Illicit Ink at KLPA | Korea Photographer

My series Illicit Ink will be exhibited as part of the Kuala Lumpur Portrait Awards and one of the photograph from the series was selected for the poster of the exhibition. Illicit ink is a series of intimate portraits of the underground tattooist community in South Korea shot on paper negatives.


The photos will be exhibited as part of a group exhibition from the 14th of september to the 27th at the ILHAM gallery in Kuala Lumpur.

Seoul Watch Fashion | South Korea Photographer

On my latest assignment for the New York Times, I have been asked to photographs Seoul watch owners for a story. It was a great opportunity to shoot street portraits with natural lighting the way I was doing it long time ago when I started shooting bands in Shanhgai. I really enjoyed the locations in the backstreet of the Gangnam district. You can see the full stories and photos here :

 Sara Kim posing in a backstreet of the Gangnam district in Seoul. Tim Franco for the New York Times.
 Jinsu Ahn wearing a 1982 Omega watch and posing in the backstreets of Cheongdam district in Seoul. Tim Franco for the New York Times

Tim Franco is a Seoul, South Korea based photographer who travels for assignment all around the Asia region. He works on commercial and editorial assignments.

North Korean portraits | Unperson

This is the first portrait of my new series about North Korean defectors.


When Kim Pil-joo was a young boy, his mom was often traveling to China illegally to purchase and sell products. Every time she got back, a smell of candy and sweets was invading their home. He imagined China as a big candy factory. At 12, during a rough year of famine in the country, he experienced a public execution. The man had stolen a copper safety line from a mine and tried to sell it. It took him two attempts to manage to escape North Korea. His mom was already in China and it was a question of survival. When he finally arrived in South Korea, he was first shocked by how welcomed he was by the local government. All his life he was told how evil the South Korean were. Even thou he now lives and studies in the south, he finds it difficult to integrate fully the social and hope for a unique identity, where north and south are just one.

To reflect this incredible transition, I chose to portray those defectors on an analog material that is not supposed to exist. Just as their situation, the negative of a Polaroid is not supposed to be usable. It is only obtained through a series of chemical purification’s of the back paper of the original image. The result is often uncertain, dirty and imperfect. This series of portraits is the first chapter of a project reflecting on North Korea and the notions of borders and identity.

The complete series is available for publication upon request @

Portraits for Chanel | Shanghai

As part of the launch of their new watch, Chanel hold a special event in Shanghai China. I was assigned to set up a booth to photograph celebrities and guests. The images had to look like an advertising and were processed on site through a mirror app. Here are some of my favorite portrait for the shoot as well as a small display of the final images delivered.

Tim Franco is a commercial and editorial photographer based in greater asia. He works on commercial assignment in China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan. Please get in touch at

kathmandu Jazz Scene - Nepal Portraits

A few month ago, I was assigned by Silk Road magazine to travel to Nepal to shoot a story on the small growing local Jazz Scene in Kathmandu. During a few days in the capital, I have met many musicians and shot their portraits. Here are some of them

Tim Franco is an Asia based photographer living between Seoul & Shanghai and available for assignment in China, South Korea, Japan and all over asia. Contact him at

Fisherman in the Lofoten

A couple month back as I was visiting the Lofoten islands , i had to pleasure to meet Roger, a very nice fisherman eager to share his knowledge and stories, here are a few photos from a beautiful morning spent discussing the preparation for the Cod Fishing Season near Roger's boat. I am hopping our path will cross again !

Tim Franco is available for travel and documentary assignments please contact him at

Portrait Session | Seoul Photograher

I have been recently contacted by an aspiring model to do some photos of her in Seoul. I always wanted to take some portrait inside the great Dongdaemun Design Plazza by Zaha Hadid. I took this opportunity to try out the location. Here are some of those portraits

Tim Franco is a Seoul, South Korea based photographer available for portrait & commercial assignment . Contact + 821095228801

Future Sound of China | Editorial Photography

Last month I have traveled around China to portray the Future Sound of China, a story about upcoming and underground musician around the middle kingdom. All the portraits were shot on my old and favorite hasselblad on film. Here are some of the portraits and the tear sheets of the article 

Tim Franco is a photographer based in Asia out of Seoul and travels monthly to China and East asia for editorial and commercial photography assignment

Seoul travel story | Travel Photography for L'Express

I moved earlier this year to my new apartment on the beautiful hill of Namsam in the center of the capital city of South Korea. A few weeks ago I was assigned by the french magazine l'Express for a travel story here in Seoul. Here are a few tear sheets from that story.

