Holt Reception Center, Seoul, South Korea: After a great adoption photo shoot with the Olson’s the previous day it was time to meet again. But we wouldn’t be doing the usual park, palace or other location filled with Korean symbolism. This time it was back to Holt and their reception center to capture images of Thomas and his biological brother Jonathan together. As soon as all the paper work goes through the two brothers will be together again chasing each other around the Olson’s home.
From a photographer’s perspective the reception center was one of the worst settings one could ask for. Natural light was scarce, just big ugly fluorescent fixtures overhead. The room was fairly cramped and extremely yellow. As soon as I setup a light stand hordes of babies started pulling themselves across the floor towards it in zombie-like fashion. The subjects however, from the Olson’s to the caretakers, and even the zombie babies, were top caliber!
I overcame the poor lighting situation by propping two flashes on the windowsills (after all I couldn’t have anything touching the floor) and bounced them off the ceiling. They were triggered by my on camera flash which also served as a fill and catch light. Not much could be done about the background.
When the Olson’s showed up with Thomas all the other babies and workers were still present. I chased the Olsons who chased their kids who chased the other kids, intermittently pausing to capture shots of some of the ridiculously adorable babies I found myself surrounded by. Wain and I agreed it was like herding cats. Right at the end I was able to get the whole family together for about 1/200th of a second. It was a fun time and I look forward to seeing the Olson’s again during their next visit.