Greg Samborski | Seoul Photographer » Seoul Photographer Greg Samborski | Shooting it All!

  • Seoul photographer Greg Samborski shoots it all -- commercial, event, engagement, wedding, portrait... Give him a mission, he will deliver.

Engagement Photos at Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Gwajang Market & Seoul City Wall | Clair & Ross

“Hello! My brother and his fiancée will be visiting Seoul in June and are looking to have their engagement photos taken around the city. They are both excited about their visit – Clair is Korean American and has introduced Ross to so many aspects of Korean culture, particularly food, so it’d be great to have their surroundings reflect that. A temple or palace backdrop, a food market like Gwangjang Market, cafe scene, subway station chaos…”

-Ashley Chan

Of course I was elated when I got this email, I contacted Ashley immediately and let her know that I had always wanted to do a shoot in a traditional Korean market at at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP). As I’ve mentioned in many of my previous blog posts, there’s nothing I like more than weaving a couple’s back story and locations of significance into an engagement shoot.

Ashley, the thoughtful sister gifting this engagement photo session to her brother Ross and his fiancée Clair, CC’d them in once the planning commenced.  The trio wanted to get in photos at Gwajang Market, DDP, Cheonggyecheon Stream and Changdeokgung however I advised against trying to cram too many locations into our two hour session. Getting ANYWHERE in Seoul takes a minimum of 20 minutes. Four locations would mean spending over half of our shooting time in transit. Changdeokgung posed a challenge due to it’s early closing time. I proposed that we start with the covered traditional market while it was still hot and bright out, then move to the DDP for the best light of the day and up to Seoul City Wall (our Changdeokgung alternative) which was stones throw away for sunset. Everyone liked the plan.

Clair, Ross, Ashley and I met near Gwajang Market. It was awesome having Ashley around to assist on the photo shoot. She also shot some cool behind the scenes stuff on her phone. Clair and Ross were a blast to hang out with. Talk about a photographers dream, they did exactly as I suggested a went full on fun and flirtatious for our shoot. Clair had a knack for knowing when to bend her leg, flick her hair and give Ross a peck on the cheek while I was shooting.

The pictures are coming up next but just before that here’s a little back story on our couple:

“Clair: Ross and I both met in college. We met at a bar where his fraternity was throwing a party. We became friends from there. We took classes together and hung out more. We just clicked from the start. I love his smile and laughter. He knows what he wants and is very driven. He is very friendly and can spark up any conversations. He is intelligent, charismatic, and of course very handsome. He’s thoughtful and caring.

Ross: Clair brings happiness and joy into the room every time she walks in. She is kind and always thinking of others. She has a lot of perseverance whenever the times get tough and I know that I can always count on her. She is gorgeous. She makes me the happiest person ever.”


Post Elopement With Hieu and Nam | Deoksugung Engagement Photographer

Deoksugung Palace, Seoul Korea: I appreciate routine in many parts of my life. Photography is not one of them. Of course it makes perfect sense couples wanting engagement photos in Korea actually want to actually SEE elements of this country in their images. I mean why come all the way here, then shoot a set of photos in bushy area that could just as well have been taken in a park back home. Just because I’m Gyungbokgung Palace’s most frequent visitor doesn’t make it any less exciting for a couple visiting Korea for their first time. I learned one must strike a balance between fulfilling a couple’s needs whilst still feeding my own desire for adventure and inspiration. I figured out how to achieve this balance with Hieu and Nam.

It may seem simple in retrospect but all it took was a slight change of venue. I’d never been to Deoksugung, a palace which lies in the heart of Seoul right across from city hall. Hieu booked my “Variety” package so with the 4 hours of shooting time it afforded us we were able to leisurely explore the palace then head to Samcheongdong for a drink, snack, wardrobe change and a few more images. It was balanced bled of iconic Korean scenery, fused with nature and a little urban style.

I picked Hieu and Nam  upat a great salon in Myeongdong where I had arranged hair and makeup. The two of them had met in high school and while they each followed their own paths through life their paths never diverged too far. Eventually they eloped and it was my job to makeup for some of those photos that were never taken. (I’m on a two for two elopement streak it would seem, check out Robin and Luke’s Post Elopement) Hieu described Nam as joker but also as her source of stability, the one who cares for and protects her. I feel this photo shoot conveys that message



Yeouido Post Elopement Photos | Robin & Luke

Yeouido, South Korea: I love temples as much as anyone but I wanted to try something different with Robin and Luke for their post-elopement photos. I suggested Yeouido. The small island in the middle of Seoul offers a variety of backdrops including natural looking grasslands, modern architecture and even a traditional pagoda or two. Yeouido is also home to the iconic 63 which would be a good backup location in case of bad weather or just to warm up.

I proposed the idea to Robin and she answered, “I like the combination of temples, parks and urban areas you suggested, we are pretty much  “go with the flow” personalities and really like the backgrounds in your other photo shoots.  Oh, except for the skeleton photo in the Rainy Day engagement photos – Rachel & Daniel – we definitely are not skeleton theme people.  Like I said, we will probably defer to your judgement for the details of the photo shoot.”

