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

 

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Ko Mak, Thailand: “There they go again!” I whispered to Hyunmi cocking my head towards the ocean below. The warm sound of a clarinet playing through South American folk song filled the air. A few minutes later an accordion chimed in and then a guitar. These weren’t the stilted sounds of amateurs blowing, squeezing and plucking their their way through a melody while on holiday, the folks making these melodies were clearly dedicated musicians, practicing for hours on end each day, perfecting their Bohemian worldly style. Each day I hoped I might be able see the faces behind the music but our paths never crossed (which is pretty amazing given we were staying at the same resort on an island you could walk the circumference of in half a day). It wasn’t until Absurdistan performed on our pier that I finally got to see them in the flesh. The group’s eccentric sound and style was so good that I ensured a future crossing of paths by asking the resort staff which bungalows they resided in.

The clarinet, accordion and guitar playing trio were lodged in bungalows nestled amongst the mangroves at Cococape Resort.  They bungalows were the bachelor pads of Cococape offering up a bed, mosquito net, fan and a porch with an unbeatable view. At high tide you cold look through the slats under your feet and see water lapping over the tangled mangrove roots. The way in which the pots, pans, dishes and clothes were strewn about gave the impression that this wasn’t just a stopover, it was home.

I walked down the wooden slatted walkway to the musician’s bungalows. “Knock knock?” I said. A warm “yessssss” came back in a thick Hungarian accent. Gael, the accordion player was wrapping some fresh gauze around his wounded toe. I introduced myself and let me purpose be known, “I’m a photographer, I love your style, and I would love to do a photo shoot with your band.” Gael was all for it and told me he’d run it by Marta, the clarinetist, and Tonino, the guitarist, that evening.

That night, after partaking in a captivating musical journey around the world with Absurdistan at Banana Sunset restaurant, the band and I confirmed the first of three photo sessions.

Session One = Sunset Rock
Session Two = Smokey Mangrove Sunrise
Session Three = Smoky Midday Jungle

00-Coconut-Husk-Smoke-Effects-Scouting

The reason we couldn’t start with sunrise was that there were preparations to be done. I spent the morning working up my first sweat in 2 weeks husking coconuts in the least effective way possible, throwing them at rocks, sawing with my Gerber Tool, stabbing at them with a pointy stick and pulling with my bare hands – really, I should have copied this guy! Why all the work? Simple, we needed SMOKE! The evening prior I’d made it my sole mission to husk and crack a coconut by hand. Once accomplished, I started lighting things on fire and that’s when it all came together. My first thought was “I wanna take a photo of this thick smoke!” followed by “I wanna photograph thick smoke with light beams shining through it in a Jungle” which then became “I wanna photograph thick smoke with light beams shining through it in a jungle and that band I keep hearing posing in the foreground!”

Absurdistan was down with all three shoot ideas. They were great to work with and endured a fair bit of discomfort on the razor sharp lava rocks, mucky mangroves and ant infested jungle floor fully trusting things would turn out as awesome as I promised. The group doesn’t do facebook and sadly I can’t find any links to their music on Youtube or Soundcloud at this point but when they get back to me with some I’ll update this post. Thanks again Marta, Gael and Tonino for sharing your amazing talents and being such willing models. All the best and wishing you safe travels.

Looking for a band photographer in Seoul Korea? Get in touch with me via the contact link above!

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IFC  Yeouido, Seoul South Korea: When Eastdil, a leading global real estate investment banking company, asked if I could photograph the International Financial Center (IFC) on Yeouido I was a little taken aback. Had they really looked at my website? If so, hadn’t they noticed that the bulk of my imagery consisted of couples holding hands and kissing a lot? We weren’t just talking about a few exterior shots at sundown, Eastdill needed me to photograph the interiors of IBM, SONY, Phillip Morris, LG Hausys, TUV, OTIS and BNY Mellon head offices amongst others. The selected domestic and international tenants were spread across the three towers of the 500,000 square meter AIG owned multi BILLION dollar development. Tenant spaces weren’t all that needed to be captured, Eastdil also required photos of all the major art installations, exterior shots of the entire development and the IFC Mall itself including major storefronts such as H&M, ZARA, Banana Republic, GAP, Uniqulo, Lacoste, Armani Exchange, Massimo Dutti Etc, CGV Movie Theater, The Food Court and the list went on.

