Welcome back to the fourth and final installation in this year’s “Year in Review.” Part’s one, two, and three have taken us through Korea’s winter, a visit to Laos for Tattoos of Asia, spring, summer, more Tattoos of Asia in India, and back to Korea ready for autumn. Today we’ll wind up the series with some session in that beautiful season, then take a quick trip to Yangon for an exhibition before coming back to Korea’s icy winter for one final session to end the year.
October – Family Photographer
Let’s start this quarter with a fun custody day with the Sarracino family. Young Jaden may have had a fairly nasty cold, but that wasn’t going to stop him from having a great time. We had all sorts of capers with puffs and clothing straps, but those will have to wait for the full blog early next year! That very same afternoon, I met up with the Armstrong family to do some portraits before they left Korea the following morning. It was a lot of fun sneaking in moments from two children who were just getting to know one another.
There’s nothing quite like the first few moments a new family is together.
Joy is easy to be found where love is, that is for sure.
The train conductor letting us know where we need to go.
When you’re this cute, you can get away with anything!
Getting these two lively personalities to stay together long enough to get a shot of them was tough, but worth every second!
Next up was a session with the Broderick family. Hailey, Ross, and Sarang arrived and we took a short walk through the palace together as Sarang was feeling a little overwhelmed. We tried a few things together, but in the end, she put herself to sleep and we finished up the session with her that way. So, what is it that you do when one-third of your family is asleep? Thankfully it was the smallest and lightest third, so we still managed a few frames, as you’ll see below!
Peace and love. Everything that a mother should bring.
Those little piggy-tails were too cute!
Sleeping peacefully in dad’s arms.
After this were back-to-back sessions with the Bovee and Sarracino families. As is often the case with adopted children, Max had one thing that was his safe place and that was his blanket. We kept it in the pictures for two reasons, it represented him at the time and it would have caused additional stress on Max at the time. With two very different energy levels, it took us some time, but we got some shots of the boys.
The safe place.
Following this, I walked over to my next session with the Sarracino family. Jaden’s cold had improved and he was feeling a lot better. That freed us up to play in the autumn leaves and make the best of the beautiful afternoon light. We took our time and used a few different locations within the palace. This gave us a lot of variety and a chance to enjoy our surroundings.
Jaden with a traditional palace door in the background.
Autumn light, the time when Seoul is truly beautiful.
A quick frame of Jaden before we wrapped the session.
Following this trend of family shoots for the month, I spent some time with June Gupta as she took custody of her son. Unfortunately, her husband and daughters would not be able to make it, and she wanted to gift them with the moments that they could not share together.
You better believe Grandma is a favourite!
Arriving back in the hotel. Notice that the bus is still present.
This is what happens when you take that bus away!
Another double session on October 29th would round out the month nicely. A quick one-hour session with Milo for his first birthday in the backstreets of Seoul that his parents love so much was a great way to start the day. We shot fast and furious to keep up with Milo’s smiles and love. His energy was abundant, and although he couldn’t yet walk by himself, you could feel it coming. Much more of this fun session to come in the new year. Keep a look out for it!
Milo and his dad.
Who doesn’t like to aeroplane?
Milo and his mum.
November – Family and Event Photographer
Starting off November was a fun family session with a fantastic little fellow called Alexander. We spent just over an hour of running, laughing, and, of course, snacking together and came away with a few frames that I am really happy with. Enjoy them below and keep your eyes on the blog next year for the full session.
Exploring together as a family.
On a mission. This is Alexander’s natural state. He loves to explore.
Alexander and mum at Changdeokgung.
Before heading out with Elyzabeth and her son for a short session at Changgyeonggung during their visit, I had the chance to work with ANZA again on their Melbourne Cup event in Seoul. Who says you can’t make fun photos at a corporate event? The next morning, though, we headed out into the wild to shoot some portraits for Elyzabeth and her son as they were traveling together. It’s always a pleasure working with people who value their time together so much. We explored the palace grounds, picked up pinecones, tossed leaves, made a leaf-snow-angel, and had plenty of laughs.
When I saw the twitter logo apear, I just knew this was going to be gold!
First time together in autumn leaves.
Love for Korean palaces.
Note the pinecone. We collected a few!
Another custody day, this time with the Blackshear family would wrap up November for me. While the parents were trying madly to pack their remaining luggage to move hotels, the three Blackshear kids made it clear that they were going to have fun.
Why not dance?
If you get dad involved, packing takes a while and you can play longer!
The next couple of months would be dedicated to exhibitions. First, the Asia Culture Institute in Gwangju opened their exhibition “Tattooed Asia.” They had asked to use several of my images in both the exhibition and the catalogue. I was honoured when I heard that the director wanted to use one of my photographs for the exhibition poster, but I didn’t realise just how big it would be until I got there. It’s a great exhibition overall, and worth the trip down to Gwangju if you’re interested in tattoos.
That is a very large photograph.
The entrance to the Tattooed Asia exhibition.
A slightly smaller version of the image, but great to see nonetheless.
December – Solo Exhibition in Myanmar
Something I had been organising for months was my solo exhibition in Yangon, Myanmar. Who would have thought that remotely organising a venue, printing, framing, and a troupe of 10 musicians from a tribal region would take so long? It all came together, though. Axiao from Pansuriya was an absolute gentleman in offering his space for the show. He made everything a breeze to organise. If you’re in town, stop by for some really good local foods and the coldest beers in town. My friend, guide, and translator, Htwe Kyi, and I also coordinated to have some of his people come to Yangon and perform. We had initially discussed doing a few traditional songs, an introduction to the project, and then a session with their home-made rice liquor, Yu. However, once we all got to Yangon, it was clear that wasn’t going to happen. The Lai Tu group had prepared every song and dance for a traditional wedding, and so we decided to let them take the stage.
The exhibition at Pansuriya in Yangon.
It was great to not only be visited by my friends from Rakhine State, but to have my whole family there as well.
Our feature on DVB in Myanmar! As soon as I get a hold of the Skynet feature, I’ll share that as well. Follow Dylan Goldby on Facebook to get the notification.
The exhibition ran for 18 days, and I was able to explore a lot of Yangon downtown during that time as well. There’s something special about the mix of peoples, religions, and times that play out in Yangon. It’s a special city of extreme contrasts, and one that everyone should visit.
Fewer and fewer trishaws are to be found in Yangon as the number of taxis increases.
Yet another thinning tradition in the big city, Thanaka.
He knows where it’s at.
Contrasts. That’s what makes Yangon so special.
Once the exhibition was wrapped, I had a chance to catch up with my old friend Zack as he made his way through Myanmar for the first time. Then, I was headed back to Seoul and the freezing winter and a family session with the Fu Family out at Nami Island. Luckily, it had been snowing over the past week and managed to find a little powder to play in. The very next day, it rained and washed everything away! That’s the end of 2017 from me. Thank you to everyone who has participated in my life this year. It’s been a wonderful one, and now it’s time to take a few days off!