As the days cool down and the sun rises a little later in the morning, the perfect days for family photos begin in Seoul. September might not quite have the glorious colours of autumn yet, but the trees have begun to show their first signs of change and the light has taken on its autumnal glow. Jade reached out as she and her family were preparing their trip and we agreed on getting out in the early morning for the first light of day and to avoid the crowds at Seoul Forest Park. Instead of bright sun, however, we got a cloudy day. But, this was nothing to worry about as it gave us much more freedom of location choice during the shoot. Since we wouldn’t be fighting against the bright sun, we pushed the session back an hour later so we could all sleep in a little longer (and get a coffee in!). As you’ll see, Seoul Forest is equally as lovely on a cloudy day!
This would be the first family portraits Jade, Owen, and Damien would have together, so there was a little extra pressure on me to make something special for them. As we met, it was clear that Damien was going to take a little time to warm up and be open to working with a stranger. As we walked over to our first location, I discovered that he’d just visited Lego Land Korea, so I drilled him on all the best things he’d seen and started to get a little sparkle in his eyes. To keep the ball rolling, we made our first shot a walk along a path strewn with the first fallen leaves with the goal of not stepping on any of them. Finally, we surprised him at the end of the walk with a swing and his smile told me I’d pulled him onto my side. Now it was time to get that all-important camera-aware portrait of everyone!
It was at this point that Damien’s personality started to show. He was comfortable now and willing to be himself around me. That resulted in all sorts of shenanigans, including trying to bite his father and tug his mother’s arm out of its socket. Wherever possible, I love my sessions to reflect the personalities of those involved so I may, or may not, have encouraged Damien slightly to let himself go and enjoy the session his way. In all my family sessions, our goal is to mix in just enough freedom to bring out the unexpected while maintaining a level of control that allows us adults to get what we came for.
Keeping things active, we made our way around the park, laughing and smiling the whole way. It was wonderful to watch this family having so much fun together and creating memories. Every scene that I put together turned into something a little bit more special than I expected as Damien continued to enjoy his time. It was a beautiful morning and it was sad to wrap up! I hope you’ve enjoyed this session as much as I did photographing it! Please do reach out if you’d like to have your own family photos while visiting Korea and follow my Instagram for more images from this session and others!