Unforgettable Family Travel: Capturing Moments in Taipei’s Daan Forest Park

Photoshoot AGAIN?

I’ve taken up to being more selective with trip memorabilia and souvenirs (less clutter at home!) for the past 5 years. We started a family tradition of having an annual photoshoot taken when we travel, and aside from the oodles of square footage saved and dust bunnies avoided, it’s super fun to look back on pictures.

Photographer: Joy (IG: Jumpingyue)

I found Joy, a local English-speaking photographer through Instagram. What drew me to choose her was the simplicity and natural vibe I felt when browsing through her page photos. Technically, I also appreciated the consistency in her editing (the lighting and coloring).

Her price point was similar to Sweet Escape and other photographers I canvassed, around 6800 NTD for a 2-hour photoshoot with 30 edited shots, as well as an option to get all photos for an additional 2000 NTD. If it’s your first time to have a photoshoot abroad, prepare for some sticker shock, but looking back I would say I’ve never regretted booking these during ourtrips.

Joy had a quiet and subdued demeanor, but her talent and eye was really evident when she began to direct us when our photo shoot started. She was very patient with our kids, and had many ideas on what would look good (climbing up a small tree for height, taking pictures at an empty open amphitheater, etc). We corresponded a few months before and she was patient in answering my queries, and flexible with dates and payment (on the day, since I did not have a local bank account).

Daan Forest Park – Not obviously Taiwan

Daan Forest Park, is the Central Park of Taipei, often called the lungs of they city. Coming from busy, crowded Manila, it was so refreshing to just walk and play around the park with the kids.

A definite pro would be that it is conveniently located in Taipei, there is a subway station that stops directly at the entrance gate of Daan Forest Park. We chose to take a taxi to keep the kids energy levels up.

So — not obviously Taiwan indeed. Daan Forest Park had no view of Taipei 101, which was our first choice since it was a Taiwanese icon. Looking back, I feel no regret for choosing Daan Forest Park because with three young kids, it was more prudent to have a big open air space which they can run around, and more places and poses to have.

*For those with bigger kids, Joy has an album of other potential venues that are more “Taiwan” vibe, such as 1914 Creative Park and Taipei 101, or the many historical monuments scattered aroudn Taipei.


The last time we went to Taiwan was as a couple back in 2017, and we went there during the super humid month of August, so I made a mental note of choosing a breezier time to go.

November in the forecast promised 24 degree weather (pwede na mag jacket na hindi mapawisan), but on the acutal shoot day it proved to be a sunny 28, so much for the fall-type outfits we had planned. We had regular clothing for the first part of the shoot, then in the shadier parts of the park, the boys and I wore our cardigans and jackets (with a bit of sweating after hehe).

Boredom & Listlessness

Kids love to play and we made the shoot more like a game like choo-choo trains, and racing around, but kids will be kids, and there were times that they were bored and bordering on tantrums. We prepared cool drinks for them, and a promise of unlimited playground time after, which was the crown jewel of the park for kids.

Not only did this allow our energetic kids to release pent-up energy, but it also served as a rewarding incentive for their cooperation during the photoshoot.

I honestly had misgivings after the shoot since the kids were a bit on edge towards the end (meaning, unfortunately I was also a bit on edge), but I was really delightfully surprised by the outcome. Albert joked we should photoshop a Taipei 101 in the background, but I am already content with seeing those cute, smiling faces and generous, hearty laughs. Time flies, and as a mom who is most often beyond the lens, am honestly grateful to be part of these photos this time around hehe!

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