt another new member of the family, Henry. Lisa and Brian invited me into their family again to document one of their first days as a family with Henry.

I knocked on the door to their accommodation in Seoul and it was opened almost immediately by Jack, with Lucy in tail. They had grown so much, Jack was almost twice Lucy’s height now, and Lucy had lost all of her baby-fat. I was instantly bombarded with questions and stories from the pair of them, as though we’d never parted. Jack’s love for the animal kingdom hadn’t diminished at all, and he had question after question about Australian animals again. Lucy had a sweet little voice of her own now, and showed me, at least once, everything she had learnt to do in the past three years. With the non-stop energy of a three-year-old, Henry tore up and down the room, carrying toys this way and that; his siblings were barely able to keep up! Lisa and Brian took their seats for a well needed rest stop, and we talked through their session. With the typhoon warning, we all agreed that sooner rather than later was a good idea, and we met a couple of days later, bright and early for their Day in the Life Session.

I walked in the door to this scene early that morning – Henry drumming on his siblings’ heads. We spent the first part of the morning darting about the apartment, pillow fighting, dancing, and occasionally crossing the line to play with someone elses toys! Grabbing the opportunity to take it slow, Brian and Lisa watched from a distance as the children bonded and entertained themselves with anything and everything.

Family Photographer - Seoul

Family Photographer - Seoul

Family Photographer - Seoul

Family Photographer - Seoul

Family Photographer - Korea

Family Photographer - Korea

Family Photographer - Korea

Family Photographer - Korea

Family Photographer - Korea

We then took the subway over to Gyeongbok-gung to let the children explore some of Korea’s history. Henry’s love for running was as evident outside as it was in, and we had a great time chasing each other up and down the palace alleys, and kicking the ball in the grassy fields out back. Seoul Family Photographer

Seoul Family Photographer

Seoul Family Photographer

Seoul Family Photographer

Korea Family Photographer

Korea Family Photographer

Korea Family Photographer

Seoul Photographer

Seoul Adoption Photographer

Seoul Adoption Photographer

We grabbed a bite to eat before heading over to our family location, Children’s Grand Park. We played here until it was clear that the forecast rain was going to come soon. By the time we got back onto the train, the children were exhausted, so we’d probably made a good call there as well. To round up the evening, we took a quick group shot in the ever increasing wind, and parted ways.

Photographer in Seoul

Photographer in Seoul

Photographer in Seoul

Photographer in Seoul

Photographer in Seoul

Photographer in Korea

Photographer in Korea

Photographer in Korea

Photographer in Seoul

Please get in touch to enquire about your own family session in Seoul or anywhere in Korea.

A Day in the Life of the Zanes Family – Seoul Family Photographer

Twenty-three months after signing the papers to begin their adoption process, I met the Zanes family on the ground as their family photographer here in Seoul. They could not have wished for a better start to their lives with Michael Ubin as their youngest sibling. His big brother and sister smothered him with love, and his parents with all the care in the world. Michael smiled back in return and took to his family without hesitation.

We spent the day together, starting with breakfast of course. Big brother and sister took the reins for a little while so their parents could eat, and of course get coffee – jet lag is never far behind when dropping in from the USA.

Seoul Family Photographer

Then we hit the playroom, where Michael and Ellie found it hilarious that Brennan found himself under their car.

Korea Photographer

Seoul Photographer

From there it was up to Seoul Tower, where Michael was the star of the show in all his cuteness. Ellie didn’t fail to impress with her blonde hair, either.

Seoul Photographer

Seoul Photographer

Family Photographer

Family Photographer Korea

Seoul Korea Photographer

Family Photographer

To keep the day rolling, we moved to Changgyeong-gung for a play in the leaves and some hanbok photos. We even got scolded by a lady for having a little of Brennan’s t-shirt showing under his hanbok. She promptly corrected us and let us go back about our day. Lesson learned.

Korea Photographer

Seoul Photographer

Family Photographer Korea

Family Photographer Seoul

Finally to wrap up the day, we visited Children’s Grand Park to play in the playground until jet lag kicked in and it was time for a break.

Korea Family Photographer

seoul-family-photographer-15

Korea Family Photographer

Seoul Family Photographer

Family Photographer Korea

Please take a look at my portfolio, and get in touch to book your own family session in Seoul. Again, a huge thanks to the Zanes family for being so much fun, and wishing you all the best for the future.

