The end of the year is here again, and with it the time to catch up on everything that hasn’t been done, and the chance to reflect on the year to date. This is one of my favourite parts of the year, because I get to look back and take a look at what I have achieved, how far I have come, and what I still have to learn. Each year I have the privilege of working with some amazing people, and this year has been no different. It’s been filled with young love, children, and families. But before all of that began, we had winter. This is it.
January through March are some of our quieter months here in Korea, and this gives me a little breathing space to explore my own ideas through photography. I began the year by working on a project I have been meaning to start for quite some time now. I have a great love for old culture, and people who work without modern technology to achieve beautiful things. Korea’s traditional arts are oft left behind in the constant search for the next thing, and I have wanted to document them in my own way for a long time. I reached out to the amazing Lorryn Smit, as I’d seen an image she made of a danso, and asked if she knew the man behind it well enough to introduce him. After our initial contact, he was keen on my ideas, and we spent an afternoon shooting together in his hanok in Gwangju. Happy with the results, he began introducing me to friends, and my project slowly took shape. I have had the honour of working with some of those at the top of their fields. Here are a few of the images so far.
Between this and my second trip to Laos, I got a call from Seoul Magazine saying they were looking to change up the pace with their covers, and wanted a fresh perspective on things. I quickly got in touch with my good friend Andy from Andrew Faulk Photography, and let him know that I would love to put he and his wife on the cover before they left Korea for good. They were very obliging, and even came along with an excellent selection of scarves. We had a great shoot and got something very different from Seoul’s usual covers.
Mere hours after shooting this cover, my wife and I were on a flight to Laos for our annual time off. Determined to relax, we took up refuge in Luang Prabang and spent our days slowly working our way through Lao food and drinks. Somewhere between meals, I managed to get in touch with Somneuk from Green Discovery Laos and organise a few short photoshoots during my time. Continuing my project from Korea, I sought out a few of the local artisans. Below you will see machetes being forged from rebar on an anvil made from a reclaimed howitzer shell, and the potter who makes a good portion of the plant pots you will see in hotels throughout Luang Prabang. Aside from that, we also got ourselves invited to a monk’s birthday with all of the locals.
On our return, I had the pleasure of shooting Mr Choi from the lock museum in Iwha-dong for Seoul Magazine, as well as witnessing the most perfect light I have seen in Seoul during my time here. The rays coming between buildings got my inner photographer quite excited (beyond normal levels). I wound up the end of this cold time with a little personal work with some local chefs to round out my portfolio for the year and experiment with a new style of food photography.
Until next time!