5 Reasons For Doing A Pet Family Photoshoot in Studio or On-Location

Over my long career of photographing families, the term pet family photoshoot kept popping up.

Maybe because Pet Photography has established itself as another genre of its own and the thought of combining pet photography and family photography started to manifest itself.

I have had many families asking me if they can include their pet dog or cats in their Family Portrait Session. The answer would definitely be “Sure! Bring them along!!!”

Not only are your dogs a huge part of your family, they are also one of your key members. They are companions, they are playmates, they have strong bond to the family members. They certainly add to the dynamics to any family shoot.

I got to learn about the term ‘fur kid’ only couple of years ago through an incoming email asking if I welcome ‘fur kids’. That was when I had to google to find out what it meant… LOL..

The only pet I had was having and breeding lots of fish when I was a kid. Running around drains catching worms to feed my large supply of fishes. As I left home to further my studies in Australia, I kept an eastern long neck turtle.

Looking back, it seems that the type of pets I have seem to be scaly water type pets. I haven’t had a furry type of pet like a dog, cat, rabbit or guinea pig before. So, the term ‘Fur kid’ just didn’t resonate at that point of time.

Nevertheless, as I began to photograph more couples or families with pet dogs or cats, I began to sense the deep connection between the pets, the baby and the family.

The interaction between the baby and the dog are clearly phenomenal…. almost like best buddies.

The laughter and excitement sparkles on the children’s eyes as they interact with their favorite pooch. These interactions are so natural that it helps any photographer capture that perfect shot in any pet family photoshoot. Furthermore, a pet is a great photographers assistant as they relax the environment and create love and connection between the family.

So here is the top 5 reasons why you should be doing your next family shoot with your pet in our studio, at your home or on-location.

1. They are part of your family.

Let’s face it, way before you have your own child, your pet is very much part of you and when the baby came along, you introduce the baby to your pet just like you introduce your baby to the rest of the family and extended family. You love your pet and they are part of your family.

2. You want to remember them.

Humans will out live their pet. Dog’s life is rather short, we make comparison of 1 year in dog’s life is very much about 7 of human’s. So by the time they reach 5-6 years old, they are mature and some what less active as we saw in some of the breed.

While we celebrate our life, we want to make sure every part of our life is being captured, that include your pet. After 10 years of photographing thousands of families, I can always feel the sadness when they point out the pets that they used to have and lost them because of old age.

3. Kids love to play with them.

One of the way to get the kiddo to be engaged for the duration of the family photo shoot is to introduce their pets. They love them and you know kids’ love are boundless and I love watch them play, I love the connection that they share and I love they treat their pet just like their best buddies.

Be sure to have those captured and have them for your kiddo when they grow up. Sometimes, the pet understand the child more than we do and they often cheer up the child. So bring your pets for the next family photoshoot.

4. You love them as much as your own child.

You know deep down, they hold that special place in your heart when it comes to pet. They don’t talk back, they are there to cuddle with you when you are sad, spending time with you when you are alone and they are faithful to you as their family too. Perhaps you have told them secrets that you never told anyone because pets are the best at keeping your secret because they don’t share the same language as human.

5. It is part of your children’s memories.

It is especially true if you had your first child and there is no one else… just mummy, daddy, me and my pet. This is a shared bond and love between them.

Have it for your child… after all having your family photoshoot done with your pet is an activity that promotes bonding and connection. It is a perfect activity when it comes to having the memories that can be passed down to your child.

Give us a call at 8858 0088 or whatsapp us to have a chat on how we can capture your furkids and the family!

Warm and cosy studio with more than sufficient props. No pushy sales tactic, just go in, get comfy and start shooting. Hart was really accommodating with our pets and his finger was quick to capture the shots before our pets started getting fidgety. I would highly recommend pets/kids shoot with him as he is super patient and easy-going.

Yvonne Tan
Google Review, 5 October 2019

Hart was super understanding and he knew how to grab the attention of my 2 little nieces during our family shoot. He also managed to capture some great shots of our energetic Jack Russell Terrier in his studio as well! Its our first time doing a family photo shoot with him and definitely will not be the last.

