Family Portrait | Rev. Cho Family | Central Park, NYC

Recently, I had an honor to shoot Reverend Cho's family. It was such a rewarding experience because this session was extra personal to me. When I came to New York 18 years ago, Reverend Cho was a pastor to the youth group of church I was attending then. To me, a boy in a foreign land without his parents, he was like a father. He treated me like his son. He got me through tough times and made me believe in myself. Come to think of it, I think he was one of the few people who saw me as artistic early on and helped me develop that aspect of mine through my teenage years. This family portrait session is just a little payback that I can do for him. I still have a lot more to pay back for what he had done for me and I guess this is a start.

Portrait | Ellen | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Please visit here for the entire set.

As I've written in the previous post, one of the main reasons for this trip is to develop myself further as a street photographer. However, I've figured I would be burnt out if I solely focus on street photography as this trip is 3-month long. Therefore, I've also decided to shoot some portrait/fashion with local models based in the cities I'm visiting. 

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I've found Ellen from Model Mayhem. She had stated in her description that she has zero experience in modeling, but willing to give 100% if given a chance. Although most of her profile pictures were either selfies or shot by her friends, whom I believe aren't professional, she had the look I was searching for. I've contacted Ellen immediately, and her response was very positive. 

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After finding Ellen, I've immediately started looking for a makeup artist based in Kuala Lumpur. However, after spending good 6 or 7 weeks of searching, I had no luck. When I've told Ellen that I couldn't find a suitable makeup artist, she had insisted on finding one herself. After a few days, Ellen messaged me with good news, telling me that not only we have a makeup artist, we also got a stylist! And that's how Zef and Steph got on board. 

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From that point on, everything went smoothly. Although it had rained a little bit right before we were about to shoot, the weather held off beautifully and little rain actually made the abandoned shops look even better. And I was right about Ellen, although she needed some time in the beginning to get her vibe on, once she was comfortable, Ellen performed excellently on the set.

I honestly think the photos turned out better than I've anticipated, and I'd like to express sincere gratitude to Ellen, Zef, Steph and last but not least, Wai Khuin. I couldn't have done this without you guys, Thank you and hope we see each other again sometime!

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Please visit here for the entire set.

Travel | 3-month Trip to Asia 2015 | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Please visit here for the entire set.

If I have to describe Kuala Lumpur in one word, then I'd say, "vibrant." Almost anywhere I go, I see bright colors. To name a few, buildings, multicolored robes people wear, red and blue taxis or "teksis," tall green palm trees, and all these colorful fruits and food they sell on the street. All of these contribute to making this city so rich in colors. Another reason I've used the word "vibrant," is because this city has a full of stories. This is where people with very distinctive cultures have learned to live together by creating another culture of its own, which I think, is still in the developing process, however, that is exactly what makes this city so vibrant.  People are continuously learning and influencing each other, and that creates interesting stories. Okay, now I think it's better for me to write less and show you more. Please enjoy.  

All of these photos are shot with Olympus OM-D E-M1 

Pavilion is one of many shopping malls in KL.

Pavilion is one of many shopping malls in KL.

"Teksi" drivers taking a break. 

"Teksi" drivers taking a break. 

Some of my favorites from this trip.

Some of my favorites from this trip.

Jalan Alor, a short street where they sell a variety of food and fruits. Most of these street vendors open for night. During the day, they prepare for their businesses or cut their toenails.

Jalan Alor, a short street where they sell a variety of food and fruits. Most of these street vendors open for night. During the day, they prepare for their businesses or cut their toenails.

Another one from Jalan Alor

Another one from Jalan Alor

Stray Cats!

Stray Cats!

Colors, colors, colors! This is what I'm talking about!

Colors, colors, colors! This is what I'm talking about!

Oh, we cannot forget the rain shots!

Oh, we cannot forget the rain shots!

Batu Caves

Batu Caves

Petronas Twin Towers - Two different versions

Petronas Twin Towers - Two different versions

Don't worry, I had got in!

Don't worry, I had got in!

