In this article, I’m going to run through some common questions I get when it comes to planning a photoshoot in Korea. Thinking about these basic things and discussing them with me will make sure that we have the best day possible for your photoshoot. We’ll consider location, weather, clothing, time, and getting all the information you need from me here today. Let’s jump in.
Choosing the right location for your photoshoot should be first on your list and I’m happy to help. Please let me know if you’re having trouble finding something that suits your taste.
Perhaps you’re from a tropical part of the world and seeing snow in your images is high on your list. Maybe your home country doesn’t really see autumn leaves. Maybe extremely urban is what you’re after. Or, perhaps you just want a little of that traditional Korean flavour. There are locations all over Seoul and indeed, all over the country, that offer beautiful scenes to fit every taste.
The location you choose sets the overall mood for your photographs. The yellow leaves of the gingko trees in Seoul Forest have a very different feeling from the colourful palace architecture or downtown urban areas. Even each of the palaces has a different feeling. Take some time to think about a location that has meaning for you or is simply visually appealing to you.
I have a guide up that takes you through some commonly used locations. If you don’t find anything you like, please ask for help! I’m here to recommend the best locations so you can have a set of memorable images to take home.
Other than location, perhaps the biggest thing we need to consider for our photoshoot is the climate. The weather here in Korea is extremely changeable from day to day and varies extremely over the course of the year. It is important to remember that during the winter, we have no foliage on the trees at all and nature becomes extremely brown and grey. It’s equally important to note that the beautiful spring flowers bring all 50 million residents of the country and every visitor out to see them after that long winter. Weather plays a huge role in life here in Korea, so it pays to keep it in mind when scheduling your photoshoot.
This is not to say winter is an ugly time or don’t go out in spring for fear of a stampede. It just means that we need to consider where and what time we should work during certain times of the year. As we’ll see below, taking the time to plan the right clothing and time of day for our session is very important.
I have a basic guide to the weather of Korea that outlines the four seasons and which months offer which type of weather. If you’re curious about how things will be during your visit, feel free to contact me. I’m happy to give you an honest outlook for the weather.
Clothing is another important part of every photoshoot. It can be the difference between visually striking images and ones that just don’t work. It can also be the difference between feeling comfortable and relaxed during your shoot and not enjoying it at all because you’re constantly worried about the clothing. For our sessions, I always recommend feeling comfortable and like yourself. That’s one step closer to authentic and timeless images.
A good example of clothing that doesn’t work too well is bright colours in the palaces of Seoul. We want to have a good balance of the beautiful colours the painted walls offer and your emotions. If the clothing is the loudest part of the images, the location and yourselves will be dwarfed by it. Perhaps the one exception to this is Hanboks, which can really look great in the palaces.
Another recommendation I generally make is to avoid stripes and other patterns. While these can make a statement daily life or fashion photography, for a family or couple photoshoot in Korea, they generally draw the attention away from what is important: you and the place you’re in.
My final recommendation is to keep it comfortable. Take into account the amount of walking you might do, the weather, and how much time you’ll spend worrying that your gorgeous collar is at the right angle. All of these can take away from your experience and thus the emotion in the images we capture together.
Time of Day
Time of day plays a huge role in the light we’re able to work with. Certain locations restrict the times we can shoot, but if we have the opportunity, it’s always great to choose the best time of day for light.
Seoul’s parks are open 24 hours a day and depending on the time of year, it may be best to shoot in the early morning or the late afternoon. Our sunrise and sunset times vary by a few hours over the course of the year as well, so it’s best to check this when deciding on morning or evening as well. If you’re not a morning person, a sunrise shoot in the summer (5am!) may not be for you.
Sunrise is the quietest time of day in terms of crowds, but it’s also the coolest (or coldest!) time of day. Sunset is often the nicest in terms of light warmth and temperature. However, it can often be too late for the palaces or too crowded in certain locations. I rarely recommend times in the middle of the day because the light is harsh and the crowds are large.
Once we’ve nailed down a location, I’ll make some timing recommendations for you to choose from.
Ask Questions in Advance
When it comes to planning your session and making sure everything about your photoshoot in Korea turns out the way you want it to, asking questions is the best way to ensure that. Nothing is too trivial, so please let me know of any questions you have as we’re planning. I’m happy to answer them!
When you’re ready to start the conversation, please get in touch!