Kingston Chow
Facebook Review, 21 July 2019
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Family Portrait Photography – How Long Can You Procrastinate?

How Often Do You Procrastinate?

Lets face it! Most people put off doing important but non-urgent tasks.  They have the intention to do it! However, when the next important and urgent task pops up and the task at hand gets pushed to the bottom of the to-do list!

People are busy these days. Busy with work, home, kids, life, hobbies and the list goes on.

One of the most important thing and never urgent thing to do is to get in the shot with your entire family.

How many occasions have you had time to “stop”? It is unfortunate nowadays that when we “stop”, our phone is right in front of us, busy with learning, news, kay poh someone else’s social media updates and what not. However, only when we really STOP AND LIVE in the present moment with everyone around during major events. Events such as weddings, funeral, milestone birthday lunches or dinners to have some clear space in the head that we suddenly realize people around us.

Parents seems to have aged..

Their hair are turning more silver…

Children seem to grown taller..

Grandparents seems to walk a little slower … talk a lot more or they just become the complete opposite and become really quiet.

When we look into the mirror, we find more train tracks on the face, extra kilo here and there. Well, thats the cruel reality of life.

For family portrait photography, its even easier to put it off as its a big task involving the organisation of many people for the photoshoot and nobody want to go to the trouble. So Why Bother Doing Family Photoshoot?

My Observations

I have been doing charity shoot for Home Nursing Foundation this past week that involve older generation in the community who live all by themselves. No doubt they are self sufficient, but throughout the day, my observation tells me that, they love having people around them. They kept saying:

“Today, I am very happy, because I have all of you all to bring me around, spend time and talking to me.”

If you ask any parents, what matter the most to them, almost always you will hear:

“MY FAMILY is the most important to me!”

All they want to have is your TIME with them. Talking to them, doing something meaningful things with them.

Older generation don’t need much, the thing that they value the most is the photograph of their family together. That worth more than anything to them.

I understand we can’t be with them all the time, with this little photograph, they can certainly relive the moment, you share with them.

Knowing its importance, how long can you procrastinate then?

Tomorrow Never Comes?

There is only right now, the present. Why they call it “The Present” is because only right this second, you are able to do something. Tomorrow, we are lucky when we are given one more day as tomorrow always seems like an elusive time that never really come. So if I tell you that there is Free Beer tomorrow… you better believe me. Because, there will no free beer today.

10 Years?

Majority of the families I photographed recently had their family portrait taken some 10 years ago. Yes! it is a decade.

When I talk to them about what happen in the last 10 years, usually, there are some “regrets” because they say they should have done it earlier. Someone has passed on, someone is terminally ill, someone has moved to different country, etc.

Often, I get ask if I could “photoshop” a person or two in a family photo. It certainly break my heart just to hear it.

It seems like, something this important, tend to be left hanging for 10 years and there you go, that’s 10 years of procrastination. How long have you procrastinate to have yours done? if the answer is this long or longer, maybe, it is time to stop and re-think about getting one done real soon!

3 Years?

Smaller and younger families does their shoot every 18 month to about 3 years depending on the ages of the kids. Usually, they will do one for their own family about 18 months when the children is under 7, but when it comes to grandparents, they tend to include them on every second shoot.

It is amazing with even shorter procrastinating timing, we still have good number of clients who tells us that they should be doing it earlier. So what are you waiting for?

Another baby?

If you are like us when we say we “close shop” with 3 children. It is a good time to plan as an annual thing.

Clients do ask us to send a reminder as they want to do it more often. Majority come back and some will forget, well, I will hear the same old story like the sound of broken record.

No Procrastination – Let’s Plan It Regularly

Having said that, there are also many clients who does their family portraits yearly without fail. They make it as a tradition, one album, one canvas or frame to fill their wall of their ever growing family. As we open 7 days a week, it is never easier to plan something in and we make the process simple for you so you can enjoy while we take care of this important thing for you.

So, Lets look at 2 typical scenarios when planning for a photoshoot. Which one can you relate more?