This is the National Mosque of Malaysia. Although they are very strict with visitors, once you get in, the place is real cozy.

This is the National Mosque of Malaysia. Although they are very strict with visitors, once you get in, the place is real cozy.

Okay, guys this is it for the blog. If you'd like to see more photos from this trip, please visit here for the entire set. Thank you!

Travel | 3-month Trip to Asia 2015 | South Korea, Part 1

First, please let me apologize for taking too long to update my status. I'm currently in Suwon, South Korea and scheduled to leave for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia tomorrow. It's been pretty hectic for me since my arrival. Even before I was able to cope with jet lag, it was Chinese New Year (Korean celebrates same New Year as Chinese). 

This is one of Korean traditions, we prepare all sorts of food and fruits and place them nicely on a table for our ancestors. Then after showing respect by bowing, we enjoy the food. 

This is one of Korean traditions, we prepare all sorts of food and fruits and place them nicely on a table for our ancestors. Then after showing respect by bowing, we enjoy the food. 

My 13 year old dog, 꽃비(Flower-Rain) and my dad watching her in the back

My 13 year old dog, 꽃비(Flower-Rain) and my dad watching her in the back

New Year is one of the biggest Korean holidays, therefore businesses close back to back to the holiday and this year, being the New Year on Thursday, they were closed for five days, including the weekend. Therefore, I pretty much stayed home with my family the first week. 

She is falling asleep in the living room. 

She is falling asleep in the living room. 

Now, let me share some photos from a short trip I took to Dumulmeori, Gyeonggi-doDumulmeori is a place where two rivers, Bukhan River and Namhan River meet. It is one of the popular places for shooting Korean TV dramas and movies. 

Shot with OM-D E-M1 & M. Zuiko 45mm 1.8

Shot with OM-D E-M1 & M. Zuiko 45mm 1.8

Shot with OM-D E-M1 & M. Zuiko 75mm 1.8

Shot with OM-D E-M1 & M. Zuiko 75mm 1.8

Shot with OM-D E-M1 & M. Zuiko 75mm 1.8

Shot with OM-D E-M1 & M. Zuiko 75mm 1.8

I'll post more pictures of South Korea in Part 2, stay tuned. Meanwhile, the next post would be from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

Travel | 3-month Trip to Asia 2015 | South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam

I've been photographing weddings primarily for 4 years. I've documented nearly 270 weddings to date. I consider myself very fortunate to be given such a chance to witness and experience all these weddings. As it was mentioned briefly in the previous post, "Why I love photographing weddings," I found my passion in photography through weddings. Hence it is very likely that I developed my style of photography almost solely from shooting weddings.

I believe a good photographer should excel at any type of photography. The more I've became passionate about photography, the more I was eager to expand my area of expertise. That is why I've decided to take a little break from weddings and go on a 3-month trip to Asia to explore different parts of the world and practice other genres of photography.

Other than wedding photography, I'm very fascinated by fashion and street photography. I often get inspirations from fashion magazines for bride and groom shots and street photography for its creative way of documenting the moments. Therefore, I plan on concentrating on these aspects of photography during this trip to further develop myself as a better photographer.

I won't be taking my good old Canon with me to this trip simply because they would be too heavy for my purpose as I'd be traveling with only one backpack and probably out on street all day shooting. I had my eyes on mirrorless system for a while since the introduction of Fuji's x100s (a camera that I've actually owned for a short time). After trying out the top brands of mirrorless, I've concluded that Olympus would be the perfect system for this trip, and you can see my set below.

Olympus OM-D E-M1, 17mm 1.8, 45mm 1.8, and 75mm 1.8 - little friends I'm taking with me to this trip. 

Olympus OM-D E-M1, 17mm 1.8, 45mm 1.8, and 75mm 1.8 - little friends I'm taking with me to this trip. 

I'm leaving on February 16th. I'll be traveling to a total of 6 countries, starting with South Korea, my motherland.  Please stay tuned as I plan on updating the blog regularly about the trip and share my experience as well as many photos from it. Next post would be from South Korea.