December already? 2014, you have been a wild ride. I have met and worked with some absolutely amazing people this year in Seoul. Photography is a medium that opens unimaginable doors, and this year there have been some amazing sights on the other side of those doors. For the next four weeks, I would like to share with you some of those experiences, and some of the photographs that went with them.
To begin my year, I was given the opportunity to spend time with Lori and Steve as they went through the process of adopting their son Davis in Seoul. Photographing this time in a family’s history is a privilege that reminds me time and time again of the power of photography. Below are a couple of my favourite moments from the day; Davis holding his father’s hand in the lift, and the walk to the station together. Lori and Steve’s journey was a long one, and one that I was honoured to be there for. I am grateful for these new friends of mine, and being able to watch their son grow from a distance. Hope to see you soon!
Of course, there’s a less deep (but, equally satisfying – albeit in a different way) side to this job – food photography. I spent an afternoon with the gentlemen at Bull & Barrel Seoul to work on their menu and promo materials. Keeping a warm, homely bar feel to the images was crucial, so we shot everything on the deep wooden tables and barrels around the bar. We got through a good portion of the menu, but had to invite some friends to help us finish up! I’m still working through that food coma now. Head in to Bull & Barrel in Itaewon for a pub atmosphere and some great food!
To keep the variety rolling, I photographed my first magazine cover for the year for the University of California Hastings’ College of the Law Alumni Magazine. They contacted me with a story on technology lawyers, and specifically to photograph two alumni living and working in Seoul. I met Edward Dhong and Nathan McMurray for an hour or so each and we worked through a series of different frames to fill the pages of the article. The magazine were thrilled with what we created and quickly threw together a cover featuring Nathan as the star of the story. Not too bad for his first ever photoshoot!
Cover number two wasn’t too far behind with local mag, Groove Magazine, asking me to put together a cover for their “expat superstars” story. Of course, none of these people would be around at the same time, so we’d have to shoot a composite. I shot with the concept of “The Usual Suspects” in mind and composited them into what worked out to be a fun cover to start the year. Working with my old friend Pinnacle and some new folks – Jake, Bronwyn and Jesse made for a good time and some fun images.
Another ‘character’ I met through this Groove Magazine shoot was Sweet and Tasty TV‘s Professor Oh. We had a great afternoon in the studio playing out concept after concept of her popular YouTube channel characters, ending in one too many shots of soju with Taekwon Do.
Sticking to the studio while the weather was still freezing, actor and tap-dancer Park Woo-Sik and I made some GQ inspired promo for his push into a new style of acting.
Despite the cold weather, Peter and Van were keen to step out into the streets for their photo session during Van’s visit to Seoul. Braving the February cold, we hit three locations in one afternoon to show off a variety of what Seoul has to offer.
In the middle of all of this, fellow photographer Jessica Marie Berggrun and I found some time to shoot together. After a shopping trip to the Dongdaemun Markets (never a good idea for two people who like shiny things), we coaxed my wife into creating a headpiece from black and gold chain we had purchased to run with our coffee inspired “Egyptian Goddess” theme. Quickly pulling together makeup, an assistant, and our amazing model Kiara, we headed out to shoot something a long way from my comfort zone.
I was lucky enough that two more adoptive famlies had seen my work with Lori and Steve, and I would soon have the pleasure of meeting Brian and Anna-Marie as they completed their second adoption. The rest of their story will come in the next post, but for this session I was allowed into their space as they hugged, played with, blew bubbles, and blew more bubbles with Tobin, soon to be Knox’ little brother.
My next meeting was with Amanda, Reid and Elias. It was an increibly short time with this family, but a glimpse into some amazingly dedicated parents and the joy they would be sharing with their creative young boy soon.
Of course, the yearly Italian Food Festival rolled around and I got the chance to photograph the best Italian chefs in Seoul again, before working with local band “The Barberettes” on their first full length album promo materials. If you haven’t seen them play, head over to their Facebook page for updates on gigs to come.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the first part of this year. There’s plenty more to come, so stay tuned!