Well, it’s that time of year once again. I can honestly say that this year feels like it has flown by for me. January 2022 seems like it was just last month, but looking at the folders of work that I’ve done on the computer, quite a bit has actually happened.
Overall, 2022 has felt like the year of truly bouncing back from the global pandemic. Most restrictions have been lifted, international travel is possible again, and in-person meetings are back in full-swing. And if you ask me, it feels good to be back. With that being said, let’s begin our review for 2022.
The year began with photographing an event for global non-profit organization Asia Society. Their Korea branch held their New Year Kickoff event at the Lotte Hotel Seoul. Business leaders and diplomats hailing from all over the world gathered for an evening of networking, exchanging ideas, as well as showcasing some of their cuisine.
Then it was off to Jeju Island for a winter trip with the family. It was good to relax with the fam and just enjoy driving around the picturesque island. Of course, I squeezed some photography in when I could. A highlight of this particular trip was the 1,100 High Ground. When the conditions are just right, you can get an overnight snowfall on Hallasan and still have clear roads, as well as spring-like weather down by the sea. The 1,100 High Ground, so called for its elevation in meters, is one of the most accessible spots to visit Hallasan’s winter wonderland. We paid close attention to the weather the night before, and the next morning we had a wonderful drive through spring weather, up to a pristine snowscape, then down the other side of the mountain back to warmer climes. The natural beauty of Jeju Island is truly hard to beat.
The next few weeks were pretty slow in terms of client work, so I caught up with blogging and updating my website, as well as some personal work around Tongyeong and Geoje. The weather would eventually warm up again, which also meant more frequent rides on my bike. Taking up cycling was one of the positive outcomes of the pandemic for me, and I have become a bit healthier over the past 2 years.
Spring rolled around and the work started to ramp up again. It was back up to Seoul for our regular e-commerce shoots with Foot Locker. They have been a regular client for two years now, and it’s been good working with them. This particular project is a team effort with my good friend Dylan Goldby, and we made sure to squeeze in a fun shoot at Namhansanseong after the client work was done.
Up next was a shoot at the AI Expo Korea 2022 in COEX, covering an exhibition booth and speakers for semiconductor company Graphcore. It was at this point that I realized that in-person events were really coming back in a big way. It felt like an event before the pandemic, except with more masks. 🙂
Then I literally went underground for a job with Herrenknecht Tunneling Systems. Their tunneling technology is part of a big project in Seoul, and they wanted some photos of the machine and job site before it started digging. Unfortunately, I can’t share these photos yet, as the project is ongoing.
By this time, spring was in full-swing, and I made sure to go out and get some cherry blossom images.
I also met up with Dylan again during his cycling trip to Jeollanam-do. We visited the Saseongam Hermitage, a picturesque temple in the mountains of Gurye.
Next up, I joined my friend Wesley Chang and the rest of his awesome crew to document the partnership between automotive giant Kia and environmental organization The Ocean Cleanup. The two-day shoot happened at various Kia offices and facilities around Seoul. Tasks included documentary photography for the partnership proceedings, as well as behind the scenes stills for the video production.
Then it was back to Tongyeong for a very enjoyable engagement session with Sharmaine and Jaycee. I was very happy that they chose Tongyeong as a backdrop for their engagement photos, as it gave me a chance to show off my beautiful Korean home town.
Keeping the Tongyeong shoots going, I was brought on again by Skyline Luge to do some promotional imagery, this time focusing on family fun. I was lucky enough to work with my friend Jacob and his lovely family, who were our models for the shoot.
Afterwards, it was back up to Seoul for Dulwich College’s Year 13 graduation ceremony. We were tasked with taking individual and group portraits for the graduates, as well as covering the graduation rites and reception.
Quite fittingly, it was off to another graduation immediately after. The second shoot of the day was the Korean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Ausbildung graduation ceremony at the Millennium Seoul Hilton. Needless to say, that day was very full-on.
About a week later, we returned to the Millennium Seoul Hilton to cover the Australian Chamber of Commerce’s Taste of Australia. Their flagship networking event was host to over 250 guests, a very clear indication that the community was more than ready to come back in full swing as restrictions continued to be lifted in Korea.
The spring season was rounded off with a couple more projects for Foot Locker and before we knew it, summer had begun. The month of June started with a couple of events for Dulwich College Seoul, who are always a pleasure to work with. Then it was off to join the Aussies for a few days as I documented the Australia-Korea Business Council delegation to Korea, which focused on hydrogen and critical minerals. During the multi-day event, the delegation visited key industrial areas and leading companies around the country.
Then it was off to to the Conrad Seoul to cover another flagship event for the expat community in Korea, the Queen’s Birthday Dinner. The event went on a bit of a hiatus over the past couple of years for obvious reasons, but the British Chamber of Commerce in Korea (BCCK) brought it back in full for 2022. I worked regularly with BCCK before the pandemic and it was nice to work with them again, as well as see familiar faces at the event.
Back home in Tongyeong, I once again had the pleasure of working with Skyline Luge for some more promotional images, this time targeting an older demographic and letting everyone know that the Luge is fun for both the young and young at heart.
A few more regular jobs and small events later, the first half of 2022 was done and dusted. The second half of the year was even busier and more eventful, which included a long-awaited trip back home to the Philippines and not just one, but two bouts with COVID-19!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the 2022 Year in Review!