2014 Year in Review – Part 3 – Seoul Photographer

Finally, it’s time to get Part 3 of my Year in Review as a Seoul photographer underway. Parts 1 and 2 can be found here and here. Last time we left a couple of stories unfinished, so I’d like to start this post with those. After a two month wait, it was finally time to see Amber and Matt again, and be there as they took custody of their too-cute-to-be-true son Asher.

Seoul Family Photographer

Seoul Family Photographer

Seoul Children's Photographer

Seoul Children's Photographer

It would also be time that I got to spend time with another three families from earlier in the year. Nell‘s mother would be back for the final part of the journey, and we would find out what a trooper Nell was (also, how much she liked gifts of jewelry and crayons!). Not a tear was shed by this brave girl, and she was asleep before we got back to the apartment!

 Seoul Family Photographer

Seoul Family Photographer

Seoul Family Photographer

I would also have the chance to be there as Ezra‘s custody was finalised, and as he excitedly helped his new family move rooms. We would also spend an extremely hot summer afternoon at Changgyeong-gung to work on some adorable family photos as well.

 Seoul Photographer

Seoul Photographer

Seoul Photographer

Seoul PhotographerThe Schubring family also had me out for a couple of days with their energetic young bunch; Annabelle, Joseph and now Joshua! Joseph was an absolute star with his little brother, and over the moon to be seeing his foster-mother again.
Korea Photographer Korea PhotographerNext up was the Jones family and their fabulous little fellow, Josiah. Check out his personality on my Instagram! We had a great morning together in Gyeongbok-gung to celebrate their finalising his adoption. Josiah could not have been a more fun boy to work with. We played hide and seek and chased each other all over, with him winning against us oldies every time!Korea Family Photographer Korea Family PhotographerIt wouldn’t be long before I’d be hanging out at Olympic Park with the Wilson family being chased around be two little men doing their best dinosaur impressions. Korea Family Photographer Korea Family PhotographerAnd then another warm day out chasing Lawson about Deoksu-gung on his first time out and about with his new family. Seoul Family Photographer Seoul Family Photographer Seoul Family Photographer

To wind up an extremely busy month, I also had the cover of Groove Magazine for their story on the changing Itaewon; a parody of the popular Itaewon Freedom song.

Seoul Photographer

August was a little slower, and I was able to spend 7 days in Wyoming with a couple of my besties, Shawn and Megan, for their wedding in the mountains. I almost didn’t come back. Almost. My first morning in Wyoming greeted me with nothing but the winds swishing through the grass…

Sheridan, Wyoming

And then there was a wedding…

Shawn and Megan's Wedding

Shawn and Megan's Wedding

And then the final morning…

Wyoming

Back in Seoul, we had our fair share of beautiful skies over August as well. Some of the finest I’ve ever seen in Korea.

Han River Sunset

Han River Sunset

I would also have the pleasure to document the first time Ari coloured with his big brother at Holt Children’s Services in Seoul.

Seoul Children's Photographer

And finally meet the Murphree family as they came to hang out with Jack Cruz for the first time. In a room full of chaos, Jack Cruz focused his energy and playfulness on his new parents, who were two of the happiest people I’ve ever seen after that meeting.

Family Photographer in Seoul

Family Photographer in Seoul

Family Photographer in Seoul

In September, it was time for the Wooten family to extend their arms for another new member.

Seoul Adoption Photographer

As well as the Tsong family, who we will meet again next time.

Korea Adoption Photographer

Following this up was an awesome pre-wedding session with Alice and Erick in a few different locations.

Seoul Pre Wedding Photographer

Seoul Pre Wedding Photographer

Seoul Pre Wedding Photographer

Seoul Pre Wedding Photographer

And to wrap it all up, a wonderful Day in the Life session with two amazing new parents, Karen and Mark, as they spent their first day with their son, Kai. I’ll leave you with my favourite frame from this session – the full blog is coming!

Seoul Documentary Family Photographer

 

 

 

Day in the Life – Murphree Family – Seoul Photographer

Of all the things I photograph here in Seoul, by far the most rewarding are the family sessions I am able to be part of. I have witnessed more than 20 children meeting their new families through the international adoption system, and spent hundreds of hours with expat families looking to create a memento of their time here in Korea.