The best way I could convey the magnitude of the above assignment to friends and colleagues was with the following analogy, “It’s as though India has decided to sell the Taj Mahal and have asked me to do the interior and exterior shots.” I had done a few architectural photography assignments in the past, one for MIR, a bridge shot in Geoje and Exhibition Booth photo that could possibly be thrown into the resume as filler.

Sitting at my computer, writing my reply to Eastdill I asked myself, “am I getting in over my head accepting this assignment?” The answer was, “most certainly!” Would I take it on anyway? Of course!  I know for experience I perform my best in sink or swim situations and I never jump into the deep end without having conducted some thorough risk assessment. I had the fundamentals of architectural photography down and I had come a long way in the two yeas of shooting since MIR. I was fortunate enough to have an intern who could assist with interior setups and lighting which I knew would be critical and I finally had the justification I needed to go out and purchase a brand spanking new Canon Mark II 24mm Tilt Shift lens! (all the rentals were booked for weeks)

I’m not sure who said it, but during my intensive study of interior and exterior architectural photography I came across a quote that read something along the lines of “only 5% of interior photography is actually concerns the camera, the other 95% is about rearranging furniture”. I must concur, nothing could be closer to the truth.  A huge part of my time was spent looking though my camera asking my  Mira to move chairs, tables and flowers and inch this way or that.

Photographing IFC Yeouido was an amazing experience, five full days jam packed full of learning and non stop practice. By the fifth day setting up an interior photo had become second nature, Maira and I knew exactly what needed to be done and worked together like a finely tuned machine. The IFC photo shoot was an massive assignment and I’m quite proud of the fact one photographer, me, and my assistant were able to get upwards of three unique shots for each of the 11 major office tenants, 13 store fronts, 9 exterior shots, 7 art installations and a plethora of detail shots in only 5 days of shooting. Our IBM liaison informed me that the firm who designed their interior sent TWO of Seoul’s top architectural photographers to capture JUST their office space, and it took them 5 days to capture the 20 or so final images.

My only regret looking back is that we didn’t have more time to wait out dreary weather outside. The views offered from the penthouse offices are some of the best in Seoul. I keep imagining how much better these shots could look with some blue skies and puffy clouds out the windows. I know I could resort to Photoshop but given the photos need to reflect the actual views outside the window this would be a tedious task to swap out only the sky, when the city outside remains obscured by smog. Hopefully the next deadline would be as tight.

I wanna give a big thanks to Eastdill for putting their faith in me whether they knew they were doing so or not! Thanks to Maira Naba for being an invaluable assistant during those two intensive days of tenant interiors. Finally a huge heart felt thank you to all the IFC staff from our escorts to the receptionists and every tenant. EVERYONE was exceptionally helpful and easy to work with. While we were on a very tight schedule I was never made to feel like I was intrusive or taking up too much time. Thank you all for not putting any further pressure on an already demanding situation.

Are you looking for an interior/exterior commercial architectural/real-estate photographer in Seoul? Please, get in touch with me via my contact form above!

Images coming June 2016 – That’s when the exclusivity period ends:)

“Do you know any good places to take photos in Seoul?” THIS, is the second most popular question I receive – and, I fear it. I fear it because it’s major decision and there is no easy answer. I fear it because I have strong feelings from a photographer’s perspective on light and location but I don’t want to hijack a yong man’s dreams to propose to his girlfriend at Namsan Tower either. I fear it because it I know I’m about to LOSE 30 minutes writing an email I’ve written countless times.

So here it is, possibly the most comprehensive database ever on “good” photo locations in and around Seoul. Here we will cover most every location I’ve ever photographed a proposal, couple, family, wedding, pet, pink elephant… and my thoughts thereon. I enjoy a good spreadsheet so it should come as no surprise that I’ve created a very orderly list below. Please feel free to add you suggestions and opinions in the comments at the bottom.

Photos at Gyeongbokgung

Gyeongbokgung is the biggest, and therefore most popular palace in Korea. It was built a long time ago, frequently burned down by the Japanese and rebuilt each time. Whomever the land lord is now, s/he is a tennants dream come true. The palace is kept in pristine shape, frequently repainted and repaired so as not to show any sings of aging and decay. For those who enjoy decay, this is a bit of a bummer.

Accessibility: Situated in the heart of Seoul, Gyeongbokgung is incredibly easy to access by public transit and taxi. This is probably the one place anyone could give you directions to though I bet the taxi drivers will still punch it into their GPS!

