I adore the photos we captured from this DIY Korean first birthday party in Los Angeles! Baby Jonah was turning one, which is a momentous event in the Korean culture. His family lives in New York, but they wanted to celebrate with their extended family here in Southern California, so they rented out the penthouse of a building in Downtown LA for his first birthday party. Such a loved and lucky baby, right?
This venue was amazing, but it was a bit tricky getting all the components of our set up to the space. I’d be lying if I said our Chook Celebrations team wasn’t a little bit winded after moving all those pieces, but we were proud that we pulled it off, especially since this custom set was one of the most elaborate ones that we’ve produced so far! Jonah’s family worked with us to create a set that was reflective of traditional Korean culture, which included oongi jars (clay jars used to ferment kimchi), traditional Korean furniture, and gifts wrapped with bojagi (a uniquely Korean way of using cloth to wrap food and gifts). To make the scene extra meaningful, Jonah’s grandparents brought in their family’s gold yugi dishware (back in the day, only royalty was able to use yugi that was made of precious metals). We loved that we were able to include so many elements of the family’s culture in their custom set.
Another aspect of the set design that we enjoyed playing with was the color palette. We loved the light blue, olive green, and the coral in Mom’s unique sleeveless hanbok and Jonah’s custom-made hanbok. The colors coordinated so beautifully, so we made sure to incorporate them in the handmade dduk, cake, and cookies.
Remember when I said they flew in from the East Coast? Well, Jonah was still dealing with a bit of jetlag because partway through our photo shoot, he decided to take a snooze! Talk about falling asleep at your own birthday party! He was so cute that we couldn’t bear to wake him up, so we decided to roll with the punches and got some adorable and funny sleeping photos. It’s not common to get professional shots of sleeping babies outside of newborn shoots, so this was pretty special!
We really enjoyed creating this layered, multi-dimensional set for Jonah’s DIY first Korean birthday party in Los Angeles. There were so many details that came together to make this photo shoot unique and meaningful for the family, and we were so happy to be able to make it happen for them! If you’re interested in setting up a photo shoot in a set that’s unique to your family, we’d love to help you start planning—contact us today!