An Afternoon With the Tan Family | Seoul Winter Family Photos

Gwanghamun, Seoul, South Korea: Lai emailed me from Singapore to setup a family photo shoot during their upcoming visit to Korea. Lai really wanted to document her three-year-old daughter Joelle’s travels but she had two concerns that were holding her back a little:

1. Would it be too cold to take photos outdoor in late November?

2. Would Joelle, who’s a little shy with strangers as are most three-year-olds, warm up to me or spend the entire session hiding in behind mommy and daddy’s legs?

I get both questions a lot and the short answers are:

1. Don’t let the cold hold you back, the Korean winter light is far too beautiful, simply dress for the weather.

2. Don’t worry about the kids, that’s my job!

If you have time to read on the longer answer below can be useful if you’re in a similar situation.

The key to shooting in cold weather is choosing wardrobe that is warm, comfortable and cozy looking. I feel wardrobe is even more important in winter because you’ll be wearing so much of it. Personally I love lots of layers and thick textures. Wear a thick knit sweater, maybe a pea coat or something with fur (fake or from non endangered animals of course) over top and a fluffy scarf. Keep the colors a little coordinated and neutral to fit with Korea’s soft yellow-brown-blue color palette. Note what the Tan Family is wearing, it works really well. The winter wardrobe can really add a cozy feel to family photos because you actually WANT to be huddled together to conserve warmth 🙂

With regard to shy children, I’m a kid at heart, I taught kids for 8 years (they didn’t even share my language) and I have a daughter of my own. So far I’ve never met a child that wasn’t all smiles by the end of our time together.

My number one rule is to let kids come to me. I do this by intriguing and engaging them in fun ways. I never vie for their attention and I prefer parents don’t try to MAKE their children like me either. It will happen naturally. I have many other tips on how to mentally prepare young children for a photo shoot that I share a week prior to my sessions. Feel free to contact me if you’d like more info.

My approach with Joelle was to show up early at their bed and breakfast so she could get comfortable with me in her environment. While Natasha, my go to makeup artist, did a wonderful job creating a nice natural look for Lai I took my time getting to know Joelle. Okay honestly, (I can say this now because it’s over) thirty minutes into being there I started worrying a LITTLE — I had made virtually no progress. But then 10 minutes later my efforts seemed to pay off all at once, the “shy switch” was suddenly flicked to “off”.

Natasha wrapped up and we headed out to Gyungbokgung palace. Between suckers, playing with leaves, hide and seek, piggy back rides, board games and chalk drawings we managed to get a great variety of shots. Check them out!

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  • Samie Tan2015/09/07 - 7:37 PM

    I’ll be visiting Seoul with my hubby and our 4 year old twins this coming December 20th. We are looking to get some family pics taken and came across this post from your website.

    I suppose bf we go further, do let me know if you may be available to work then as it’s very near Christmas (tentative either dec 21 or Dec 22; we will arrive on 20 dec).

    How do you charge? Will it be at all possible to get the pictures before we leave on 31 dec?

    Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you


    • Greg Samborski2015/09/08 - 4:21 PM

      Hi Samie,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I would be happy to take your family photos close to Christmas. At this point I still have availability. I’ve sent you an email with all the information on my packages and pricing. I look forward to discussing further with you.

      Greg SReplyCancel

  • Jaz2016/05/04 - 1:59 PM

    Hi there,

    I like this concept…
    My family will be visiting seoul in the coming 22nd february 2017 for a 10 days trip… Mind to give me a quotation and tell me more on how this works during vacation.

    Thank you very muchReplyCancel

    • Greg Samborski2016/05/08 - 7:56 AM

      Hi Jaz, I’m going to send you an email with more family photography info in the next 10 minutes. Talk to you soon!ReplyCancel

  • Charlene2016/05/22 - 4:24 PM

    Hi. I will be on Seoul with my family in June and we are interested in a short photo shoot outdoors. Please share more info with me on the package. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Greg Samborski2016/05/23 - 11:30 AM

      Hi Charlene, I just sent you an email with more info. Please let me know if it didn’t come through.ReplyCancel

  • Peg2016/11/30 - 2:45 AM

    Hi, may I know if u have any slot on 5th or 6th dec 2016? And how’s the charges like Thank youReplyCancel

    • Greg Samborski2016/11/30 - 4:56 PM

      Hello Peg, I just sent out an email this morning. Please let me know if you didn’t get it.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Luo2016/12/23 - 11:01 AM

    Hi Greg,

    My family will be in Seoul in mid Mar 2017. May I know if you are available for family photoshoot? I would like to know more information and if out of Seoul shooting is possible? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Greg Samborski2017/01/11 - 2:50 PM

      Hi Elizabeth, I wrote you an email. Please let me know if it came through. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Leonard2017/02/02 - 10:46 PM

    Hi, my family with 2 kids (2&4 years) is coming to seoul to see cherry blossom during 2-12 April 2017. I would like to know your photo service rate at Changgyeonggung or other palaces. Looking forward your feedback. ThanksReplyCancel

    • Greg Samborski2017/02/28 - 7:56 PM

      Hello Leonard, my apologies for the late reply, I was on Vacation for a month. I will send you an email now!ReplyCancel

  • Crystal2017/05/27 - 5:14 PM

    Hi Greg, may i know if you are available for a family shot on 17/18 June 2017. Appreciate if you could share more info with a quoation. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Wei chin2017/07/14 - 12:55 AM

    My family and I are visiting Seoul in the week of 17 Oct and would like to have a photo session. Can I have your ratesls?ReplyCancel

  • Heidi2017/10/31 - 2:35 PM

    Hi Greg,
    I’m Heidi from Singapore.
    My family, 2 adults and 2 teenagers will be planning a Jeju trip in 15-19Nov.
    Would like to do a family photoshoot during our trip there. Have concern if the weather will be too cold and not sure how my 2 teenagers will react to the shoot.

    Let me know your availability and your fees.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    • Greg Samborski2017/11/15 - 7:51 AM

      Hi Heidi,

      I’ve replied to your family photo inquiry via email. Do let me know if you didn’t receive it.ReplyCancel

  • Grace Liew2017/12/04 - 9:03 PM

    Hi we are a family of 3 and will be visiting Seoul around 9-18 Dec, thinking of a family outdoor photography around 12-15th, will it be too cold? Can you please quote me?ReplyCancel

  • Hazel Yap2017/12/08 - 1:17 AM

    Hi Greg, my family & I will be in Seoul next week and would like to capture some family shots while we are there. My kids are 13 & 11 (way past the cute toddlers stage). Are you available on Wed, 13/12? How much is your fees? How Long is each shoot? Hear from you soon. ThanksReplyCancel

  • Adelia2018/03/09 - 7:23 AM

    Hi Greg, I chanced upon your Seoul family lifestyle photoshoot with Guro family and am keen to find out more. (your rates and package details) We are a family of 3 (including a one year old infant) visiting Seoul between 7-12Apr. Look forward to your reply!ReplyCancel

    • Hanna Poeschl2018/09/07 - 12:57 PM

      Sorry for the late reply on this. Any chance you are still seeking a photographer? Hope you found one on the last visit!ReplyCancel