Nearby Attractions:  Gyeongbokgung pairs well with: Samcheongdong, Hanok Village, Insadong, Cheonggyecheon Stream, Myeongdong and Namdaemun.

Pros:
Accessibility
Iconic Korean Architecture – Palaces, court yards, pagodas, bridges, walls, gates, statues…
Nature – Grass, trees, fall colors, streams, ponds, mountains…
Diversity – All of the above
History & Culture
Ideal for families with young children

Cons:
Crowded – but the grounds are large enough and you only need a split second where no one is in the frame to make you and your lover appear to have the place all to yourselves
Huge – if you’re with small kids, wearing heels, or packing a lot of stuff it can be a tiring walk around the palace
Sterile – iconic it is, but I find because Gyeongbukgung, the largest and most prestigious palace, lacks the coziness of neighboring Deoksugung, Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggung. The “nature” also feels anything but wild, it is quite manicured and the lawn police are even on patrol.

Final Thoughts:
It’s hard not to love Gyeongbokgung. It has endless shooting options and offers some truly beautiful backdrops. Now that I found out you can also gain access at the back of the palace (sshhhhhhhtttt don’t tell anyone!) I no longer means a long trek from the front gate. Good if you want big, epic, wide, open, modern-y shots and don’t mind lots of people buzzing around. I don’t get tired of shooting there but if I wanted something cozy and romantic this wouldn’t be my first choice.

Samples: Click here to see all my photo sessions tagged with Gyeongbokgung

 

Photos at Changdeokgung

Changdeokgung is where the royal family basically went to chill out and throw some parties.  The size of the estate is much smaller than Gyeongbokgung and more emphasis was given to creating structures that were in harmony with the natural surroundings. Much of the palace is comprised of garden, the most famous being the secret garden out back.

Accessibility: Situated just one subway stop away from Gyeongbokgung just east of Anguk Station, Changdeokgung is also easy to get to.

Nearby Attractions:  Changdeokgung pairs well with: Samcheongdong, Hanok Village, Insadong, Cheonggyecheon Stream, Myeongdong and Namdaemun.

Pros:
Accessibility
Iconic Korean Architecture – Palaces, court yards, pagodas, bridges, walls, gates, statues…
Nature – Much more than Gyeongbokgung and more natural feeling, especially the secret garden
Cozy – Smaller area that can easily be seen in an hour or so
Quieter – Less busy than Gyeongbokgung
History & Culture
Modern Cafe – Very modern, well lit cafe near by that’s fun to shoot at
Ideal for families with young children

Cons:
Security – Because it’s a smaller venue it’s a little harder to go unnoticed. The grass police are usually out in full force.
Chaperons – The only way to access the secret garden is on a tour and you must keep pace with the group. It’s possible to wander and hang back a little but if you try and backtrack or stay for prolonged periods the garden cops will usher you forward.

Final Thoughts:
Changdeokgung would have been Goldilocks choice, the middle ground between Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung. The gardens are beautiful but be prepared to move quickly if you want a photo session in this area. Tours are also only run at certain times of day.

Samples: Click here to see all my photo sessions tagged with Changdeokgung

 

Photos at Changgyeonggung

Changgyeonggung was yet another residence for queens and concubines. Perhaps it’s the ladies touch that makes this my favorite of the major places in Seoul (Shhhhhhhhh again, our secret). The palace is small, cozy, quite thus making it much more intimate than the other palaces. It also faces east which means great light in the morning and evening.

Accessibility: I’m guessing it’s kilometer plus walk from the four surrounding subway stations that can be attributed to crowd control here. The shortest route is from Exit 3 of Hyehwa Station but if you get lost navigating one of the many turns you’ll end up walking a lot further than if you went from Exit 1 of Jongro 5 Ga.

Nearby Attractions: Changgyeonggung pairs well with: Gwangjang Market, Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul City Wall and Iwha Mural Village

Pros:
Intimate – Small, cozy, empty, beautiful
Nature – Still offers many nice natural scenes despite not having much garden
Lighting – East facing so wonderful soft gold light in the morning falling on the palace and brilliant golden back lighting in the evening
Diversity – Pairs with some very interesting attractions in the area
History & Culture
Ideal for families with young children

Cons:
Accessibility – Takes a LITTLE more effort to get to by public transit

Final Thoughts:
When you look at the above it’s pretty clear Changgyeonggung is a winner. I will simply add “flesh eating zombies” to the cons list when I grow sick of shooting here.