Brooke and Justin got in touch way back in January of this year. They had seen the work I did with Lori, Steve and Davis in Seoul, and were waiting patiently for their own travel dates to be set. We kept in touch throughout the year, but it wasn’t until August 25th that I would finally meet them as they held their second son for the first time. Their waiting paid off immediately as Jack Cruz ran them around the room and smothered them with hugs and kisses. We had this short time together, but on their second trip, I would spend time with my new found friends as their family came together.

Seoul Family Photographer

It was 7am, the day after custody, when I arrived quietly expecting to be buzzed into the apartment complex. We thought that Jack Cruz would still be sound asleep. Exactly the opposite was the case. He was up and ready to face the day, walking his new family around the apartment complex with everything he had. We started our day with a session in the playground in the complex with slides, borrowing of tricycles and chasing each other every which way.

Seoul Family Photographer

seoul-photographer-family-02

Seoul Family Photographer

Following the morning session, I was there for Jack Cruz’ first lunch with his family, his first war for a Starbucks’ bagel with his brother, his first shirt change, the simple joy that a remote control can bring, crayon drawing session on the shower walls, and trip to the top of Seoul tower. I saw his brother lead him safely across the road, and finally kiss him good night. Nothing could have prepared me for the love and understanding that was forged that day between Jack Cruz, Perry, Justin and Brooke. Being a part of this day was an absolute joy and honour.

Seoul Family Photographer

Seoul Family Photographer

Seoul Family Photographer

Seoul Family Photographer

“This adoption thing is for real,” Brooke messaged me the following day. It sure is. Jack Cruz wasn’t all smiles. Like any person who is displaced from everything familiar, he had his ups and downs during the day. Far outweighing his short crying bouts, however, was the love shown to him by his new family and their dedication to doing the right thing by Jack Cruz in the long run. It’s easy to see that Jack Cruz will have a wonderful place in the world to call his own, with a loving family that will give him nothing but the best.

Again, thank you Brooke and Justin for allowing me to be a part of your lives at this special time, and for becoming great friends in the process. It was wonderful to be able to document your family and give you these memories to look back on. The video below will give you a much more detailed look into our day together.

Below is an excerpt from words that Brooke shared with me after our session.

After we received that long anticipated phone call saying it was time to come to Korea to meet our son, Jack Cruz, the first person to know was Dylan! Thankfully, his schedule was free during our travel dates and we were booked.

Before our meeting, Dylan was kind enough to meet us and take us for coffee (and smoothies) to brief us on how the meetings typically run and what to expect, etc. It was so comforting to really get to know Dylan on more of a personal level before we experienced this life changing meeting with him. He eased our anxiety and really prepped us to just enjoy the moment and have fun with our new son.

I cannot express enough how thankful I am to have had Dylan by our side during that meeting. We rode the elevator doors up to the correct floor and they opened, and we were facing our son! He was literally running out of the meeting room toward us! And from there, we were ninety to nothing the entire time! Jack Cruz was (is) SO full of energy and joy that we were either running, jumping, or giving kisses to one another the entire time. I didn’t have a single second to grab my camera or phone to snap any photos and video…and honestly I wouldn’t have wanted to. It was such a blessing to be able to soak up every single second with Jack Cruz instead of worrying about settings on a camera.

On that first full day with our son, we asked Dylan to arrive about 7am thinking our little one would sleep until at least 8:00 or so. But Jack Cruz surprised us with a 5:00 greeting to start our day. So, we ended up meeting Dylan at the playground our apartment complex had. From there, Dylan followed us as we enjoyed breakfast, nap time, lunch, more playground time, a trip to the Seoul Tower and Folk Village, dinner at an amazing little American pub, shower time, and then lullabies at bedtime. Basically, whatever we were up for, Dylan was there to document.

The photos from this day are stunning. I can’t look through them without being flooded with emotion and shedding a few tears over how special that day was to us. Being able to relive each moment of the day is priceless. He captured SO MUCH. There were so many photos that I didn’t even ‘see’ in the moment, yet I have them to cherish for a lifetime. I can’t imagine missing all that I would have if it weren’t for Dylan. And of course, add in that he was able to translate some of the Korean language for us and we pretty much owe him our life.

We wouldn’t trade our decision to have Dylan in our adoption journey for anything. We are so grateful for his amazing talent and that he is willing to exhaust so much energy to help us cherish these blessed moments forever. (Seriously, his job is exhausting!) Adoption is such a heartbreakingly beautiful journey and there is so much that both the adoptive parents and adoptees lose and miss out on, but because of Dylan, these precious moments didn’t have to be one of them.

