Jun 21, 2015

CAMERAderie: The Faces of Seoul

Travelling is a great way to indulge in local culture and to get to know the locals (from the peeping nature of my camera lenses, that is). It's no longer news that I'm a socially awkward person and sometimes I have to 'force' myself to interact with strangers. If need be I would communicate, (asking for directions, for example) but as last resort I would use my camera as an excuse to converse, or introduce myself and ask permission to take pictures of random people on the street. Such is the creepily voyeuristic personality that I possess haha.

In this case, I have snapped photos of Seoulites throughout my travel. Is it just me or the ladies are incredibly camera shy? Nevertheless it was a good experience, an inevitably awkward one I might add, to photograph a passersby portrait. What do you think of the images? I know they're horrendous as I have zilch knowledge to learn photogs skillz (sorry Filzah I might've let you down, come be my personal photog forevaaa), but if you ask me there's no more room for new cognitive function and skills in my brain other than my medical ones. If I had more free time (which is quite impossible given my current working status) I'd make photographing people's faces with accompanying commentaries a regular addition to Dunia Fashyon, but we'll see...

 First off is this 'barista' in  a small coffee joint near Myeongdong. Obviously not oblivious to my camera presence, she was 'busy' with her order and had provided my lenses no eye contact whatsoever. The fact that she's running around the counter doesn't help much either.

Our tourist guide who showed us the entire Secret Garden at Changdeokgung Palace was trying to be as interactive and interesting as possible in his effort to explain in exceptionally detailed history of he garden. The interactive part was when he asked us to guess his age (he looks VERRRYYY young for a thirty two year old by the way). Needless to say most of us answered him wrongly...

Meet Bae, the shop assistant at one of the many cool menswear shops at Doota Mall. Out of all of my retail encounters Bae is the only one with acceptable proficient English. This resulted in a short session of chitchatting- I got to know about his previous gig as a photographer (he couldn't sustain it due to unpromising income). I guess he did his job as SA well as he charmed me into buying a vaguely camouflaged jacket that I'm wearing and a tapered woolen pants.

A visit to Korean favourite theme park Everland gave me the chance to be more voyeuristic than usual, because that was the place for people to carefreely snap photos and be merry. Most of the faces are the staffs, performers and visitors. 

Kiddies walking in packs are the cutest no? #Imnotapedophile 

A warrior actor from the Everland line up of entertainers
The scene at the carousel is the best one - the colours of the backgrounds, the somehow right tones, the joyful faces of parents and their children - I just simply cannot stop snapping away...

Oh hey there child!

Love birds on the skyway ride

A stark contrast between boy and girl - the extreme (?deliberate) shyness apparent when this ice-cream kiosk girl hides when I tried to take her photo!

Ajumma browsing plants in a green house on Deoksugung Palace compound

Another happy face of an SA near Hongik University. Ok I don't mean to strategically put that boot on his head though :>

This guy served us at ice cream waffles at Waffle University in Itaewon. Note the obligatory universal peace sign.

A staff manning the exhibition ground at Dongdaemun Design Plaza

A couple passing through the futuristic archs of DDP after a round of shopping

The guards at Deoksugung Palace. I actually had to fight my way to snap pics with a horde of Chinese tourists lol. 

Couple posing for a ?wedding shoot

To me the most energetic bunch in my pictures are these youngsters who were setting up an inpromptu flea market along a road in Shinsadong area. It was so fun photographing them zealous young ones. Some giggled and some laughed whenever I tried to capture photos  

A lady florist at Shinsadong area

I also braved myself to capture images at retail establishments including ILMO outlet (obviously like in other places most Seoul shops prohibit photography) I must thank this lovely SA girl to allow me to pap for pics and for helping me lacing my new Eytys sneakers lol. But again, no eye contact present in this photo

The three gals staffing the lovely G Guest Home Itaewon. This is the exception where girls look directly at my camera. Maybe because I've stayed at this place and we meet every single day that the ice is broken? :)

Words and images by Hafidzudin Zainal

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