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These Waters Ain’t Still! | Korea Family Photographer

These Waters Aint Still! |  Korea Family Photographer Photo

Seoul, South Korea: The Waters wanted family photos for their annual 2014 Christmas card.  A few friends had recommend some local studios but Mary had her reservations about potential language barriers and overly studio-ish looking photos. Dave, her husband, suggested she do a google for family photographers in Seoul and that’s when I got a phone call. Luckily my Friday free up and within days we had a shoot planned out.

I showed up at the Waters 35th floor penthouse apartment near Seoul Station in the morning.  Talk about great light, ideal location and an amazing view, one that looked down onto Namsan tower and park.  Will (3), Cannon (5) and Madison (7) took a momentary break from their toys and games to see the guy their parents had been prepping them for over the last few days.  “Get them excited, encourage their input, and let them do pretty much whatever they please… if it’s not life threatening” was my advice.  Mary and Dave had obviously heeded this advice, in fact they had even sat down as a family and looked through my portfolios the night before to get their kids stoked.

Will, Cannon and Madison were all brimming with energy and enthusiasm.  I spent the first hour just getting to know them, having them show me around the place.  I learned Will is fond of his cat back home, Cannon likes playing his Nintendo Wii and Madison is working on writing her book.  Mary and Dave sat in the living room, taking in a little CNN as the kids and I bounced from room to room.  When we all eventually converged I was amazed at how easy going mom and dad were. Will was jumping off of everything, and out of his cloths and the other two were running around chasing each other but not one “NO” or “Don’t do that!” from mom and dad. Was is just for my sake?  Perhaps a touch, but it was clear over the four hours we spent together that Water’s kids are mature, respectful and know where the boundaries lie yet are given the increasingly rare freedom to explore, get dirty, roughhouse and actually BE children.

Eventually we took off the Gyunbokgung palace and explored the area on a perfect late fall day.  When we all had enough with photos the Waters family took me for one of the best burgers I’ve had in Seoul… oh and some of the best fries and calamari too.  It was a great photo shoot and a real challenge to narrow down the section for this post. Thanks Mary, Dave, Will, Cannon and Madison for giving me a glimpse into a day in the life of the Waters family!

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Exploring With Wesley | Changdeokgung Palace

Exploring With Wesley | Changdeokgung Palace Photo

Changdeokgung Palace, Seoul Korea: “Trying to process photos taken in fall in Korea is like trying to perfect perfection. After 30 minutes of adjustments I just hit RESET on all my images. The colors are perfect, why ruin them…”

I posted that to facebook this afternoon while I was TRYING to process the Harris Family’s adoption photos. Sitting at my desk fruitlessly pulling sliders, tweaking curves and trying film presets I was getting nowhere. Just when I thought I had a nice recipe concocted I’d hit the before/after toggle key, to see just how much more awesome I’d made their image, only to discover the original was better. I had to fail three times before coming to the conclusion that I don’t HAVE TO change them. From that point forward I felt a great sense of freedom as I went about double checking exposures and making the odd crop here and there.

Before I even met her I liked Patience — I have an affinity for people with unusual names. I must admit though, when I saw the woman behind the voice I was taken aback by her big smile, wavy hair and glowing skin. Brandon, your skin was awesome too mate, but more than that I dug your ice blue eyes set against your dark rimmed glasses. Then I saw Wesley, an adorable little man also wearing black rimmed glasses. It looked like the already thick lenses had magnifying glass optics fused to them and rightfully so as little Wesley needed the help seeing at this point. An orange rubber band kept these specks attached firmly to his active little body.

As soon as Wesley was released from the Moby carrier he began playing with his parents and exploring the temple. We took it really easy letting him choose the way. It was quite nice because Wesley actually paused now and then. In fact, for the first while he just sat down on various ledges and stood in a hole we found. My philosophy on family photos is when there’s a moment a child ISN’T moving, you get mom and dad in there for a group shot just in case the chance doesn’t come around again. So we managed to get some really great group shots right off the bat.

I’ve been with a fair number of newly adopted children doing this job and it always amazes me how fast things can go from happy to sad, like a light switch. Wesley would be frolicking about in the leaves or eating a snack and then suddenly a wave of grief would smash into him. He’d get rolled around in it, rescued with a distraction and then resume whatever activity he was doing happily before. Brandon and Patience were always there, calmly reassuring him that things were going to be okay, and they will be with such great parents.

This  adoption photo shoot was actually gifted to them by their close friends which I found a really nice idea. Bayleigh, a photographer herself, contacted me an made all the arrangements. A big thanks to Bayleigh for organizing this and to Patience, Brandon and Wesley for just being such a pleasure to hang out with and photograph. I look forward to whenever I may see the next photo of Wesley growing into a strong, healthy, happy boy.

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141129 – Studio Photography Workshop – November 29th

Class Title141129 - Studio Photography Workshop - November 29th
DescriptionSpend the day learning how to take your portraits to the next level using a single off camera flash. A model will be on location, posing, and editing will also be covered.
LocationYongsan Arts & Crafts Center
DatesSaturday November 29th
Time09:00-17:00
Capacity8 Students
Price$150 Per Student - Lunch Included
Requirementsa. minimum 4 students are required to run this course
b. students should have a laptop computer and Adobe Lightroom installed
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 25th 2014
SHOW ME THE CLASSES!!!
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141115 – Food Photography Workshop – November 15th

Class Title141115 - Food Photography Workshop - November 15th
DescriptionSpend the day learning how to style, light, and capture shots so good they will make your friends drool.
LocationTBA
DatesSaturday November 15
Time09:00-17:00
Capacity8 Students
Price$150 Per Student - Lunch Included
Requirementsa. minimum 4 students are required to run this course
b. students should have a laptop computer and Adobe Lightroom installed
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 10th 2014
SHOW ME THE CLASSES!!!
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141121 – Lightroom Beginner Class – November & December

Class Title141121 - Lightroom Beginner Class - November & December
DescriptionStepping into Lightroom can be daunting if you're new to photo editing or transitioning from another program such as iPhoto or Picassa. In this course we get you up and running in Lightroom by covering the following:
-photo organization systems
-importing
-backing up
-processing (withing each module of Lightroom)
-exporting
-sharing

This lesson is entirely classroom based. We will start by discussing the differences between programs such as Lightroom, Photoshop and Elements and then cover the all important question "How should I organize my photos?" The lessons follow a typical work flow starting with how to get the images off of you camera all the way through how to share them with the world. We will go step by step through each module, slider and tool in Lightroom. I will provide photos that we will work on together as a class and you will also have the opportunity to bring your own images for processing.
LocationYongsan Arts and Crafts Center
DatesFridays - November 21, 28, December 5, 12, 18
Time13:00-15:00
CapacityMaximum 15 students
Price$130 Per Student
Requirementsa. minimum 5 students are required to run this course
b. students should have a laptop computer and Adobe Lightroom installed
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
SHOW ME THE CLASSES!!!
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