Scenario 1

1. When was the last time we did our family portrait? – 15 years ago when I graduated.
2. Family Portrait Photography – Is it important? Yes.
3. When Should It Be Done? – Soon
4. How Soon? – When everyone is available?
5. When is that? – Christmas, Hari Raya, Deepavali or Lunar New Year?
6. Oh so and so will be away on these dates? Let’s do it another time? – Ok When?
7. Dad or Mum’s Birthday? or Anniversary? – Ok
8. This year or the next? – Next

Ok let’s set a date and start a WhatsApp group to get this organised. – Perfect!

Scenario 2

1. When was the last time we did our family portrait? – 15 years ago when I graduated.
2. Family Portrait Photography – Is it important? Yes.
3. When Should It Be Done? – ASAP
4. How Soon? – Before grandma/grandad/dad/mum have health issue. Do it when they are all healthy.
5. When is that? – Next Week

Ok, set a date, make sure everyone block this time for the photoshoot.

Reflection

As I turn 40, my mind is occupied with a million things that I sometimes forget to be present. I take it for granted that I will see my family and friends tomorrow, and the day after that and after that… or is it really?

I came home yesterday and learnt about the departure of a friend of mine, whom was around my age. It serves as a wake up call for me to be present, grateful and appreciative of every moment with friends and family!

After many years of photographing families, I’ve encountered families who booked the session but was a day too late for the grandparents; or that there is only a small window of opportunity for the photoshoot to take place in between hospital/doctor visits and visiting family from abroad.

It is difficult to comprehend sometimes, when a family asking for a refund as the shoot they planned will never happen ever again because the main person that they want to be in the photograph is no longer there. This shocks me and sometimes leave me battling with my emotion for hours if not days.

Gift of Time

As I grow older, I come to understand the biggest gift you can give people is not things, but time. It is your time that they want the most… as it is life most expensive commodity, as time is finite.

We live in age of abundance opportunities, abundance of wealth, abundance of knowledge for you to chase but the only wealth that older generation usually speak of is often our time with them.

You see, photographs has a super power that allow time to standstill at the point of time that the image was taken. Your time spent with your family is well recorded, proudly hung on the walls of those who know it matters.

Generation Portrait with your parents and grandparents are not a luxury anymore. It is a necessity. If you have to get something for them, why not something tangible that reminds them of the time you spend with them? It can be a birthday gift for them, it can be an anniversary gift for them, it could be a major milestone gift for them, whatever excuse you need to make up, you know you are giving them something that they will cherish for the rest of their life and also pass on to their grandchildren one day.

So how long would you like to procrastinate? Just how much longer do you want them to wait? They won’t ask, but it would be nice of you to offer them.

So, if you have read until here. Wait No More! Give us a call at 8858 0088 or whatsapp us to have a chat on how we can make your generation portrait done for your parents.

Hart was lovely with my 3 year old! He was able to capture the expressions and essence of the moment perfectly, and we have not taken any family photos in the last 10 years. He does definitely have his way with kids. Looking forward to the shoot next year!

Anne Lee
Facebook Review, July 2019

Hart personally took photos for my two boys. My older boy doesn’t like strangers and we can never get a proper photo of his beautiful smile. Hart, amazingly, did it! He captured the true essence of the boys’ smiles and every time we look at the photos, they blow us away!
We loved that he was really efficient, we have been to other studios and other photographers that by the time we were only halfway done, the boys are very cranky and we had to end the day. Hart was also really quick in sending us our chosen shots and to say they were beautiful is an understatement!

Lele Ng
Google Review, July 2019

This is my first time taking family portraits with my Grandmother. I am grateful to Hart Tan for capturing many beautiful photos. First, Hart allowed me to change my photoshoot date at late notice as my Grandmother was feeling unwell on our first arranged date. Next, he was competent to coax my Grandmother to smile brightly during the sessions :). Third, he was able to capture beautiful photos of my impatient Grandmother in less than 20 mins. I am highly satisfied! Thank you.

Ivan Lee
Google Review, January 2019
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Baby Haren #3 – Newborn Baby Photography Singapore

Newborn Photography of the Haren Family

It is always a joy to be included as part of joyous moment in people’s life. Be it a birthday, wedding, or arrival of a newborn.