Meet Nell Brown – Seoul Photographer – Part 3

“She’s not the same girl you met in the summer, is she?” Mary Leigh posted to me. Indeed she is not. Nell has come forward in leaps and bounds. She is energetic, loving and full of personality. Watching her current family session vicariously through family instagram posts, I was extremely envious of their photographer. Nell was as open and active as her brothers, and that’s saying something! Part of me wishes I was there to capture that part of their story as well, but Nell is a cool 11,151km away with her new family.

Our own short session here in Seoul took quite a bit more convincing to get Nell involved. Her word of the day was kaja, and did not want to leave the safety of Mary Leigh’s arms. It was two days before her birthday, and continuing family tradition, we had set out to capture some photographs of her in this place at this time. We managed a frame or two in between moving from location to location as Nell pointed them out to us.

Sweets, milk, and all the things that Nell usually loved could not bring her back. Even the photo of her that I printed on the spot only got a short smile before we were back on our kaja adventure. In the end we found that she liked to throw a ball and managed a solid 3 minutes in one location with Nell opening up to us a little.

We had a difficult time that day, and it was understandable. Nell was adjusting to her new situation, and that can’t have been easy for her. Knowing that we were possibly pushing her a little too much, and that more importantly she may simply need some time to process, we called the session short and Mary Leigh took Nell home. She went to sleep in the 5 minute taxi ride home, obviously exhausted and in need of some down time.

To see her now, you wouldn’t know this girl, or how difficult this time must have been for her. She has made a wonderful transition to her new family and is finding herself anew.  The bombardment of smiles and short videos of her progress that keep coming my way keep me acutely aware of what a wonderful thing adoptive families are doing, and how lucky I am to be a part of these stories.

Cannot wait for the chance to see the Browns again! Thanks and all the best to Nell, Brodie, Bates, Nick and Mary Leigh. See y’all soon!

Seoul Family Photographer

Seoul Family Photographer

Seoul Family Photographer

Seoul Family Photographer

 

 

Meet Nell Brown Part 2 – Seoul Photographer

It’s been a while since my last update here, as there’s been a lot on the back-burner here. The constant stream of Nell updates that flows through my social media reminds me daily that I need to finish this story. So, here it is. Part 2 of meeting Nell in Seoul.

I mentioned last time how much this assignment made me remember the importance of what I do as a photographer, and the second session was no different from the first. Capturing Bates leading Nell cautiously through the playground for the first time and the first flower Nell’s mother picked for her. These moments are why what we do is important; being able to hold those memories in still frames to keep forever.

Today’s session started out with Nell pouring over the photos from our last session with her family. Her love photographs of herself clearly evident. As we walked to the park, stopping to sniff a flower here or there, small gestures of trust on Nell’s part were made in the form of brief handholding and smiles from the arms of her foster mother again.

The playground was too much to resist, however. She quickly made her way down and began to play on everything with her family. The seesaw got a short innings, before heading for the slide and walking with Bates around the perimeter. This was all too much in the end, and Nell sat down for a carton of milk almost as big as herself. Poking a straw straight into the carton, she was content to just sip away and watch the other children play.

We snatched her up for a quick family photo at the end, which she was not entirely thrilled about, but we managed a frame before she decided it was time to leave. With her favourite word, kaja (let’s go), she was off. Again, all too soon, we watched Nell take her leave – this time she blew a kiss on her way down the path.

Seoul Family Photographer

Seoul Family Photographer

Seoul Family Photographer

Seoul Family Photographer

Korea Family Photographer

Korea Family Photographer

Korea Family Photographer

Korea Family Photographer

Nell - Seoul Photographer

Nell - Seoul Photographer

Nell - Seoul Photographer

Nell - Seoul Photographer

Nell - Korea Photographer

Nell - Korea Photographer

Nell - Korea Photographer

Nell - Korea Photographer

Meet Nell Brown – Seoul Photographer – Part 1

There are few things that remind me that what I do as a photographer is important more than people’s reaction to the photographs I give them, to the story I have told for them. Mary Leigh reminded me of that time and time again, even before we met here in Seoul. I first worked with some good friends of hers, Lori and Steve, back in January of this year. Before Lori and Steve had even left Korea, Mary Leigh had been in contact with me and organised to order them a canvas of one of my prints for their home. She then proceeded to put my name at the top of her adoption ‘to do list’, above booking flights and a hotel. Nothing makes you realise the value in what you do more than small things like this. It’s a responsibility and an honour to work with a family, and when the time came for the Brown family to visit Seoul and meet Nell, it wasn’t just them who were nervous!

