How special is a trip to a foreign land with your mother? Jepsen is a lucky little man, that’s for sure. Elyzabeth and he visited Seoul together last November and we set out for a family photography session together during their visit.
As they were visiting during autumn, we decided to make the most of something they don’t get back home, autumn leaves. We booked on a morning session that would include both the leaves and some Korean architecture and spent a little over an hour together making portraits of their loving relationship. Elyzabeth clearly gives her all to Jepsen and he just loves playing with his mum as well. They tossed leaves at each other, shared their collection of pine cones, and watched the ants crawl along the pavement together. This is the biggest joy in family photography – watching the love between family members.
We mixed the session between my direction and Jepsen’s desire to explore and collect pine cones, which resulted in a collection that had a great mix of candid moments and moments that I had drawn out. Elyzabeth’s sister also joined us that day and Jepsen loved the opportunity to have a swing with his aunt as well. Jepsen even mistook the autumn leaves for snow and made himself a leaf-snow-angel, coming up with a face covered in leaves and a grin from ear to ear.
Thanks for joining me on this adventure with Elyzabeth and Jepsen. Please get in touch to enquire about your own family photography session in Seoul or anywhere in Korea.
Andie and Jason were on their way back to Seoul to take custody of Khi when they reached out to me. It was the beginning of summer and Seoul had just finished coming back to life. Everything was green and the weather wasn’t too hot yet. It was going to be the perfect time for some fun family photography.
Unfortunately, the other two Emmett children wouldn’t be joining this trip, but Andie and Jason wanted to take the opportunity to get some pictures with just the three of them before going home. We decided on Gyeongbokgung as it was right near their hotel and we weren’t sure how Khi would be with travel. Starting from the back gate put us well away from the big crowds and we were able to find some nooks and crannies without raucous tour groups.
Khi was an extremely loving and energetic little man to work with, and that meant we could move all about the palace and get some great variety in our shots. The palaces are gorgeous, but they’re also quite large for little people to walk around. Especially, Gyeongbokgung. Khi was up for it, however, so we covered the entire back section of the palace before taking the front gate out to get some shots under the columns as the crowds left.
Andie had seen my family photography session with the Grijalva family and loved the roofing and colours of the palace. I made sure to make good use of this, because that’s what really separates Gyeongbokgung from the other palaces of Seoul – there are some long awnings that make for beautiful photos.
Thanks again to the Emmett family for a fun day out in the palace. I had a blast capturing all those little smiles. To enquire about having your own family photography session in Seoul, please get in touch!
Here we are, back with the Ramsey family. This time, I spent almost thirteen hours with them documenting one of their first days together as a family. From the moment Gage woke up in the morning to just as he was getting ready to go down for the night, I documented the highs, the lows, and the fun times in between.
My Day-in-the-Life sessions are the longest sessions that I offer. Rather than being a lifestyle session when I take control of where we are and guide the posing of the session, these focus on capturing your day as it unfolds. Family photography in long sessions like this gives me a larger window into the life you lead and results in an honest representation of all the things that happen during your day. We had quite a day with the Ramsey family, and I’m excited to share it with you.
Gage started his day like most of us do, a little groggy and still trying to figure out his surroundings. He wandered from room to room as his parents got ready for the day, playing with anyone and everything as he did. Still suffering from his cold, and not really being a morning person (as we would soon see), Gage took things at his own pace and only nibbled at the edges of his breakfast.
When we got back to the room, it was time for medicine. Following the laughter and games with the doctor a few days prior, I was expecting that we’d see similar behaviour when taking medicine. It would seem that these two things are mutually exclusive for Gage, as he absolutely hated the medicine (both rounds)!
Moments later, though, he was back to himself and ready to head out. Alisa and Beau had decided to visit one of Seoul’s palaces with Gage for the first time, so we got a taxi outside the hotel. We had a few moments of laughter and fun, but then the medicine kicked in and Gage fell asleep in his stroller.
When he woke up, he wasn’t really in the mood for exploring the palace and wanted to stay in his stroller. So, we decided to head for lunch at this point. Although we enjoyed our pizza, Gage was much more interested in the packet of puffs that he’d seen in the bag and proceeded to eat to his heart’s content. Equally as fun, of course, was tipping the puffs off his plate onto the table. Once he was done, he discovered a new joy in pretend-slapping his father to get an over-the-top reaction.