I have seen Fredrik and Elaine for the since 2011 to record their growing family. It all started with 1 and now baby #3. Newborn Photography is always a beautiful way to preserve memories for your little newborn so they can understand how they look like when they grow up.

Home or Studio?

For the Haren Family, all their shoots are done at their home. Most clients prefer to do the newborn photography at home for the simple fact that it is definitely more convenient for the parents. Everything the baby and mother needs is well within reach; elder siblings are also more at ease at home.

Natural Light or Flash for Newborns?

For sure, I started my career in newborn photography with natural light. However, with Singapore’s cloudy weather, unpredictable torrential rain and unknown amount of lighting conditions at clients home, I started to blend natural light with flash to achieve my newborn shots. I am so happy I am no longer at the mercy of weather when it comes to doing newborns photoshoots.

On the day of this shoot, it was dark and raining outside. It was also dark inside the house. With the combination of flash, I have the flexibility of control lighting during newborn shoots. Adding some flash in dark environment enables me to achieve the images that are becomes cleaner and crisp. Details of the image are able to withstand scrutiny even when its printed up to 50 by 80″.

What About Siblings?

As usual, while I photograph little newborns, the siblings would be running around, throwing tantrums just like any other day. I am blessed that kids love me and I love kids. I have my way with kids when it comes to photography. Things naturally fall into place and the perfect image would be captured at the right moment and right time.

Scroll down to view the image of Fredrik and his #2 taken at home that won the Family Portrait of Masters Photographers 2013/2014.

Below is the Winning Shot of Fredrik and his #2. It was the winner of Family Portrait of Masters Photographers 2013/2014.

Newborn Photography Award MPA

What Are The Considerations?

Whilst it is important to like the style of newborn baby photography before committing to booking a newborn photographer, it is also equally important to know that your photographer have the expertise in being able to read and handle young children and newborn babies.

At the same time, be technically sound to produce the image quality of a professional that not only is beautiful on screen, it has to be able to print well.

Lastly, the newborn photographer would need to consistently deliver the whole experience of the newborn photoshoot.

The above are the top considerations that our clients are looking for while researching for a newborn photography studio.

If you like what you see and would like to learn more, send us an email at info@tomato.sg; Call us at 88580088 or Whatsapp Us

Newborn Photoshoot testimonial-Elaine
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When To Do Baby Photoshoot – Tomato Photo Studio

When Is The Best Time To Do Baby Photoshoots?

I was tidying up my file storage for the images that I took of my children for the past 10+ years. Gosh… time certainly flew past too quickly. They just don’t look like how they were anymore. I am glad I had all of those images captured and archived. It is my strong belief that every parent should archive images of their children. Be it on your phone right through to professional photos.

One of the most frequently asked question by clients would be:  “When is the good time to preserve those images for my children?” or “When is a good time for a family photoshoot?

Like what Dr Seuss will say… “You never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory”

Here is a compilation of a series of major milestone that I tend to capture for clients through photography.

A newborn stage – 5-10 days:

My vision in newborn photography is to record how a baby might look like in mommy’s tummy. Here are more on my thoughts of newborn photography, my signature style and why I do what I do. Find out more about what sort of images you can expect in one newborn session.

Little Baby Stage – 4- 8 weeks

Understanding when is the best time and how to bring out the best out of baby at this young age usually require a lot of patience as well as expertise in handling the baby. At this age, they are happy, smiley and love interacting with people. Mommy’s sound usually makes them smile.

Little Big Baby Photo Session (3-5 months)

I love cute, chubby and happy baby…  I tend to find baby is happy, laugh at silly noises and animated face. Understand what makes them giggles is something I enjoy… editing those smiley face tend to make me smile from the inside… that make me happy. Tummy time, teething, etc makes these little people move their mouth a lot. So there are tonnes of expression to be captured.

Sitters Baby Photoshoot (6-11 Months)

At this age, baby tend to be able to sit up independently… but they are a little more aware and picky about who to smile to… but if it is a little girl, daddy or mommy tend to make them smile… little boy love playing rough with daddy… but at the same time, love cuddle with mom. Fat chubby cheek is the most dominant feature of babies at this age…

12-18 Months Baby Photo Shoot

Curiosity is the key with baby at this age group. They are curious about the surrounding, they have the ability to move, crawl, cruise, even the first few steps. These are things that they do that motivate me to capture. I love to observe, allow the child to explore their world and capture the curiosity in them. It is also at this time where its interesting to watch them waddle along in the great outdoors when they just started to walk.

