Written and photographed by Jaypee Capiral
I first came to Korea as a foreign worker; I kept saying that it was a very toxic life, with the long hours of difficult manual work and less time for myself. However, I was able to discover my passion for photography, and that is, I can say, one of the greatest gifts that Korea has given me.
I left Korea after finishing my contract and went back to the Philippines, where I found it quite difficult to adjust to how photography works in my home country. One problem was the lack of freedom in taking photographs. I was bound by restrictions and the accessibility of the places where I wanted to shoot. Then, I had the opportunity to come back to Korea, but this time as a tourist – meaning, I am free, no bosses. I am the boss of my own time. I have been able to taste again all the Korean foods that I missed eating, reminisce about all of the memorable experiences that I have had while living and working here in Korea. I also have had the chance to meet old friends and visit the places that I had already been to with my girlfriend, but this time I was able to enjoy them a lot more than before.
One of the things that I had missed the most was Korea’s four seasons. The drama of nature that goes along with the change of the seasons gives me a boost in producing quality portraits. I have the freedom to take photos in most areas with a great deal of stunning scenery. Also, the four seasons remind me of the cycle of life, that life isn’t always gloomy and cold, that there will be time for bounty and beauty. Like spring, life can still bloom after death. What I anticipated the most was when the cherry blossoms would be in full bloom for the softness of the blossoms’ color gives more brightness to the surroundings, giving everyone a joyful mood. Picture-perfect nature, picture-perfect spring.