A street festival stopped us from getting our next cab up to Seoul Tower, so we took the opportunity to walk down Daehakro together and enjoy the beautiful weather. Seoul Tower is a favourite amongst visitors, but it gets really crowded and it can be tough to make images up there. We got our obligatory lock shot and then it was time for ice-cream.
It was at this point that our up-until-now quite docile and relaxed Gage became quite involved in the world around him. He loved the ice-cream. He really loved it. So much so that he got it all over his face. He dug so deep that it fell off the cone. This was when the world came crumbling down. Gage’s attachment to that ice-cream was very real, you see. However, since it had fallen on the ground, Dad decided it would be best if Gage did not reattach it to the cone and continue eating. Let’s just say, Gage did not agree.
The tears wore him out again and young Gage took another nap. By now, it was afternoon and he was feeling a lot better. Our time back at the hotel was spent playing, running, snacking, laughing, and evening being okay with taking the medicine (well, almost) this time. Some of our favourite games during this time were locking dad in the kitchen, opening and closing the bin, and of course, sharing a lollipop. All was well with the world until we decided to brush teeth in preparation for bed.
We’ll leave it there for the story of the Ramsey family. I had a great time documenting their day and getting to know them a little better. Please get in touch if you’re interested in having your own family documentary session. It can be a lot of fun!
Of all the work I do, custody photography sessions with families are still the ones that give me the most trepidation beforehand. There is so much to capture, so many emotions, and so little that can be predicted or prepared for. Nothing is as difficult to photograph or as easy to immerse myself in than one of these sessions. Working with the Ramseys for their custody day was a really rewarding experience.
Poor Gage had a bad cold and his little nose would not stop running for the whole day, but that wasn’t going to stop us from having a great time. Alisa and Beau worked hard to make sure Gage was happy and ready for his transition. This little guy was just fearless. He explored everything and played with everyone. He even loved his doctor’s visit and chomped down on the tongue depressor as she put it into his mouth, refusing to release it! He insisted on carrying his own medicine after the prescription was filled and riding in the plastic car until everyone had worked up a sweat. He showed so much love for his family and his foster family the whole time we were there, constantly jumping back and forth to play with everyone.
On the way home, a short few tears were followed by a deep sleep that got us the rest of the way to the hotel. There we explored our new surroundings and played with drums and trumpets as the family got to know each other in their new surroundings. Watching Gage’s parents work so hard to make his transition as easy as possible was special to be a part of, and we had a day-in-the-life session to come that would be an extension of this.
Thanks for stopping by to meet the Ramsey family. Join me next week for the other half of their story. Please enquire about having your own family photography session with me above.
Yet another year has passed here in Seoul. It was a big one for me as a photographer and it seems to have gone by particularly quickly. Maybe it’s the amount of work I’ve been doing, maybe it’s the trips I’ve taken for Tattoos of Asia, or maybe I’m just starting to get old. Whatever it is, this has been a whirlwind year at WelkinLight Photography and I’d like to share some of it with you today. As always, I’ll start with highlights from the Seoul winter in January and February, followed by the beginning of spring in March. Somewhere in between, I’ll take a few trips to Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
January – Family and Travel Photographer
The year started, quite literally, with a family photography session out on Nami Island. January 1st is not often a date I get asked for in Seoul. For most, it’s just too cold and, for many others, too painful. Not for Gloria and her family! We all made our way out to Nami Island and spent an hour running, jumping, hiding, playing, laughing, and of course, sipping warm beverages. A couple of my favourites from that session are below.
Next up was a session that had been in the works for a while. These two lovely ladies were in Seoul for a week or so and we managed to schedule a couple of hours to take in some of Seoul’s urbanity, tradition, and nature together. With Seoul being a fairly conservative place, I don’t get to do a lot of LGBT sessions and this was a great breath of fresh air from my usual sessions. We took to the back streets of Jongno and Euljiro for some urban grit and then headed over to Gyeongbokgung to use the gorgeous architecture and evergreen pines. One of the benefits of having your session in the holiday week and freezing cold is that there are very few other people around. Thanks again for an awesome session!
What would a couple of weeks back in Seoul before heading out on winter holiday be without some Jongno Gentlemen. Marco and I headed out to track down and make portraits of these fixtures of the Seoul landscape again. Despite the cold, we managed to stop several dapper gents for portraits in the streets of Jongno. Check out the rest of the series on Facebook.
