Expat Photography Clubs

Words by Flash Parker

From lonely temples to bustling markets, Korea has its fair share of stunning vistas ready for your photographic touch. But what’s the good of taking breaktaking photography if there’s no one to share it with? For advice on how to develop as a photographer and feedback on your latest shots, get in touch with the photo groups below.

Flickr in Seoul
Flickr in Seoul (FiS), proudly celebrating its 4th birthday, is an open community for people in Korea to meet and share their love of photography. The flickr group is simply the best platform for interacting, scheduling photo walks, and more. A calendar of noteworthy events can be found on the group page, and members are welcome to propose anything they deem worth photographing, share equipment tips, inspiring photography and techniques or simply propose meeting over a cup of coffee.
FiS meets twice a month, usually on Sundays. The group is open to Koreans as well as expats. Some members have spent their entire lives in Seoul while others have been here less than a year. Camera users of all ability and experience levels are welcome to join. With more than 1,250 members and 20,000 photographs in the group archive, FiS is a rich, diverse photographic society and one of the largest of its kind in all of Asia. New members are always welcome.
No fees.
Principals: Derek Winchester and Youngdoo Moon
Contact: derekwin@hotmail.com, youngdoo@gmail.com
Online: flickr.com/groups/flickrinseoul

Derek Winchester, Seoul Dirt Track, Seoul
Derek Winchester, AT Center, Yangjae, Seoul

Seoul Photo Club
The Seoul Photo Club is a community for photography enthusiasts from all over Korea to share photos as well as critique and discuss all things photographic in the country. Club benefits include constructive advice, support, encouragement as well as a great outlet for photography. What makes the SPC unique is that the structure is designed to benefit expat photography in Korea. You can pick up tips for shooting at various places around the country from those who have done it before or advice on where to buy film or what to expect when shooting in the subway. The SPC is the only expat society in the country officially sanctioned to shoot in the Seoul subway system, and the club’s first photography book, The Metro Project, will be released later this year.
The SPC hosts weekly and monthly photo challenges. Prizes are sponsored by Hyosung Camera and images are published in media outlets including the Korea Herald. Club exhibitions run twice yearly to showcase the best images members have captured.
No fees.
President: Aaron Raisey
Contact: aaron.raisey@gmail.com
Online: flickr.com/groups/seoulphotoclub

Mario Taradan, Seongeup Village, Jeju-do
Mario Taradan, Che Oreum, Songdang-ri, Jeju-do
Aaron Raisey, The streets of Seoul

Seoul Strobist Club
The original strobist is former Baltimore Sun photographer David Hobby, a man whose pioneering work and belief in the use of off-camera lighting has helped spark a dedicated community that is more than 200,000 followers strong. Noun, verb, adjective, particle use it however you want strobist is the method of using small lights as a cost effective, portable and professional alternative to studio lighting.
There are currently strobist communities in more than 100 countries around the world. Though certainly not the first Seoulites to stick lights on poles and point them at one another, the Seoul Strobist Club is an attempt to organize a group of dedicated hobbyists, professionals and amateurs alike into one cohesive unit with the goal of becoming smarter, more efficient users of light and better photographers overall. Workshops, run monthly across Korea, are focused on editorial location shooting and the idea that it’s easy to craft studio-quality lighting effects anywhere, anytime. Workshops are tailored for all levels and one-on-one sessions are also available. Professional and experienced members offer beginners the opportunity to assist on magazine and newspaper shoots in and around Seoul.
No fees. Camera required, lighting gear provided.
Creative Director: Flash Parker
Contact: parker.shawn@gmail.com
Online: flickr.com/groups/seoulstrobistclub

Flash Parker, Sindorim Station, Seoul
Flash Parker, the streets of Gangnam, Seoul
Flash Parker , Hwaseong Fortress, Suwon