Hey everyone! It’s been a long time away from the blog… and a lot has happened. I relocated the studio to Downtown Sacramento about 4 months ago and it’s been one heck of a journey but that story is for another blog 🙂 Today, I’m going to share with you the Fall photoshoots I got to do in Korea recently!
It’s rare that I get to photograph in Korea but it’s even rarer for me to photograph Fall in Korea as I go back to Korea once a year. All of this was photographed with one camera and one lens with natural light and it felt so good to do simple personal projects.
I want to let you know that everyone I photographed here is either an actress or a model and this is important because my brand is about photographing the everyday woman that isn’t used to being in front of the camera.
This was the first shoot I got to do with an actress, J, in Korea that I got connected with through my brother-in-law. This was so impromptu that I think we had about 1.5 days till shoot day from the day we agreed to do the shoot. J and I went back and forth about styling the shoot through Instagram and we met at the beautiful Seoul Forest. The vibrant rows of trees with yellow leaves left us with opportunities left and right wherever we went.
I love that we were able to go from Red to Yellow in just a few steps. I wish I recorded the name of the trees but at least I’ll remember next time.
For the styling of the outfits, J did an amazing job bringing lots of options. I always tell my clients to bring 5-6 different outfits and that it’s better to have more options than less. I sent J a Pinterest board I put together in about 10 minutes with the general direction of comfy, sweater-weather vibe turtle-neck for a casual look and a more dressed up, trench coat look on a nice day in New York vibe. Here is the Pinterest board I sent J: https://www.pinterest.com/davidsuhdance/fall-portraits-in-seoul/
This turtle-neck sweater vibe was exactly what I was looking for. Something light, cheery, and fun. This look wouldn’t have looked the way I wanted if it was with the red leaves and I’m glad I unconsciously somehow made the right decisions while walking, scouting, and chatting.
The left photo on the bottom set was at the same location as the yellow leaf tree but with the third outfit. I loved the mood of this jacket and totally gave it this Fall fashion editorial/magazine vibe right away. I asked J to do the classic “turn around as if you heard someone say your name while connecting your chin to your shoulder.” I have to be honest, this isn’t an easy one to execute but this is why she’s an actress right? J was also super cool about lying on the pile of leaves in the freezing weather and letting me sprinkle leaves.
The Takeaway: Streghtened my stance on how important wardrobe is for photoshoots. I tell my clients at their consult that it’s always a good idea to invest in outfits for the shoot and it really is so important! Another takeaway is the power of Pinterest – being able to put together a vision board in less than 10 minutes on the subway to communicate my idea to someone I never met was crucial to the shoot. I’ll definitely be utilizing this more with my clients!
Han River Park with Pink Muhly Flowers with Zyon @zyonbarreto
This is Zyon. Zyon is a 17-year-old half Korean, half Latina model. I found Zyon through Instagram searching #seoulmodels and it was a huge bonus that she spoke English because although I speak Korean, I’ve almost never directed a shoot in Korean.
For this shoot, I met Zyon and her mom, Kim, by the Han River to use the Instagram famous Pink Muhly flowers as the backdrop. Seriously though, can we just agree how surreal the flowers look? I promise you I barely touched the color of the plants on Photoshop; it REALLY is that pink in real life.
I also sent Zyon a Pinterest board and the vision for this shoot was Boho for something more casual and a trench coat for something closer to J’s. Zyon’s shoot was also only put together in one day and I found out at the shoot that she didn’t have too many boho looks in her closet. But in true David Suh fashion we work with what we got and make it work. Here is the Pinterest Board I sent Zyon: https://www.pinterest.com/davidsuhdance/zyon-moodboard/
We, of course, didn’t stay only shooting the Pink Muhly flowers from. We went around other beautiful backdrops like this one above where it proves it’s not always that dangerous.
The Takeaway: There’s so much you can do with a simple setup with just one camera. Even though I know this in the back of my mind I always think I can’t create without a team, strobes, & reflectors. This was just another really good reminder to myself that I can still create beautiful portraits working with basic tools.
Kim, Zyon’s mom, and Zyon eating a Chocopie snack
Bonus: Hong Kong with Becky @sincerelybeckyw
I had a 6-hour layover in Hong Kong and had about 2.5 hours to shoot. Believe it or not, I lived in Hong Kong for 9 years through 1st and 8th grade! However, that was well before I was introduced to photography so I had to capitalize on this 2.5-hour opportunity and shoot. Just like how I set up the other shoots, this all went from Instagram DM to Photoshoot in less than 2 days.
This is Becky. Becky is a singer, YouTuber, and model in Korea who also happened to be visiting Hong Kong at the same time as my layover. She received my Instagram DM literally when she was boarding the plane to Hong Kong. This meant we had to go with the clothes she packed prior to knowing she was going to have a shoot and I loved that. Yes the glam is fun but street and urban was refreshing.
This series was mostly photographed in Central near the IFC mall and we could’ve spent a whole day there. Remember when I mentioned in the Seoul Forest section how everywhere we went was picturesque? Hong Kong is that on another level and it’s just gem city. If you want to see cityscapes, there’s nowhere better than Hong Kong.
The Takeaway: I need to shoot in Hong Kong more.
This is all just so cool to see come together because these were all shot back to back in 3 days. 3 different models, 3 different settings, 3 different shoot vision. Can’t wait to see what I can create back in Sacramento now with the Holidays shoot coming up!