Samples: Click here to see all my photo sessions tagged with Changgyeonggung

 

Photos at Samcheongdong

Samcheongdong is a trendy, cozy little district ticked in behind the north east corner of Gyeongbokgung. Filled with cafes, galleries, boutique stores and cosmetics shops it’s a fusion of old and new, west and east. Some might say it’s a little European looking.

Accessibility: The closest subway access is from Anguk station. The walk into the main district is quite nice.

Nearby Attractions: Samcheongdong pairs well with: Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Hanok Village, Insadong, Cheonggyecheon Stream.

Pros:
Urban Funk – Lots cool little cafes, galleries and boutiques mixed with dabs of nature
Bustling – If you like crowds and energy you can find all that here
Buskers – Many street performers have come to the area so it can be cool to get photos of couples entertained by someone other than myself

Cons:
Crowded – TONS of people move through this area so not an ideal place if you’re looking for peace and quite
Unauthentic – It’s pretty and all but feels a little like a facade and unrepresentative of actual Korea
Not ideal for families with young kids

Final Thoughts:
If you like urban, funky, cute, boutique, vines growing up walls and new stuff that’s made to look vintage this is a good place. “Trendy”, “gentrification” and “hipster” also come to mind. No judgment here, I appreciate all these things from time to time myself!

Samples: Click here to see all my photo sessions tagged with Samcheongdong

Photos at Bukcheon Hanok Village

Bukcheon Hanok Village is my favorite of the Hanok Villages I’ve visited in Seoul. Situated just above Samcheongdong you’ll find a labyrinth of streets that wind their way past Hanok houses that are actually lived in. The area is always busy especially the two most authentic looking streets void of parked cars. I like the area for the fact it offers up a variety of views, textures, highlights and shadows in every direction.

Accessibility: The closest subway access is from Anguk station. It’s about a 1km walk from Exit 2 to center of the village.

Nearby Attractions: Bukcheon Hanok Village pairs well with: Samcheongdong, Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung and Cheonggyecheon Stream.

Pros:
Cozy – The streets are cozy
History & Culture
Bustling – Good place to go if you want a streaky crowd shot
City Views – Being situated on a hill you can look out over Seoul and Gyeongbokgung from parts of the village

Cons:
Crowded – TONS of people on the main streets, so much so it’s virtually impossible to get a clear shot during normal hours BUT the side streets are just as pretty and often empty
Strenuous – Lots of people, steep hills and walking
Not ideal for families with young kids or ladies in uncomfortable footwear

Final Thoughts:
If you like urban, funky, cute, boutique, vines growing up walls and new stuff that’s made to look vintage this is a good place. “Trendy”, “gentrification” and “hipster” also come to mind. No judgment here, I appreciate all these things from time to time myself!

Samples: Click here to see all my photo sessions tagged with Samcheongdong

Photos at Insadong

Insadong is a lot like Samcheongdong but more focused on souvenirs, art galleries and the arts scene in general. There is a funky market area with an open layout that can make for some cool shots. There is also a street off to the side that offers a much more authentic view of Korea in my opinion with all it’s food carts and drink stands.

Accessibility: Exit 6 of Anguk station will bring you right into the area.

Nearby Attractions: Insadong pairs well with: Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Hanok Village and Cheonggyecheon Stream.

Pros:
Art – Lots of galleries
Bustling – If you like crowds and energy you can find all that here
Market Area – There are some good photos to be had at the open market area
Street Food – Can be found off the beaten path and make for cool photos

Cons:
Touristy – Feels very touristy and is crowded
Bland – I find the main street doesn’t offer a lot of variety. There are too many people, ugly adverts and all sorts of other things that make their way into the frame
Not ideal for families with young kids

Final Thoughts:
You need to go to this place with a plan as you won’t find a lot of beautiful backdrops wandering the main street. If you want a market feel, street food or shots in crowds then it’s worth a quick visit.

Samples: Click here to see all my photo sessions tagged with Insadong

Photos at Insadong

Insadong is a lot like Samcheongdong but more focused on souvenirs, art galleries and the arts scene in general. There is a funky market area with an open layout that can make for some cool shots. There is also a street off to the side that offers a much more authentic view of Korea in my opinion with all it’s food carts and drink stands.

Accessibility: Exit 6 of Anguk station will bring you right into the area.

Nearby Attractions: Insadong pairs well with: Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Hanok Village and Cheonggyecheon Stream.

