In 1998, the Boryeong Mud Festival was staged with the intent of promoting the health benefits of mud cosmetics. Koreans shipped mud from the Boryeong Mud Flats to the eastern coastal city of Daecheon. Since its inception, the event attracts over 2 million visitors per year. However, for expats living in Korea, Mudfest primarily means one thing- an excuse to drink and party. Hundreds of expats pack busses in Seoul with groups like When in Korea to experience Mudfest. Like sardines, expats cram themselves into small flats and venture to the festival where they partake in heavy alcohol consumption and the ceremonial covering of their bodies with grey or colored mud. Despite the spring break mentality of the expat community, their Korean counterparts have no problem keeping up. Furthermore, Mudfest still has designated areas for children and families where they can also enjoy the festivities while being able to chuckle at those crazy expats from a safe distance. Mudfest has truly become an international festival and it was a beautiful sight to see so many Koreans interacting with and enjoying the company of foreigners who also wanted to come play in the mud.
I was fortunate enough to be able to take picture for When in Korea and I wanted to post my personal favorites on my blog. These are not necessarily the best pictures, just some of my favorites. For those of you who I met please visit the When in Korea Page or visit Kimchibytes on facebook to view all of the pictures. I would like to thank everyone for their kindness and I met a lot of great people this weekend. I was limited in my creativity with pictures because of substantial rain and a very substantial kick of mud to my camera. Nevertheless, I still captured plenty of images that I hope many of you will cherish for a long time. To the guy who I met who dislocated his shoulder, my prayers go out to you and I hope you recover.
Super Soaker Madness. One Super Soaker circa 1992, orange juice, soju, nice abs, and a loin cloth.
I’m not going to lie. Taking pictures at Mudfest allowed me the opportunity to talk to a lot of beautiful girls I would otherwise never approach. However, there was one group of girls that struck me not only as beautiful, but as great people as well. I enjoyed photographing them and speaking to them. Thanks for making such a good impression girls and while you’ll have more pics on facebook, I wanted to let you know I thought you were classy even though you were a little dirty when I met you.
I felt like there was a climax on Saturday. When the music exploded on the beach and hundreds of Koreans started line dancing, the energy on the beach was out of this universe. Suddenly, foreigners seamlessly jumped in and what might have been a somewhat segregated party was shattered. There was no more sense of foreigner and Korean, just people having a good time. Of course, being a giraffe is never easy.
Of course, some Koreans are too much into the underground thing to enjoy k-pop and more mainstream music.
I’m still relatively new to photography, so I never had any experience taking pictures of people with fireworks in the background. I only had about five minutes figure it out, but by the last picture we got a really nice result and I can’t wait to take pictures like these the next time I’m around fireworks.
The guy in this picture certainly shouldn’t be on this side of the camera. However, since these are MY favorite pics this one is included because there is something about this picture that makes me very happy.
Saturday was fun and we partied hard. However, everything in life has a cost. Mudfest is not Mudfest unless I include one of these.
They honestly don’t make puppies or kittens any cuter than you two. You joked with me and told me he wasn’t handsome, but he is. More importantly, look at the way he lights you up and makes you laugh. What you two have is very special and it was an absolute honor to meet and photograph both of you. I sincerely hope you find your way to these pictures.
Sometimes in life cute happens, but sometimes mud happens too!
Finally, my favorite picture from the trip. These pictures are never taken purposely, They’re taken on a whim and a joke. To Taylor, Rebekah, Kaden, and Mikah. I don’t want to take pictures of other kids. I want to take picture of you guys. Every day I’m away from you it breaks my heart. I can’t explain it to you now, but Uncle Brent has to be here until he fixes things in his own heart and his own life. I regret missing your cute years so much, but hopefully by being here I can be a much better uncle to you in the future. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be in Korea but I promise you I am coming home. Maybe you won’t be as excited to see me as you were when you were very little, but if you don’t jump and dive on me when you see me you better believe I’m going to jump and dive on you. Nicole, hang in there. You are the best big sister I could have ever asked for!