Bull & Barrel Seoul – Korea Food Photographer

Bull & Barrel, a western-style pub in Itaewon that recently made 10 Magazine’s list of the top 7 places to celebrate St Patrick’s day in Seoul, recently had me out to work with them on their new menu and promotional photography. Being a food photographer has its perks. Not the least of which is being able to taste the food at Bull & Barrel after the shoot!

Working with Chad and Steve was a blast. We started early to get as much done as possible before the bar opened for business. Quesadillas, humus, kimchi fries, curry, burgers, and pizza. We shot a good selection of the foods on the menu, and sat down to taste them afterwards.

Impressed does not begin to explain my reaction to the food. At a pub, you generally expect a scratched together menu of grease and salt to make you buy more beer. This is far from the case at Bull & Barrel. They have worked hard to make all the food the best it can be. The humus is home made and plentiful. The kimchi fries are a good mix of spice and cheese, while the curries are restaurant quality.

You’re going in here for dinner, not for a snack and beers. The food is great, and the drinks are up there as well. A couple of Craftworks beers, and a selection of imports crowd around the lonely Max tap that pours its cheap pints to hangover hungry folks. Do yourself a favour and enjoy a pint of something nice to go with the food!

I feel like I’m writing a review here, which is far from what this blog does, but I do recommend getting in and trying the food at B&B if you haven’t yet!

Enjoy the photos!

Korea Food Photographer

Korea Food Photographer

Korea Food Photographer

Korea Food Photographer

Korea Food Photographer

Korea Food Photographer

Subject Defined Portrait – Seoul Portrait Photographer

For the last four weeks, I have been visiting my family in my home country of Australia. It has been good to see the sunburnt land again, and (touch wood) avoid the bushfires so far. One of the tasks I set myself while I am here is portraits of my family. Not in the traditional sense. I want to evoke each of their personalities in the images I make.

With that in mind, I started my project by photographing my younger brother Matt at his workstation. Matt is a little bit of everything: part musician, part party goer, part electrician – an eclectic human being. I wanted this to come across in the image. This wasn’t going to be a standard Rembrandt lighting setup, and it wasn’t going to be a deadpan look into the camera.

We started simple with a blacked out room (except for his monitors – which we based the exposure on) and a CTO gelled SB800 fired into the back wall to illuminate the room to about 1.5 stops under the exposure I initially wanted. 1.5 stops under? This was my base to build on, same as you would use ambient outdoors. CTO? I wanted the key light to be really cool, but the shadows to be neutral – so I set the camera’s white balance to tungsten. On top of this we threw in my Diffuser 50 with another (non-gelled) SB800 about 10 centimetres out of the frame to camera right. Their respective powers were 1/4 and 1/32 by the time we had balanced it all out.

Now it was time to start shooting. The first few shots were to get us warmed up, so we started with Matt working at the station. Clearly, this was not going to be the final image we were going for.

Flash Portrait of Matt Working

We had filled the room with everything that is Matt, and now we just needed him to be him. “Think about it for a minute, and when you’re ready, give me a little bit of Matt,” I said. This was the result.

Flash Portrait of Matt - Personality

This works for me. It is simple, but it shows everything Matt is – bar one thing that is. Matt has his own way of doing things. His music blurs the lines, and this needed to be expressed. Then it hit me, or rather I hit it.

While swinging the camera down to have a chat with Matt about the possibilities for this image, I accidentally pressed the shutter and made a blurry image. Nobody’s perfect right?

Serendipity played the best role in bringing this image to life. I slowed the shutter to 1/1.6 and closed my aperture down to f/4, then adjusted the flashes accordingly. For the next few frames, I had Matt bring himself out again and I shook or moved the camera in circles for the duration of the shutter – making sure I lined up the frame I wanted just before the shutter closed. This is when the flashes fired – on rear curtain (slow) sync – freezing Matt and his room over the top of the chaos I had just created.

Flash Portrait of Matt - Slow Shutter

As an extra, I decided to try firing the flashes twice during the exposure. This was down with the test button on the Flash Wave III radio triggers and resulted in another portrait that represented Matt to the letter.

matt-portrait-flash-double

Two lessons from this quick session – always be open to serendipity, and never settle for ‘good’.

Jae’s Adoption – Family Photographer Seoul

I recently had the privilege of photographing the welcoming of a new member to Kala and Gary’s family in Seoul. This was to be my first adoption photography session, and needless to say I had almost as many butterflies in my stomach as the lovely parents-to-be that I was about to meet. The concept of adoption photography is such a new one, but days like these should be remembered.

Gary and Kala are such loving parents, and you could see from the moment they met that Jae was going to be a welcome member of their family. After almost two years of waiting, all of their hopes, dreams and wishes culminated into one day, and I was so happy to be a part of it. This emotional rollercoaster took us through laughter, tears, fear, and anticipation – all in the space of an hour. I wish them all the best with their new family.

If you are adopting a child in Korea, please get in touch using the contact link above. I would love to be a part of one of the most important days of your life.

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

Seoul Adoption Photography