Tim Franco is Seoul / Shangai / Beijing based photographer available for editorial and commercial photography assignment all over Asia. 

Fashion Photography | STELLA DESIGN

I have recently worked on a small fashion shoot for a local Shanghai Designer. The set up was quite simple and I have decided to shoot using a medium format film camera. Here are some of the result of the work produced for the 3 outfits.

Tim Franco is aFashion & Lifestyle photographer available for assignment in Seoul ( South Korea ) & Shanghai ( China ). contact him at

UBER Commercial Photography Campaign

Last year, we were contacted through Propaganda Studio to produce images for the new China photography campaign for UBER. Here some of the images I shot

Tim Franco is a Seoul ( South Korea ) and Shanghai ( China ) based photographer who is available for commercial assignment through his agency Propaganda Studio based in Hong Kong

Shanghai Skaters Story for HUCK Magazine

Here is a feature I work on with some of the Local and International skaters cruising and enjoying Shanghai Urban Areas. Was an interesting gig to photograph especially with my old rolleiflex

I am a photographer based in Shanghai & Seoul working on editorial and commercial assignments

America Road Trip with old Rolleilfex part 2

A couple month ago, I took off to America for the Metamorpolis Book Launch in New York and then traveled by Car from Florida to California. Most of the time, I enjoyed discovering new places and meeting with friends, taking a break from photography but once in a while I took my old rolleilfex twin lens out of the bag to capture a few photos, here are some of them

Portraits | Dan Shapiro | Shanghai 2012

In the middle of 2012 - My friend & musician Dan Shapiro ask me to take a few portraits of him at various stages of its moustache treaming. We met regularly for a month shooting in my apartment with a simple set up and my hasselblad on a few rolls of films. A year passed since then and I finally took the time to look at those films and sharing the photos here .

Dan Shapiro | Portrait in Shanghai

Dan Shapiro | Portrait in Shanghai

Dan Shapiro | Portrait in Shanghai

Dan Shapiro | Portrait in Shanghai

Dan Shapiro | Portrait in Shanghai

Dan Shapiro | Portrait in Shanghai

Jiang Qiong Er | Portrait in Shanghai for Le Monde

Sang Xia is a new Chinese Luxury brand reporting to Hermes. Jiang Qiong Er, Shang Xia's CEO started as a window designer for Hermes and is now opening her first shop outside China in the center of Paris.  I went to her private showroom last week to take a couple of portraits for an article in Le Monde to be published soon. The place was neat and simple, with a tea room where walls were made of dry tea leaves.

Published in 10th of september in Le Monde

Published in 10th of september in Le Monde

Venice Beach

This summer, I spent some time on the US west coast, especially shooting portraits on Venice Beach. The diversity of the people strolling around the walkway amazed me and I wanted to capture that with my old rolleiflex. Unfortunately, the shutter broke and only the first photo of each roll came out. Here are 3 of the 4 photos that came out from those 4 rolls shot on the beach.  

Venice Beach Dancing Girl

Venice Beach Dancing Girl

Venice  Beach Skatepark

Venice  Beach Skatepark

Venice Beach Sunset

Venice Beach Sunset

new york | subway acrobats

While commuting between Manhattan and Brooklyn on the L train, you might come across Kaheen and his group of acrobatic dancer. Almost everyday, they come from Brooklyn and Queens and ride the L train between Union Square and Bedford. " This is where people give the most ! On good days we make about a 100 dollars " say Kaheen. Their performance take train in the middle of the commuter - using train bars and handles, each of the group member dance to the rhythm of the music making impressive acrobatic moves. Here is a few photos taken during one afternoon commuting together with them.

Photos by Tim Franco