Sansawon Makgeolli Brewery: Greg and I (I being Hanna, Greg’s coordination wizard and photography assistant) traveled a good two and a half hours on a combination of buses, subways, and taxis out to a Sansawon Traditional Alcohol Museum near Pocheon. It’s a rice wine (막걸리) brewery with a multiple display rooms you must zig zag your way through in order to reach the tasting room and and outdoor garden.
A Makgeolli brewery may seem like an odd location for a pre-wedding photo shoot but Lauren, an Australian living in Korea for the past nine years, is a hardcore Makgeolli enthusiast who is well educated in the history, culture and even the brewing of the drink. Lauren wanted to incorporate her love of Makgeolli, traditional Korean structures and love of her fiancée Jangwon into a photoshoot.
Upon arrival Greg and I immediately set out to scout the area. We found heaps of great locations but and this was hard because it meant we could only fit so many into a three hour window. We met Lauren and Jangwon when they kindly picked us up from a mushroom themed restaurant down the street from the museum before the shoot.
Something I subconsciously forget every time I work with Greg is that he too is meeting his clients only for the second if not first time during these shoots. I tend to forget this since the interactions and level of closeness between Greg and his clients are usually that of friends. It’s great because there’s little to no ice to break and we can get to work straight away!
The first thing the four of us did was go downstairs to the tasting bar. The entrance fee was only three thousand won each! There was a huge variety of rice wines that varied in texture, taste, and alcohol percentage. It was hard to believe that all you had to do was pay three bucks to try all of these wines to your hearts content. The wine helped Jangwon loosen up a bit, we just had to error on the side of caution. Lauren came well prepared for the shoot bringing everything from an extra wedding dress to towels to lay down to sit on to specially preordered dried flowers complete with a five-dollar Daiso vase.
Lauren and Jangwon have been together for 6 years and plan to marry this fall. Their inside jokes, quirks, and interactions helped make the shoot an enjoyable one and helped set the scene for some great shots. It’s always best when the couple enjoys themselves on the shoot to provide for some effortless and candid shots. Lauren did a great job getting Janwons attention with some of his favourite topics including but not limited to thermodynamics and Sexpo.
Some of the shots we planned and ended up using were them with the traditional Korean pots, a shot of them through the wooden cutout, a shot of them on the traditional Korean gazebo, a shot of them in the wooded area, and the shots of them at the bar. I was very flattered that Greg liked my suggestion of shooting them through the wooden cutout!
Among the first shots of the day were the drone shots of them walking on a small flowered path. It was a very interesting experience for me to see a drone for the first time and to see how it flies and shoots.
During the bar scenes the soju flowed hard, down Janwon’s throat and at times all over the floor as we tried five or so time to capture him nonchalantly throwing it over his shoulder. After the shoot Lauren and Jangwon kindly offered to drive us back to Seoul in their 9 seated van and even treated us to some of the best Korean BBQ I’ve ever eaten along the way.
Lauren and Jangwon it was a pleasure working with you and after spending around 13 hours together I feel as though you are my close friends. I wish you well in your married life to come!