We were all early, very early. The Brown’s had been waiting a long time for this, longer than most families. Mary Leigh and Nick were keeping themselves busy and making sure everything they had prepared was ready so they could focus entirely on meeting number three. Yep, this was their third adoption! Bates and Brodie could not have been happier to be meeting their sister. Bates was calm and obviously thinking it through, while Brodie was darting about with his camera and whatever toys he could find. Nell arrived a little later than some of the other children, so we occupied ourselves with a stand-off until she arrived.

When Nell did arrive, she was a little nervous and reserved. She spent quite a bit of time in the comfort of her foster mother’s arms, preferring to interact from a safe place. Her loves were quickly shown though. She loved to look at photographs of herself, nibble on snacks, and hold on to jewelery. Hello Kitty stickers were also a hit. They ended up everywhere except the sticker book. All of these things helped Nell to feel safe with her new family, and she even let her big brother Bates hold her hand and lead her around. Oblivious of all the other families in the room, the play time continued with Nell singing a song, feeding her family, and giving dad a drink when the boys got to be too much for him. But, this meeting was over too quickly. The family was just starting to bond and I was just starting to capture those interactions. Time was up, and Nell waved goodbye.

Pouring over the photos when I got them home, I realised that I was telling a different story from the one I had expected. This was a more subtle, slower developing story. It was two young boys deciding what to make of the idea of having a sister. It was too parents yearning for their forever family day. It was a young girl meeting people she’d only seen in photos. But most of all, it was a story of a lot of personalities finding a common point to bond. Another couple of days and we would be back to do it all again. But for today, this is Nell’s story.

To book your own family sessions, please use the contact form above. I’d love to work with you.

Nell - Seoul Family Photographer

Nell's Family - Seoul Photographer

Nell - Seoul Family Photographer

Nell's Family - Seoul Photographer

Nell - Seoul Family Photographer

Nell's Family - Seoul Photographer

Nell - Seoul Family Photographer

Nell's Family - Seoul Photographer

Nell - Seoul Family Photographer

Nell's Family - Seoul Photographer

Nell - Seoul Family Photographer

Seoul Photographer - Nell

Nell's Family - Seoul Photographer

Nell - Seoul Family Photographer

Nell's Family - Seoul Photographer

Nell - Seoul Family Photographer

Nell's Family - Seoul Photographer

Seoul Photographer - Nell

Nell - Seoul Family Photographer

Nell's Family - Seoul Photographer

Lawson’s Adoption – Seoul Family Photographer

Lawson appeared on my Facebook page last month as a silhouette. It was difficult to resist the urge to share this adoption story right away, but rules will be rules! He is now safely home with his family in the United States, and I can finally share their joy with you.

Josh and Elizabeth had been in the process of adopting for a long time, jumping through the various hurdles required for the process. They were finally matched with Lawson on their 5th wedding anniversary. Imagine their joy when that call came in. Fast forward two years and we were having a cup of coffee on the ground here in Seoul, getting ready for their first meeting with their son.

We had been told that Lawson could be a little shy around strangers, and the moment he recognised Josh and Elizabeth, he hid in his foster mother’s arms. It took quite a bit of coaxing, and Josh’s drawing skills from his experience as an animator, but Lawson came out of his foster mother’s arms to make a game of erasing his father’s pictures and join in the illustrations.

Lawson’s sweet and playful nature came out as he joined another girl on the glockenspiel, followed by opening and closing his water bottle repeatedly with both of his parents and instigating a game of hide and seek with his father.

The meeting was over too soon, but the wait was not too long. “We’re coming next week,” said the next email I got. We organised to meet at Deoksugung and capture a few moments of this family together in Seoul before they headed back home to the US.

