In this, the strangest of years, I’m constantly amazed by the dedication of families in completing their adoption processes. Jennifer and Said are no exception to that rule. Braving the quarantine procedure (and the quarantine hotel lottery), they made their way to Seoul in order to meet and take custody of their daughter, Maliha. We got together during this time to make some family photos for them before they went home.
As is often the case when we move into the summer months, rain foiled our first attempt at scheduling our session. Maliha had been a bit scared of rain, so we decided to move the session to the following day as the rain was supposed to end overnight. Despite the clear forecast the following day, it was still drizzling when we met, but Maliha seemed happy enough, so we jumped into the session as planned.
Since it was a bit of an earlier start than my usual sessions (cloudy days mean we can be more flexible with timing), there were still quite a few people in the palace. For everyone’s safety, we made our way in the opposite direction that most visitors take. This gave us a clear space for photos and no other visitors within visual range.
It only took us a few minutes and a couple of silly jokes to get Maliha on our team for the session. We discovered a love for tickles and made use of that when needed to keep the energy high. Once those giggles began, though, it was all we could do to try and calm them. Maliha was having a blast and loving all the attention we lavished on her. In the first few minutes, we’d gone from snuggles to flying to chasing pigeons. It was a riot!
When it comes to post-custody family photos, my first goal is always to avoid being the source of any distress. We keep things very light and if I feel any resistance from our little one, I always try to change things up or work from a distance. On this session, Maliha needed a bit of time to do her own thing, explore, so we let that happen for a while.
While she really enjoyed being held and jumping around, each time we moved, she wanted to walk on her own. Rather than deny her the chance to explore, we turned it into a fun photograph and let her explore to her heart’s content for a while. Her brand new shoes had a habit of jumping off her feet when she tried to go fast, so we did have to stop from time to time in order to get those back on. That also made for a really cute frame to celebrate the family’s first moments together.
In the end, we gave up on the shoes and let her walk around on the less rocky ground so she could get that out of her system. It was at about this time that her eyes began to droop and we knew we didn’t have long left until a feed and a snooze would be needed. So, with a couple of shoulder rides and a sing-along to her favourite song, we wrapped up the session and made our way out of the palace.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this session as much as I did. Thanks again to Maliha and her parents for a wonderful shoot. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more family photography. Please do reach out if you’re interested in having your own family photographed here in Seoul.