24 months and beyond:

They love activities…
they love running around…
they love to explore this world…

I love this shot of my 2nd child who love jumping up and down those steps… so care free, so happy… a world of possibility is under their feet.


These are the first 2.5 years of a child’s life that is worth preserving. They all happen at different times of their lives for a very short period of time. You can do it yourself. However, we can make it simple for you…

Call us at 8858 0088 or whatsapp us to have a chat on how we can help or simply email us at info@tomato.sg

Hart was lovely with my 3 year old! He was able to capture the expressions and essence of the moment perfectly, and we have not taken any family photos in the last 10 years. He does definitely have his way with kids. Looking forward to the shoot next year!

Anne Lee
Facebook Review, July 2019

Hart personally took photos for my two boys. My older boy doesn’t like strangers and we can never get a proper photo of his beautiful smile. Hart, amazingly, did it! He captured the true essence of the boys’ smiles and every time we look at the photos, they blow us away!
We loved that he was really efficient, we have been to other studios and other photographers that by the time we were only halfway done, the boys are very cranky and we had to end the day. Hart was also really quick in sending us our chosen shots and to say they were beautiful is an understatement!

Lele Ng
Google Review, July 2019
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Top 8 Outdoor Family Photoshoot Locations in Singapore

Top 8 locations For Outdoor Family Photoshoots

After living in the Garden City, Singapore for the past 11 years, I can’t help but appreciate the vast amount of greenery in the country. From the time you land in Singapore Changi Airport travelling towards the city. The rows and rows of trees along the highway; along the roads, pavements. You are bound to see greenery everywhere. Even when you are on the high rise having a birds eye view from the top of the buildings, one would usually see the canopy of green and the hidden pavements and roads underneath. Singapore’s vision of building a city in a garden is truly realised!

There are so much transformation in Singapore that we need to keep up on where to do outdoor photoshoots because the landscape changes all the time. For those of you who only got to know about Tomato Photo, Tomato Photo started in 2008 from a tiny little corner of a bedroom and primarily photographed kids and families outdoors or at clients’ home. It was a year later in 2009 that we had a studio. We are still shooting as many outdoor and studio shoots today.

Why Do Outdoor Photoshoots?

Many clients who visit Singapore temporarily as tourists or work/live here for a short period of time would usually opt for outdoor photoshoots to have some form of memories of Singapore captured during their short stay in Singapore.

The other group of clients who opt for outdoor photoshoots are usually families who had done multiple studio milestone sessions in the past when their kids were younger. Now that the kids are bigger and more independent, parents would like to have pictures taken in the environment that the kids frequent and love roaming around their favourite parks during their childhood.

Whilst there has been an increasing number of purpose built outdoor playgrounds around Singapore, the most requested photoshoot locations are still in the iconic landmarks in Singapore. So here, we have round up the Top 8 Most Requested Outdoor Locations For Family Photoshoots.

1. Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore Botanic Gardens is located in the heart of the city and is Singapore’re first UNESCO Heritage Site. The gardens is 82 hectares and stretches all the way from Tanglin Road to Bukit Timah Road. The lush greenery within its grounds and its historic buildings and structures (eg. The Band Stand) was the iconic location that many would love to be associated with in their wedding, couple or family portraits. That said, as the Botanic Gardens covers a vast area with multiple car parks and entrances, the photoshoots are often carried out in areas that is best suited for the family in question. We work with clients who are mobility challenged; clients with young kids, bigger extended families to arrive at a location best suited to their needs and wants. More images from Botanic Gardens can be viewed HERE.

2. Emerald Hill Conservation Area

The Conservation Area of Emerald Hill is located just behind the shopping strip of Orchard Road. These charming Shophouses with peranakan tlles, ornate doors and metal grills were former homes to the wealthy peranakan community. Further, as we mentioned previously, Singapore is a city within a garden. You would still be able to capture some greenery within this area.