Then, well, let’s be honest, the winter got to be too much. My youngest brother was about to start his final year of secondary school as well, so we decided to go on a trip together. We picked Cambodia and Vietnam for our adventure and started with the city of Angkor. As usual, the smiles and warmth of the Cambodian people were a joy to be around and we could have stayed a lot longer than we did. But alas, we had to go and meet Jeehe over in Vietnam to enjoy yet another country full of warm smiles and, well, some of the best food in Asia.
February – Travel, Band, and Couple Photographer
While I was away, we had worked on finalising the placement for my intern Jonne to fly into Seoul from the Netherlands. At the last minute, we confirmed everything and she would be flying in on the 7th of February. As we had confirmed this so late in the game, I had already booked my flights to Laos for my Tattoos of Asia project. I would be leaving just 4 days after Jonne’s arrival, so I asked if she would like to come. We ended up meeting in Seoul and then flying straight to Laos a couple of days later for a week-long ride through the countryside in search of the Brao people. It was a pretty good introduction to the way things go around here, I think. We also took my book with us, which was a hit. The similarity in facial structure and the fact that another people have facial tattoos led to the question, “Are they also Brao?” a lot.
The day after I flew back into Seoul, I met up with a local band, Wooden Lucy, to shoot some promo work for their album release. It’s always a good time when you can shoot gritty black and white for a change. We had a great time and pulled off some fun images of the band in a few different locations. After that, there was another last-minute confirmation that took us out into the streets of Seoul for a surprise proposal and then some braving the winter with Albert and Logan. After being in South East Asia for a few weeks, this day was even cold for me, but I don’t know how everyone else did it. None of them were ready for the cold of a Seoul winter.
March – Food, Hotel, and Family Photographer
I had the pleasure of working with Chef Ryu at Ryunique on some clean and simple dish shots for his social media presence after this. It’s been great to see those used over and over again in magazines and websites. His beautiful plating makes the job easy, that’s for sure! After that, I found some time to do one more thing I love before the busy season kicked in – I hit the streets to document some more of Seoul before the gentrification makes every street corner look the same.
Then it was time for the busy season to start again. March is when everything ramps up. To really get things rolling were a couple of families I have worked with in the past. The Visingards were back to visit their son’s foster family and spend some more time exploring Seoul. I got to spend a few hours with them as they reconnected with the foster family again. The Tsongs were up next. I was with them when they took custody of Daniel as well, and this time we scheduled a session of fun in Seoul’s Changgyeonggung during their short visit.
Then I had the pleasure of working with the Bolenders as they prepared to leave Seoul. We met just about a year prior when their son was born for some photos with the whole family, and this time we got together for a Day in the Life documentary session as they were leaving Seoul. We had an absolute blast eating several breakfasts, playing in the washing basket, and eventually heading out for a walk around the city. Lots of fun to be had. To wrap up March, I worked with the Italian Chamber of Commerce for their AGM and work with the New Seoul Hotel on their new promotional shots.
That’s all for the first quarter of the year. Come back next week for plenty of families, couples, a ball, and some time with the BBC. Until then, have a great week!
As I sit here writing, it is pouring rain outside as our monsoon season begins. The rising humidity has reached its peak and now is getting an injection from the downpour that opened up a few hours ago. My balcony is ankle deep in water and I feel a longing for the nicer times of the year. So, today we’ll journey back to spring and meet the Wiesner family.
Taylor, Jeremy, and their son Parker were here during some of the most pleasant days we’ve had all year. It wasn’t too cool or too hot and the air was clear. One such day, we headed out to Changgyeong-gung together to get some family pictures to remember their time here.
Parker was all giggles and energy for our whole session. His affectionate and fun-loving personality shone through on and off camera. So, we had no troubles getting quite a few different locations into our short session.
We started in the beautiful spring grass. Seoul really comes alive for a few weeks from the end of April to the middle of May, and it seemed like a waste not to spend a few moments in the garden area of the palace while it was so beautiful.
Then we headed over to make use of the gorgeous traditional architecture. Changgyeong-gung differs from the other of Seoul’s palaces in that, for the most part, the paint is left to its own devices. Whereas Gyeongbok-gung, Changdeok-gung, and Deoksu-gung get a regular touch up, Changgyeong-gung still has some peeling paint and faded colours that give it a much more endearing feel. Coupled with the gorgeous light of late spring, we made some beautiful images on this afternoon.
