Being a second generation Korean-American means lots of things: memories of bringing sushi lunches to my 4th grade class, only to be made fun of by a bully who hated anyone who didn’t look like him called Robbie; having parents who refused to buy glue as “boiled rice does the same trick”; and having a mother with eternally short, permed hair. Dyed black. But. It also means having a close connection with family who I didn’t get to see all that often, as most of my extended family were in Korea. Although we only saw each other every decade or so (if we were lucky!), when we did get together, it was as if we’d all grown up next door to one another. Sure I don’t really understand my auntie’s Korean country-slang or my cousin’s weird Korean jokes; but something about kinship and family bond us together closer than I could have ever imagined. Being able to speak Korean helps immensely, so for that I’m eternally grateful to my mother and our endless Sunday arvo Korean-lessons (thanks mommy!).
But I digress. It must be said: more often than not, I walk away from sessions incredibly moved and sincerely touched. But this particular family session really touched me to my core. Perhaps its the many siblings and family members and cousins and aunties and uncles; perhaps its the multiculturalism; perhaps its their love they shared for one another. I’m not sure what it was exactly. But I do know this: families like this make me so very happy, and so very honoured to capture their special bond. And the location? A 150 year old farmhouse built in the mid-1800s. This family has gone through a lot, with the beautiful matriarch fighting her very, very brave battle with cancer. They are inspiring and they are loving. And they make me grateful to have a job that allows me to meet families like this.
Basia, thank you for allowing me into your lives, into your gorgeous, historic farmhouse, to capture these images for you. I hope they move you as much as you’ve all moved me.