Part two of my Year in Review as a Seoul Photographer. If you missed Part 1, head on over to check it out. The year began to pick up pace starting in April with the weather warming up, and the year getting underway for everyone. I was more than happy to start it in the warmest part of the country, Jeju Island. Although it poured rain for my solo ride from Jeju City to Seongsan-ri, the weather cleared up and we couldn’t have had a more perfect day for my shoot with Sook and Maui. We drove and rode all around the area, skipping the crowds and making a beautiful collection of landscape-style engagement photos.
While I was down on Jeju, I got a call from my good friend and colleague, Greg Samborski, with a job that would take the two of us to organise, and would begin the day I flew back into Seoul. The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award, or HIPA, needed an on demand printing service organised for their booth and had asked us to provide it. We tag-teamed the preparations for this while I was shooting some personal work and organising the first ever foreigner group exhibition for the Seoul Photo & Imaging Show. A big thanks to everyone who participated in that as well!
I also got to finish the first chapter of Brian and Anna-Marie‘s story when they returned to Korea with their son Knox to pick up the newest member of their family, Tobin. From the moment he laid eyes on his brother, Knox was enamoured and stepped up to the plate as big brother. It was such a treat to be welcomed by Brian and Anna-Marie to document this special time for them, and watching Knox and Tobin left us all in awe at their ability to bond so quickly.
I also had the chance to work with a couple I’d been talking to and dying to work with for quite some time, Danielle and Todd Odenath. We had a great time getting shadowed by security at a palace, blown all over the place on the Han River banks, and of course enjoying one of Seoul’s ubiquitous coffee shop experiences.
April was a busy time for adoptions this year, and I met two more wonderful families before the end of the month. Firstly April and Blake Chambers were visiting with their two children to meet their newest boy, Silas. It took him a little while to warm up, but his big brother Griffin wasn’t going to give in. Before long they were dragging each other all around the room, leaving no corner unexplored.
Next up was Amber and Matt, who were adding a forth little one to the ranks! Amber, being the daughter of one of Holt’s first adopted children, was extremely excited to be in Korea to meet her new son. Her mother and father also came along to meet their grandson, and spent the afternoon kicking a ball and chasing Asher around the room. Asher’s foster-mother actually turned out to be April and Blake’s first son Griffin’s foster-mother as well, and so Asher knew exactly who I was walking into the room!
Moving to May, I shot the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce‘s Wine Festival at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. It was a great afternoon with 26 different wineries in attendance. It was also a joy to shoot an event during the day for a change, and not have to push the limits of digital sensors!
Working again with the team at Mi Casa was a treat as well. They know how to do good food, and having a professional team working together makes the job run so smoothly. Chef Manuel Manzano Rodriguez is an artist in the kitchen, and produced dish after dish to perfection all day long. Can’t wait to work on the new menu!
The end of May would prove to be a whirlwind week of back to back sessions. First up, I had the pleasure of meeting Josh and Elizabeth and working with them on the first day they met their son.
Next up was Angelo and Cecilia’s beautiful wedding in Seongbuk-dong. A big thanks to Greg Samborski for second shooting that day for me!
A couple of quick pre-wedding shoots would round out the month well. So, first up I worked with Leah and Preston on a set of photos to remind them of their time here in Korea.
And then with Cindy and Adam before they left to get married in Scotland!
A good portion of the month of June would be spent with the Brown family, who had contacted me in January and finally got their travel call to meet Nell. With the B-Team, Bates and Brodie, in tail, Mary Leigh and Nick embraced Seoul for everythign it had – zoos included, and had me along for the ride to document every interaction, every smile, and every “Let’s go!” from Nell. We had an amazing week together that started in the Holt offices with Nell, and then the boys’ foster families, followed by a day in the park with Nell. This was a long and wonderful journey that can be read about here, here and here.
Of course, I can’t forget Greg Samborski being my test in the bride’s room.
Or time with my niece for Children’s Day.
Or the 4×5 selfy attempt.
Shooting personal work with Zach and Spencer…
Or finally having the opportunity to photograph the mighty Robert Koehler for Groove Magazine!