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.

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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

Lucy’s Adoption Photography Story

Earlier this week, Lisa, Brian, and their biological son Jack came to Seoul to meet the newest member of their family, Lucy. A sweet, quiet, somewhat reserved baby girl, Lucy took a little while to open up to her new family. But when she did, it was smiles all around and she took her new brother by the hand to show him around. This is what makes adoption photography so special. I was thrilled to be the family photographer they chose to cover their special event.

Jack’s pride and joy was his ‘Big Brother’ T-shirt, and you could tell that was only the beginning for how wonderful he would be to her. Lucy took to him warmly as well, leading him around the adoption center like it was her own home. She found him a chair to sit on, and showed him all the way out to the street. These two will be inseparable.

What amazed me most about both of these families was the strength with which they kept themselves together during this process. Lisa and Brian are wonderfully kind and loving parents, and Jack is just the big brother that Lucy need. This is going to be one happy family!

Seoul Adoption Photographer

Adoption Photographer Korea

Seoul Adoption Photographer

Adoption Photography Seoul

Seoul Adoption Photographer

Seoul Adoption Photographer

Seoul Adoption Photographer

Seoul Adoption Photographer

Seoul Adoption Photography

Seoul Adoption Photography

Seoul Adoption Photography

Seoul Adoption Photography

Seoul Adoption Photography

Seoul Adoption Photography

Seoul Adoption Photography

Seoul Adoption Photography

Korea Adoption Photographer – Jae’s Family Session

Less than 24 hours later I met this wonderful family again, and had the pleasure of capturing their bonding with their new son. Yesterday’s session was my first foray into adoption photography, but today I felt comfortable with this family and we got started straight away with capturing this special day.

If yesterday we had any number of emotions in the room, this day we saw only smiles, and the strength of these two parents left a lasting impression on me again. It is difficult to imagine the multitude of emotions that must have been flowing through them that day, but their desire to make this boy feel at home was ever-present and stronger than any other. Kala and Gary were intune with everything Jae needed or wanted from the moment they met, and displayed great compassion and understanding of their new son’s situation.

On a side note, Jae loves to play with buttons, and he is quite the photographer! The last image is one he took of his new mother! We couldn’t keep him away from the D800! Expensive toys for this boy!

To see what happened yesterday, take a look at the previous post.

Seoul Adoption Photographer

Seoul Adoption Photographer

Seoul Adoption Photographer

Seoul Adoption Photographer

Seoul Adoption Photographer

Seoul Adoption Photographer

Seoul Adoption Photography

Seoul Adoption Photography

Seoul Adoption Photography

Seoul Adoption Photography

Seoul Adoption Photography

Seoul Adoption Photography

A photo by Jae.

Seoul Adoption Photography

And the little photographer himself.