Pros:
Art – Lots of galleries
Bustling – If you like crowds and energy you can find all that here
Market Area – There are some good photos to be had at the open market area
Street Food – Can be found off the beaten path and make for cool photos

Cons:
Touristy – Feels very touristy and is crowded
Bland – I find the main street doesn’t offer a lot of variety. There are too many people, ugly adverts and all sorts of other things that make their way into the frame
Not ideal for families with young kids

Final Thoughts:
You need to go to this place with a plan as you won’t find a lot of beautiful backdrops wandering the main street. If you want a market feel, street food or shots in crowds then it’s worth a quick visit.

Samples: Click here to see all my photo sessions tagged with Insadong

Photos at Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market is Awesome. Forget Namdaemun for any kind of photo shoot unless you enjoy getting yelled at my the locals. Gwangjang is a giant covered market with vendors that are just as warm as their interior lighting (that is until every photographer in Korea starts bringing their clients here). If you don’t like strangers in your photos avoid this place.

Accessibility: Exit 8 of Jungno 5 Ga station will put you right in front of the market

Nearby Attractions: Gwangjang Market pairs well with: Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul City Wall and Changgyeonggung

Pros:
Unique – Still not a lot of people getting professional shots done at markets
Bustling – Oodles of people
Interesting – Lots of interesting characters, goods, food and backdrops
Street Food – Funky food court in the middle
Authentic – Still feels like the Korea I came to know and love 9 long years ago

Cons:
Crowded – So cramped and busy it’s impossible to get a shot without people

Final Thoughts:
A great place for unique and atmosphere filled shots. The vendors thus far are extremely kind. I took a newly married couple through the market in full regalia and was amazing by the outpouring of applause and genuine happiness for the couple. I suspect if the venue is used increasingly by photographers this will soon change.

Samples: Click here to see all my photo sessions tagged with Gwangjang Market

Hefei, China: “KEEP YOUR MOUTH OPEN!!!” Ben yelled at me over what sounded like a 50 story being brought down with explosives. Instantly the pain in my ears was reduced by half. As the smoke lifted I thought to my self, only a few groups of people in the world could offer advice on how to cope with the defining sound of explosives, war vets and Chinese wedding goers.

I met the the groom, Brad, back in 2012 (thanks for the date, facebook) at Hanseo University. The days of private offices have come to an end and all existing faculties were expected to pair up with a new hire. As much as I have always enjoyed the company of others I was quite content having my office/photo studio to myself. I was only a year in and lacked any kind of pull so I accepted my fate. Fate would have it that my office mate enjoyed interior design, art, electric music, the creation of entertaining classroom activities and figuring out how things work as much as I did.

I still remember the time I was kicked back in my chair in front of the computer (90% of the time Brad saw me) sifting though hundreds of photos of a ball bearing suspended in air next to a ruler. I had been trying to visualize the difference in delay between a dropped ball bearing triggering a sound trigger connected directly to my camera versus to my flash. Brad took one look and told me he could calculate the actual time delay if I let him know from which height I dropped the bearing. This was neither the first or last time I drew upon Brad’s engineering prowess. I loved that I could throw out these hypothetical situations and he could actually come up with answers!

Eventually, Brad met Summer. A fun, outgoing girl whom I knew only as the hot Chinese assistant to Dr. Ham and best friend of Lilly Zang. I don’t really know how their relationship consummated, all I know is that soon Brad started bringing me the most scrumptious sugar indulgent baked goods like chocolate chip M&M fudge butterscotch snickers peanut butter brownies and I was a happy man. Summer got creative in the kitchen, Brad made the coolest art, both had great interior design skills – oh and fashion sense!
Three years later I gave up teaching for photography and Brad and Summer decided to move to China and tie the knot. They asked me to come and photograph their wedding and I agreed, provided Brad traded me a piece of his trippy-ass art (photo coming soon). They flew me to Hefei China, booked me a room and even hooked me up with a motorbike for my last day there. More on that later, lets get to the wedding!

I’m not sure if what I experienced with Brad and Summer constitutes a “normal” Chinese wedding but if so Chinese weddings are absolutely INSANE! It was a beautiful kind of organized chaos. It started quite innocently. I woke up next to Brad, well in the bed next to Brad’s bed. We shared the hotel room in downtown Hefie, a rapidly developing Chinese metropolis where everything is either in a state of demolition or construction. The grooms men showed up and after Brad gifted of engraved pocket knives t0 everyone the preparations began. I brought a bottle of Money Shoulder from duty free that would travel along with us for the rest of the day.

