Christina and Cesar got married in New York City and flew me all the way from Seoul to document their wedding. They've become very good friends of mine since I shot their engagement photos in Seoul last year.
They say the best camera is the one that you have with you. Most of us keep our phones with us at all times, and in one sense, that's great because you have a capable digital point-and-shoot camera on you at all times to document the world around you. Instagram, Facebook, twitpics and Tumblrs have more or less taken over our social consciousness when it comes to photos. But I can't help but feel like something is lost in the process.
I have fond memories rediscovering old photo albums from my childhood. Actually, a nearly 30-year-old photo of my wife and I as toddlers surfaced in my in-laws' storage unit just a few months ago, from when we lived in the same apartment building in New York City in the 80's. I want to be able to give my children tangible photos and film negatives down the road. Properly stored, film negatives will far outlast any hard drive. So while it's great that you can have your photos accessible anywhere from the cloud, do you really want your family's visual history stored on a nameless server somewhere in rural West Virginia?
I recently got a Leica M6 again, which is always with me on family outings. I've started leaving my phone at home, which helps me to be more present with my wife and boys when we're out at the park, or at dinner, or wherever. I don't want my family to feel they have to battle my phone for my attention, and it has been so liberating. Leave your phone at home. You can always share your memories later.
The Benhams were in town for a week to visit baby Drew's Korean grandparents. I had recently stocked up on Kodak Ektar film and was anxious to try it out since it had come highly recommended from a trusted friend. We spent an hour exploring Chung Gyeong Palace, one of Seoul's lesser known public palaces. It seems that only locals frequent the beautiful grounds here. The afternoon was perfect, much needed after a long, drawn-out winter in Korea.
John asked me to shoot their pre-wedding session on both film and digital. He needed the quick turnaround that digital offers because their wedding was only a few weeks away -- but he and Hannah both shoot with film cameras, and they love the aesthetic that it offers. I'm equally comfortable shooting either format, but I do feel that my approach when shooting film is more holistic and that I am more present in the moment. I don't have to fuss with settings and the back of the camera, I just shoot. Reloading film offers a natural ebb and flow to the session, and it gives us a chance to breathe, to just be.
I shot these on my Leica M6 TTL with Zeiss Biogon 35 f/2 on Kodak Portra 160. The black and white shots were desaturated in post-processing.
John and Hannah have been teaching art at an international school in Hong Kong for the past five years. They flew into Seoul for their spring break and some pre-wedding photos at Chang Gyeong Palace. We had a fun and relaxed time exploring one of Seoul's lesser known palaces. We nearly had the whole grounds to ourselves as we took photographs, save for the occasional compliment from a passerby.
I shot all these on a digital camera -- I'm waiting on film scans from a few rolls of Portra 160 I put through my Leica M6. I'll be sure to share those soon.