These intricate details add a different dimension and colours to the portraits. More images HERE.

3. East Coast Park

East Coast Park is a rather special area with loads of mature greenery and a long stretch of beach to add. For those who loves the water AND the greenery, this is the perfect place for a family photoshoot. Enjoy breakfast or dinner after your shoot at the various establishments along the park for a complete day of making special memories with your family.

Do visit our East Coast Park Photo Shoot Gallery for more sample images.

4. Fort Canning Park

Fort Canning Park is a hilltop landmark located at the central part of Singapore. Its historical past is evident from the structures found in the park. These structures together with the greenery forms a picture perfect backdrop for the old meets new kind of portrait for your family. More Fort Canning Images HERE.

5. Gardens By the Bay – Main Gardens

Gardens By The Bay Main Gardens is located next to Marina Bay Sands. The first impression of some are these looks like the set of the movie Avartar set within lush greenery just outside of the city centre.

It is a popular area for family who love a mix of cityscape with greenery in the images as well as the iconic Supertree.

There are so many areas within Garden By the Bay Main Gardens, all you need to do is to meet us there and we will bring you to our favorite locations to scenic place that is also quiet.

See more images from the Garden By The Bay Main Gardens’ Gallery

6. Gardens By The Bay – East (Tg Rhu)

For families who love water, lush greenery park, expansive skies as well as the iconic Singapore city skyline backdrop.

A short 5 minutes walk from the carpark/taxi drop off will bring your family to this beautiful outdoor location. You can choose to have the shoot done early morning or late in the afternoon and you will be rewarded with different looks to the same location.

Here is the link to more images taken at Garden By the Bay East.

7. Gardens By the Bay – Dome

Love outdoors while having AC on all the way? The Flower Dome and Cloud Forest Dome within Garden By Bay is the answer. Your session in a cool climate while having all the outdoor feel to it.

What a better way to have this done. We understand the dome can be crowded sometimes, we do know some areas within the dome that we can still get relatively quiet areas without people getting in your shot.

Visit our Gallery Here for more images capture within the dome.

8. Marina Bay Promenade

Marina Promenade is one of the best location for morning session. It is quiet, beautiful city skyline, as well as the comfort of the cool ac within the MBS Shoppes.

We often focus on the outdoors and then duck in for some cool temperature at the end.

Want to see more? Visit our Marina Bay Sand Promenade Gallery.

9. Home or Studio

I hear you. I know outdoor location is fun and unique and all that. Some of you just can’t survive the heat, and it is totally understandable.

For those who just sweat out when you step out of the shower and while understand the important of having the images taken. Home shoot or our studio session will be your obvious choice.

Let’s see why our purpose built studio is worthy of your consideration.

Our studio is on lift landing level, which is easy for children who is still on stroller, or grandparents who has mobility challenge, there is no stairs to climb and our studio is less then 20 steps away from the lift landing.

Once you step inside the studio, you will be greeted by the cosy and welcoming feeling of architecturally design studio. We have thought of every details from the layout, the flow, the decor, the amenities, the backdrop, the temperature, the scent, etc to fit Hart’s vision of his perfect man-cave… well we mean photo studio.

Here is the link to see what you can achieve in our studio.

Hart could capture the genuine smiles and expressions on my kids’ faces, and that was what is important for me. The photo shoot was spontaneous and family-directed, i.e. you get the photos that YOU want.

Denise Rachel Yong
Google Review

Hart took photos of our family recently, and we were so impressed with his great demeanor and artistic eye. He is great with kids, and he even managed to get our 18 month old grumpy baby to crack a few smiles. Each setting he picked for the photos was really lovely. Very happy with our experience!

Lisa Blackard
Google Review

Hart was great on our family photo shoot – we had quite a large crowd to accommodate (with family visiting from overseas etc.) and an 18 month old toddler. As you know, toddlers are never predictable but Hart was excellent working with our daughter and managed to engage with her quickly and kept her “interested” and captured all her many facial expressions. It was a fun session with both an indoor and outdoor shoot and the entire family had fun. The ordering process was also very simple/easy and all online, with the products delivered to your home.

Su Yenn Goh
Facebook Review
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