The plan for the day was:
-Groomsman shots in the city
-Convoy in red cars to the bride’s parent’s home
-Set off biggest belt of the fattest firecrackers I’ve ever seen on arrival
-Bribe the bride and her maids for her hand in marriage
-Set off more firecrackers to mark departure
-Firecrackers again to signal arrival
-Convoy to the grooms parent’s home (which is in Wisconsin so Brad & Summer’s place acted as the proxy)
-Tea and gift ceremony with the grooms parents
-Firecrackers
-Convoy to park
-Pre Wedding photos with all constellations of friends, family and couple in the park
-Convoy to other hotel for wedding ceremony and dinner
-Walk to our hotel for after party
-Group photos in the bathtub and shower (not part of the original plan)
-Groomsmen left standing depart at 3am for McDonalds

I could write a novel describing the big day in the utmost detail but I fear that I’ve already lost the attention of 90% of my readers so let me sum up in point form:

-China and it’s people are amazing!!! Okay I know I only met 0.0000000000000000000000001% of their population (Brad can you do a proper calculation for me?) but of the small sample I met all were kind, outgoing, funky and exceptionally happy to have their photo taken! I loved how diversified the Chinese people were. There seemed to be more genera of personalities than and I everyone exuded an attractive confidence and playfulness. Add to that the stark contrasts China offers, the hustle and bustle, the energy and rawness. It all made for really different wedding backdrops.

-Brad and Summer have amazing friends and family! I felt the warmth between everyone from all sides. It was such an honor to be in the epicenter of it all. There are so many people I hope to reconnect with when our paths cross

-Photographing a Chinese wedding offered me such unique glimpse into their culture and I’m fortunate to have had this opportunity.

Brad, Summer, friends and family, thank you again from the bottom of my heart. Hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed shooting them. Remember I travel happily so shoot me a message if you or your friends are planning a wedding. I must also give a big thanks to Emily Duong, my spontaneous second shooter, who covered the tea ceremony with Summer’s parents. Love ya all! Until next time. Enjoy the images… finally:)

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Seoul Engagement Photographer Korea

Changgyeonggung Seoul, South Korea: I didn’t choose the title “Simply Beautiful” to imply proposing is a “simple” task but rather to say that there is so much beauty to be found in simplicity. Now some may claim that organizing a photographer to secretly capture one’s own proposal is already venturing into the world of complexity; but as someone who’s heard, planned and documented proposals into the double digits now I can attest that Aaron’s plan was the least complicated to date, yet every bit as beautiful.

Many of my proposal inquiries begin with “do you know any good places to propose around Seoul?” That question is about as open ended as “Do you know any good places to eat around New York?” Only this time we’re not just talking about one of the 87,000+ meals you’ll consume by the age of 80, we’re talking about the ONE time (hopefully) you’ll ask someone to be with you until death doth you part! I’m of the belief that the proposer should at least have a vague vision of what their proposal might look like. If unsure where to begin the creative process I highly recommend noting down the likes and interests of your special someone.

Enter Aaron. Arron contacted me three months in advance and made two things immediately clear, the location needed to be historical and somewhat private. The privacy requirement narrowed down our options considerably here in Seoul. Historical relevance was important to Aaron because Sarah, his girlfriend, was a historian and archivist working with museums around the USA. I sent Aaron a range of options and he got his heart set on Changgyeonggung, a quiet, intimate palace near downtown Seoul.

The plan was simple, he and Sarah would show up at 3:30pm and I would show up posing as a tourist photographer (I was born for this role) at 4pm. When Aaron felt the timing was right he’d ask Sarah for her hand. There were no elaborate sets or ploys, no songs, balloons or flowers, just two beautiful people declaring their love for one another bathed in the light of the setting sun against the backdrop of an ancient palace.

It all went splendidly. Sarah said “yes” and after capturing the proposal we did a couple more faux-proposal shots just to get that amazing light on more time. Then we explored the palace together. Sarah and Aaaron were awesome to work with. You can feel their energy/chemistry in every image. Personally I pushed myself to capture more atmosphere, focus on details and experiment with new poses on this shoot and I’m so pleased with the results.

Sarah and Aaron, thanks so much for letting me witness and record this special day for you. I can’t wait to see your wedding photos! Wishing you all the best!

Seoul Engagement Photographer Korea

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