Having just done a travel assignment on Yeouido weeks earlier I was excited by the chance to revisit my favorite places and use the great lines and tall grasses Yeouido has to offer. I always have a personal goal on my shoots and these days I’m pushing myself to include more context in my photos. I captured some of my widest shots yet. My wife hates them but hey, we don’t always have to agree:)

As for Robin and Luke, here’s a little back story: “Luke and I met through friends at a local town concert.  I went with a friend who mentioned that her husband’s co-worker would be there, but assured me that “this isn’t a setup”.  Her words exactly.  Long story short, a couple of group outings later, we realized we had a lot of common interests (concerts, hockey games, exploring new places, restaurants, movies, being goofy, etc.)  and have been together ever since.

I booked Robin in for makeup and hair in Itaewon and then the three of us took the subway to Yeouido. Robin and Luke are a great couple, fun, flexible and adventurous. They traversed a lot of grassland for me in their Sunday best so I could get the long shots. Much of my direction was given in mime due to the large distances separating us and they understood all my flailing surprisingly well!

Robin and Luke, while I couldn’t photograph your elopement I hope these images fill the missing photograph void and make you and your family happy every time you look at them.

Yeouido Post Elopement Photographer-Yeouido Engagement

eric yip - 2015/05/06 - 11:03 AM

SO in love with the warm colors…

Shot with the city in the river… awesome.

Good stuff GS!

Seoul Corporate Headshot Photographer | Intralink

Intralink Seoul, South Korea: Intralink’s web designers didn’t want run of the mill corporate head shots taken against the same backdrop with the same pose under the same light. They wanted more natural looking, environmental type portraiture with a diversity of poses, backdrops and wardrobe styles. They needed the images to be shot wide so there was room for cropping and possibly text along the bottom.

I scouted Intralink’s head office in Seoul a few days prior to our photo shoot. I wanted to see what kind of light and space I had to work with. The office was unexpectedly bright and devoid of the usual clutter. Still, a few desks would need to be reorganized on the day of. Dropping by Intralink also gave me a chance to meet the crew and give them a few tips for preparing themselves and their environment for photos.
Back home I put together a plan using the sample images I captured in their office and some posing inspiration from the internet.

Friday at 10am our corporate head shot session kicked off. With each of the nine employees I did:
-Two backgrounds
-Two or more poses
-Formal and fully suited
-Casual without blazers and ties

We used a different location/setup for each person and were able to get through all this in just two hours which everyone was happy about.

Need corporate head shots for your company? Get in touch via the contact button at the top of this page!

— UPDATE | June 22, 2015 —

Intralink brought on Eric recently and I went back to get his profile photo plus a few of shots of their new office.


Seoul Corporate Headshot Photographer


Seoul Corporate Office Interior Photographer


Intermediate Photography Class – September

Class TitleIntermediate Photography Class
DescriptionStudents in this class will already have a solid understanding of how most functions on their camera work and getting comfortable with the relationship between ISO, aperture and shutter speed. They will have reached the limitations of program modes and want to venture into manual mode so they can get consistent results and push themselves creatively. In four weeks you will be able to.

-Shoot in manual mode comfortably
-Guesstimate camera settings based on lighting conditions
-Find better light
-Create high key and low key photos
-Snap perfect silhouettes
-Utilize fill flash
-Create HDR and Panoramic photos
-See better compositions

The first half of the lesson is usually spent in the classroom. We review our work from the previous session and then I present the new lesson. I include a lot of photos that utilize the techniques we are learning so that you can see instantly what is possible. The photos can also be a good source of inspiration for the shooting we will do later. From there we work our way through the camera controls. Whether you are shooting a Canon, Nikon, Sony, or a camera made out of shoebox we work together to determine if you have the given functionality and to access and use it.

The second half of class is where we start applying what we have learned. I set up mini photo missions for you that require use of the newly acquired skill and possibly those learned in previous classes. I like to give students room and time to get into their creative zone and experiment but I’m always close enough that you can come to me with any questions. Finally homework is assigned and I encourage students to upload and share their homework on our faecbook page so we can review it next class!
LocationYongsan Arts and Crafts Center
DatesTuesdays - September 8, 15, 22, 29
TimeClass A 10:00-12:00
CapacityMaximum 12 students
Price$100 Per Student
Requirementsa. minimum 4 students are required to run this course
b. students should have a camera that offers manual control over aperture, shutter speed and iso
RegistrationYongsan Arts & Crafts Center Building#S-4253 DSN 738 4750 (DOD Only)
Request the course here if you're not a Department of Defense contractor, service or family member.
Registration Deadline: November 19th 2014
Bria Mclaurin - 2015/04/22 - 7:09 PM

Hi me and my husband just recently married and we have a babygirl on the way I was wondering how much would you charge for a photoshoot for us outdoors