Last year at this time, 4 photogs and Santa’s little helper made their way to an orphanage in Seoul to make portraits of the children for Christmas as part of the Help Portrait movement. This year when I posted I was expecting a similar level of interest, but I was overwhelmed with the number of people who volunteered and the amount of dedication displayed.
So, before we get on with the whats and wheres, I’d like to extend my thanks to Scott Hemsey, Neil Alexander, David Kim, Jay Boyle, Paul Redmond, Colin Roohan, Andrew Leonard, Frank, Derek Winchester, Gi Young Hwang, Jeehe Choi, Andrea, and last but not least, Brian Keathley for their unlimited generosity on the day! You guys rock! A big shout to Colin and Jay, who both wrote blogs about this as well! (If anyone else did, please let me know!)
So it all began again, the time of year to give back had come, and a little brainstorming brought us to the idea of shooting the polar opposite of what we shot last year; elderly folk. We contacted a retirement home, and they were more than welcoming. A few phone calls and a meeting later, and things were set. We planned to shoot memorial portraits for folks close to passing, who did not have a quality photograph of themselves to place at their graves, or to be remembered by.
The next step was to gauge the interest of our photography community here in Seoul, and it was nothing short of overwhelming. The responses were all positive, and even after we’d organised to meet up with the initial team, more people gate-crashed the meeting with the intention of giving! We couldn’t have asked for more.
We had our setup nailed out and a basic game plan at the end of a coffee at the wonderful Cafe Jass in Chungmuro, and we were ready to fire off 100 top notch portraits in a couple of hours. We had a great crew of dedicated people, and a great goal in mind.
The setup of the day was 4 stations in an emptied church hall. We had simple sheets of paper as our backgrounds and a basic 3 light setup; key, fill, background. Everyone brought along all their gear, and we managed to piece together 4 miniature studios in one room. Thanks to our wonderful helpers, we were able to get through the huge number of portraits we planned in next to no time, and with some great results.
Following the completion of the portraits, I tried to grab a quick portrait of our photographers for the day in their respective setups. Thanks again guys for all your hard work and for making something special for these people this Christmas!