Are you visiting Seoul? Please do get in touch to book your own family session while you’re here. In the meantime, please enjoy the images!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
We left off last time at the beginning of spring and sunshine. As April warms up, we tend to getting a lot more pre-wedding photography, and this year was no different. Before getting there, though, I worked with an old client of mine Jeanetic Concepts on Zebra Technologies’ APAC conference out at Incheon’s Grand Hyatt Hotel. The three day conference was held for 300 people across the entire bottom floor of the hotel. On day 2, I was tasked with making a group shot of every single attendee. There was only one place for it, looking down from the lobby into the basement level. It took some doing to get everyone there on time, but we pulled off the biggest group shot I’ve done to date!
Then it was back out into the open to work with Kevin and Malia on their pre-wedding images. As colleagues of a couple I worked with last year, Alice and Erick, they had seen my work and wanted to squeeze in their own session before heading off to have their wedding with family back home. We met and spent an afternoon planning, all the while expecting the weather to be a beautiful spring day come shoot time. The day before, the rain started. According to the weather report, it would continue for another couple of days. I braced myself for shooting in between squalls and asked Marco Devon to come out as assistant so I could make some dramatic shots against the storm clouds. I dropped down into the subway that morning to head over to their apartment and meet them before the shoot, but when I popped back up, the rain had stopped, the clouds were parting, and we were looking at some of the clearest skies we have had all year. These were the results.
Then it was on to some fun and games with the Barch family for their first family photography session together. We had a wonderful day split between a palace and a coffee shop. Young Jude even made an effort to order for us at the cafe. All in all, a great morning with great people! I hope that you’re all well!
A few days later, I got to spend the morning with a couple of little darlings from Singapore. Despite having colds from the rapid temperature change they experienced coming to Korea at the end of winter, they were troopers, and we had a fun-filled morning at the palace near their hotel.
It’s not often I blog corporate event photography on this site, but there were a couple of events that really stood out to me in this quarter. At the end of April, ANZA Korea held their annual ball and went above and beyond even their grandest efforts. One corner that particularly stood out was the Nespresso presence. They put on an excellent show, and some fine cocktails based around their capsule coffee. A few shots from that night below!
Then it was back to family photography again with the Cradic family. Betsy and Winn had a laughter filled first meeting with Gus. It was non-stop energy and play with this little guy and even that one hour was exhausting for everyone. The Cradic family are going to be fit for life with this little fellow in their house.
Occasionally, in between all of the work, I get a few moments to explore the city of Seoul and shoot a few frames of my own. Below are a few images that I love from this quarter. Each speaks something about Seoul to me, and I hope you can appreciate where they come from as well.
No rest for the wicked, though. I slipped onto a plane that week to visit my good friends Andy and Laura Faulk in Tokyo. Good friends of mine since our time together in Seoul, Andy and Laura had asked me to come over and make some portraits of their family. How could I refuse the invitation to visit two of my best friends, the life they had created together, one of my favourite places on earth, and make photographs of it all together? I got weak at the knees. So much love for these people and for their part in my life. I hope only that the pictures I made are close to their hearts from here on out. Thank you both. Love you to bits and miss the heck out of you. It’s time for some dalkgalbi.
Dropping back into town, I soon had the opportunity to shoot with one of Korea’s premiere Hanbok designers, Lee Young-Hee on her new collection as part of a world tour she was doing. The shoot was quick, with absolutely no time for preparation or concepts as I would be working in between the video team shooting. Over the course of 5 hours, we had approximately 15 minutes to shoot as much material as possible. Below are a couple of the frames I’m happy with from the day.
I also got to spend a week with the New Zealand community as they held their New Zealand food and wine events for the year. We had some really great promotional events in Seoul and Busan as part of this effort, and needless to say, it made me a little homesick. New Zealand is about the closest thing you can get to Australia without actually being Australia, and the culture, smells, and flavours were so reminiscent of home it was hard to wipe the ear-to-ear grin off my face and concentrate on work. A big thanks to the New Zealand Embassy in Seoul and the Kiwi Chamber. On my way back up from Busan, I had an opportunity to visit my favourite brewery in Korea, Boksundoga. It is a family run business that produces the finest makkeolli on the peninsula. None of that green bottled garbage here, just quality ingredients and years of know-how. I reached out and let them know about my series of Korean artists, and they were more than happy to give me a little time before I headed back up to Seoul. A big thanks to Jason Teale for driving me out there as well!
