Even though adoptees are scattered across the globe, we’ve managed to create an engaging, supportive community. Here at LGA, we had the pleasure of working with Seattle-based freelance photographer, writer, and social media enthusiast, Suzi Pratt, on an article she wrote about all things Korean in Minnesota for Korean Beacon, an online publication about Korean-American life and culture. Not only is Suzi multi-talented, she’s an adoptee who recently visited Korea and met her Korean father for the first time. She took some time to answer a few questions about her experience in Korea and her work.
Land of Gazillion Adoptees: You were recently in South Korea. What were you doing there, and how was the trip?
Suzi Pratt: In November 2011, I spent one week in Seoul with eight other Korean adoptees. We were on a scholarship program that organized for us to meet our birth families for the first time. For many of us, this was our first trip to Korea, and it was both exciting and overwhelming to discover Seoul AND meet our birth parents all at the same time. It was a great trip that was best experienced as a group, since we could all talk about our meetings with our families, and bounce feelings, ideas, and questions off each other. For example, nearly all of our birth parents insisted on feeding us by hand and buying tons of gifts for us. I probably would have thought it was strange had I not realized everyone else was going through the same thing. Also, it’s a lot easier to deal with local Koreans giving us “the look” for not knowing the language when we’re walking around together in a group! Anyway, I got to meet my birth father for the first time, and quite honestly am still contending with what happens next. Learning Korean and having an opportunity to visit him again in Korea are high on my list of desires, but so is my need to develop professionally here in the States. I wish I had the time and brain capacity to do it all! Read more about Suzi’s trip here>>
Land of Gazillion Adoptees: Tell us about your website and what you do.
Suzi Pratt: My website Suzi-Pratt.com is a creative portfolio and blog showcasing my published photography and writing. In terms of what I do…it’s going to sound like a lot, but here goes! In 2009, I got hooked into the Seattle music scene and have been writing about and photographing concerts and music festivals ever since. I’ve had a chance to shoot tons of local Seattle indie bands (Blue Scholars, The Head and the Heart, etc), and even some bigger names, including Jay-Z, Journey, Foo Fighters, etc. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to shoot photos outside of Seattle, and actually just got back from covering the Bruise Cruise Festival in Miami. Last year, I branched out into event and restaurant photography for Eater and Metromix, and also took on photojournalism work for local news sites. I also contribute written posts to local and national blogs and do marketing consulting for startup businesses on a freelance basis. Still, all of this creative work is strictly freelancing in my free time, and by day I work as a social media strategist for Wetpaint Entertainment.
Land of Gazillion Adoptees: Wow! That’s a lot of things on your plate. What do you do for the Korean Beacon?
Suzi Pratt: After my trip to Korea last year, I realized I was completely disconnected from any Korean culture, and it kind of bothered me. I knew there was a huge Korean community in Seattle, but had no idea how to get connected, so I figured I’d use my media skills to get started. I found Korean Beacon through a Google search, and was intrigued by their coverage of current Korean American people and culture, so I asked if I could be a contributor in January 2012. So far, I’ve helped out with researching some bigger feature stories, and also started doing profiles of Korean restaurants and professionals living in Seattle. To me, it’s a great way to do the two things I love most (take photos and write stories), while helping connect myself and the Korean Beacon audience with the Korean community here in Seattle.