Seoul Family Photographer - Lawson's Adoption

Seoul Family Photographer Lawson's Adoption

Seoul Family Photographer Lawson's Adoption

Seoul Family Photographer Lawson's Adoption

Seoul Family Photographer Lawson's Adoption

Seoul Family Photographer Lawson's Adoption

Seoul Family Photographer Lawson's Adoption

Seoul Family Photographer Lawson's Adoption

Lawson's Adoption in Seoul - Family Photographer

Lawson's Adoption in Seoul - Family Photographer

Lawson's Adoption in Seoul - Family Photographer

Lawson's Adoption in Seoul - Family Photographer

Lawson's Adoption in Seoul - Family Photographer

Lawson's Adoption in Seoul - Family Photographer

Lawson's Adoption in Seoul - Family Photographer

Seoul Documentary Photographer - Lawson's Family

Seoul Documentary Photographer - Lawson's Family

Seoul Documentary Photographer - Lawson's Family

Seoul Documentary Photographer - Lawson's Family

Seoul Documentary Photographer - Lawson's Family

Seoul Documentary Photographer - Lawson's Family

Seoul Documentary Photographer - Lawson's Family

Lawson's Adoption - Seoul Documentary Family Photographer

Lawson's Adoption - Seoul Documentary Family Photographer

Lawson's Adoption - Seoul Documentary Family Photographer

Lawson's Adoption - Seoul Documentary Family Photographer

Lawson's Family Session - Deoksugung, Seoul

Lawson's Family Session - Deoksugung, Seoul

Lawson's Family Session - Deoksugung, Seoul

Lawson's Family Session - Deoksugung, Seoul

Lawson's Family Session - Deoksugung, Seoul

Lawson's Family Session - Deoksugung, Seoul

Lawson's Family Session - Deoksugung, Seoul

Lawson's Family Session - Deoksugung, Seoul

Lawson's Family Session - Deoksugung, Seoul

 

 

Ezra’s Family – Seoul Photographer

Last time, we met Ezra and his parents Ester and Dan. Ester and Dan are one of the few couples lucky enough to be able to stay in Korea during the entire adoption process, and get to know their son as well as the system allows. As we saw last time, Ezra bonded quickly with them and was more than happy to assist in their moving process. Dan’s fun-loving nature, and Ester’s outpouring of love gave him a very easy transition and we were able to meet up for our family session two days later.

We arrived early at Changgyeonggung in order to miss the crowds and the forecast rain. Things got off to a great start, and we let Sihu lead us where he wanted to go – stopping to make photos here and there. His game of the day was running away from everyone, and so we played to that. He took us on what could have been a palace tour, and we stopped him at convenient locations for the photos I had in mind.

Our warm up with dad got us started, but was short-lived and we had to move on to the next stop on the tour.

 

Seoul Photographer - Ezra and Dad

Seoul Photographer - Ezra and Dad

Our next couple of shots would play to his need to move around today, letting him stay in control while we got what we wanted. The rain came early and we ran back under cover for a while to let the worst of it pass, taking the opportunity to grab a (very) quick family portrait.

Family Photography in Seoul

Family Photographer Seoul - Ezra's Adoption

Family Photographer Seoul - Ezra's Adoption

Once the rain let up, we headed out for one of Ezra’s favourite activities of the day – riding on dad’s shoulders. He had a blast up there looking at the world from a different perspective and stretching his poor dad’s cheeks as far as they would go.

Seoul Adoption Photographer - Ezra's Family

Energy spent, we sat down to make a couple of quieter frames when Ezra remembered that he was hungry. “I shall go no further!” was his cry, at least that’s what we got from it. And so, we got ourselves some sugar coated pastries to stave off the hunger.

Family Session in Korea

Ezra's Family Session Seoul

Snack Time!

Satisfied, our young subject allowed us to continue, and began by showing me his best tiger impersonation before leading us promptly to his toys and refusing to participate any more!

Tiger Impersonation - Family Photographer

Seoul Family Photography

A Walk with Mum and Dad - Seoul Family Photographer

This way! - Seoul Photographer

That was all well and good, but I still needed a close-up of him with his mother. It took a short nap and some more food to coax him back in, but he came back with all the energy he had started with.

Ezra and Mum - Seoul Photographer

seoul-photographer-family-ezra-16

Thanks to the Anderson family for finding me here in Seoul and having me work with them at this amazing juncture in their lives. I had a great time, and am watching this little man grow from afar.

Please head over to my adoption stories page to see more stories of family building, and to read what Ester and Dan had to say about working with me during this time. To book your own adoption or family session, enquire above!