Then it was back to family photography for the next few weeks to finish up the quarter. First, I spent a super-early morning with the Black family for Gibson’s first birthday. Being born in Korea, we took him out in a Hanbok and had a great time around their beautiful home of Yeonhui-dong. Then I got to spend a whole day with the Bailey family as they romped around Seoul with their son, before meeting up with the Cradic family again to finalise their adoption and spend another few hours together. As if things weren’t going wonderfully enough, I even got to work with my first Australian adoptive family!
But wait, there’s more! On June 20th, months of hard work culminated in an exhibition to launch my first book, Hmäe Sün Näe Ti Cengkhü Nu. On the rooftop of Mi Casa, we had almost 100 people join us throughout the night to celebrate the completion of the work and the launch of the Kickstarter. We also discovered that day that our guide’s mother was sick, and managed to raise enough money to cover her hospital bills through a last-minute raffle. Thanks to everyone for their support that night! And thanks to Wes for putting this video together!
See you next time for even more laughter and good times. Take care, everyone!
This year has been a roller coaster ride in every respect, and a wonderful one at that. Last year was my busiest to date, and I was glad to be scheduling some time at the beginning of 2016 to work on a personal project again. Despite 2016 being a little quieter than 2015, there was still plenty happening and a lot of changes. As per usual, this blog will be set out into 4 parts, covering the four quarters of the year to give some breathing room to the pictures. So, without further delay…
Before taking off on my personal project with Wesley Chang, I had a few families flying in that I would be working with. The very first family I ever worked with on an adoption, the Sharp family, were flying in to take custody of their second wonderful boy, Sam. It was so wonderful to see them, and to spend time with Jae, their first son. It was the Sharps’ decision to reach out and work with me on that first visit to Korea that shaped the direction for my photography from then on. They opened my eyes to something I didn’t even know was possible, and I fell in love with the process right away. A big thanks to Kala and Gary for that, and I look forward to seeing you and the boys again next year!
I also had the chance to work with another family I had met through their first adoption as well, the Andersons. The cheeky little ball of sweetness that is Ezra was coming back to meet his sister this time, and we would spend quite some time together during their long visit. This job that I do does not only get me access to the most intimate times in a family’s journey, but introduces me to friend after friend during the process. Dan and Ester have been such a blessing to meet, and I hope that it’s not too long before our paths cross again.
That was the beginning of January, then I was off to New Zealand for a friend’s wedding for a few days before flying to Myanmar to begin my personal project. This was something that came about during my visit to Mrauk U last year, and grew and changed in my mind until it was ready to be realised. I set out to create a book that would be able to sustainably assist in providing primary education and drinking water for a group of people called the Lai Tu in Rakhine State. I mentioned the project to Wesley Chang, who decided he would come along to make video during the journey. He in turn introduced me to Pablo Fuentes Gomez, who would come to design the final book and promotional materials for the project.
We set off on a 3 week journey up and down the Lemro River and its tributaries in Rakhine State. Somewhere between 20cm long centipedes, feral dogs, military and police escorts, and a few cases of food poisoning, we managed to make our way back home with around 500gb of footage and stills to work into this huge project. After three months of solid work, we launched our Kickstarter campaign with an exhibition in Seoul. The turnout was more than we could have expected, and the level of support humbled us completely. Below are a few images from the journey and the book, which is available from my personal site.
Returning from this journey was quite a shock, but I had a few days to get my head back into city life before a few more family sessions and a menu update for Mi Casa in Itaewon. First up was the Delk family. We spent a short while in their hotel room before heading out to play on the grass at Changgyeonggung for a while. It was a fun session with this cute little lady, who was super brave and embraced the day with us.
Then, I had a short session with the Maisami family as they were preparing to leave Seoul. We had a great day out in the park riding our bikes, chasing birds, and getting dad on all the children’s rides. I feel like the below image really sums up the outing we had in its closeness and silliness. What a wonderful day.
Of course, then came that time of year when Mi Casa updates their menu and we come up with a new concept to display their food in all its glory. Not to mention, everyone takes their belts off at the beginning of the day, as it would be a crime to let this wonderful food go to waste. This time around, we decided to make the menu a lot more visual by laying all the dishes out together with their ingredients. With this in mind, we had a huge background custom made, and set up the scene to show the food as graphically as possible. If you haven’t been there, head over to Mi Casa for some of the finest Spanish food around.
My final session for this quarter was with the Foote family. We began our Day in the Life session as the sun was coming up, and worked all the way through the day. The golden light of sunset was when I got a couple of my favourite frames from this year. Here they are.