The first time that I had worked with Disney ABC TV as their official stills photographer was a couple years back when they came to Japan to film for the reality show I Survived a Japanese Game Show. It was a super big production and I’m grateful I got to be a part of that. Although the working hours were somewhere between 12-14+ moving around on foot each day, I couldn’t complain because the entire crew were all fun to work with.
As with lots of the non-news related picture work that I do, it’s typical that I can’t post any pictures up due to contract reasons (or until the story runs) even though the Internet makes it so tempting with just four clicks of a button. One of the assignments that I’m allowed to finally take out of the bag (now that the show is broadcasted) and share with all of you is when Disney ABC TV put me on the plane bound for Seoul, South Korea to shoot all the stills for the filming of The Bachelor Season 18 Episode 4. Although I couldn’t fly first class, they did put me up in a nice little room towards the top at the Millennium Seoul Hilton Hotel, which I was more than fine with. Thanks again Disney and ABC.
I arrived in Seoul in the middle of the day and checked in with the head of production to figure out what I needed to shoot and where I needed to be on each of the days. I brought with me the usual “photojournalism” setup: Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon 6D, all L series 16-35, 24-70, 70-200, and the handy Fuji X100S that Fujifilm was loaning me. I left all of my flashes at home as they aren’t usually allowed on set anyways.
We shot at some pretty energetic and intimate places all throughout the city of Seoul that kept the entire cast and crew moving along smoothly from location to location. One of the things I enjoy about my line of work is the total randomness on certain jobs and sometimes not knowing exactly how the situation will turn out. As I’ve never seen even one episode of The Bachelor, partly because I reside outside of the US and hardly watch TV anyways, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect or even visualize what kind of shots I should be making.
But as always, my intention in photography is to do my best to create pictures that can act as a standalone. After all, photography is a form of storytelling that possesses its own sense of place and feeling at a given time. I got the job done.
Here are some of the shots:
These are the casts of the show where we shot on location at the amazing Korea Furniture Museum that overlooks the city of Seoul. We had the entire facility to ourselves and I’m guestimating a total crew of about 50 at this location including cameramen/women, assistants, runners, producers, executive directors, lighting techs, catering, production managers and all those good people that make things happen. It was a really long and cold night at the museum. We wrapped up shooting around 1:30am.
Here’s the cast performing as background dancers with K-Pop superstars 2NE1 in front of a live audience. Made some nice BTS shots of 2NE1 and the cast together before they all got on stage but I thought this shot is most appropriate to show the overall sense and feeling of the environment. It was an interesting event to photograph and watch up close.
And now this brings me to leaving the best for last…
It’s 1:07am here and pretty damn cold out but things started to heat up as we are all trying to wrap up the last shot which wasn’t rehearsed nor reenacted. From what I remember correctly, there were two cameramen on this shot while I was positioned way back with my 70-200 on the 6D readying myself for that money shot that I was hoping to get.
I thought to myself that I should’ve switched bodies with the 70-200 on the Mark IV, as it does 10 fps but I just didn’t have the time since this was just a one time shot. As slow as the 6D camera is, I captured that intimate moment just before Juan and Nikki Ferrell kissed. Maybe I should start doing weddings more (lol, yeah right). A bit on the grainy side on purpose, otherwise my shots would look digitally perfect like everyone else’s. I shot handheld at 1/40 at F2.8, ISO 2000. It worked for me and them. Time to go eat some bibimbap.
You can check out all of the official photos that I shot for The Bachelor in Seoul here. Hope you like them and don’t forget to watch the show!
About the author: Christopher Jue is a Tokyo, Japan based corporate and editorial photographer originally from Los Angeles, California. He shoots for a wide range of clientele in studio and on location in the Asia Pacific region. When not shooting corporate work or for the European Pressphoto Agency, you may find him wandering around the streets of Seoul or Hong Kong in search of some delicious street food. You can follow him on his website, Facebook and Twitter. This article was originally published here.