What To Expect From A Family Photography Photo Shoot – Tomato Photo Singapore

It has been a while since I sit down and write a blog. 2018 will hopefully see more blogs from me as I would love to pen down my thoughts about family photography Photo Shoot… While I can’t feature every single family photography photo shoot that I have done, I will try my best to feature as many as I can.

A while back, Hazel, asked me if I could do a session for her family… and so I agreed. It is always interesting shooting for people who is close to you.

For those who didn’t know who Hazel is, Hazel has been working with Tomato Photo for more than a year now, helping me with client’s enquries and getting the booking booked in correctly so I can concentrate on the photography.

So I decide to let her experience how I help my client from beginning to the end of the session to get to what they want, That is a beautiful images of their family, a symbolic of unity, bonding and happiness and perhaps memories preservation.

I believe the #1 Fear that people have that sometime even prevent them from procastinating on booking that family photography photo shoot is “NOT KNOWING WHAT TO EXPECT”.

I feel, as a photographer, I play an important part of the success of the session. By success of the family photography photo shoot, I mean:

1. Making people feel they have made the right decision;

2. Getting the results that they want; and

3. Actually, enjoy the process.

I enjoyed the session very much as I have the absolute control on what I want to create; and see what I wanted to create come to life frame after frame… and of course, curiosity prompt me to ask Hazel to describe to me the whole process and how she feel… and here is what she wrote me:

Despite knowing and working with you for some time now, I was a little nervous and/or anxious about the session with my family; it was going to be the first time having someone else’s focused attention on taking photos of us so I did not know what to expect. But any anxiety and uncertainty quickly faded away the moment I introduced you to my mother and sister. Knowing that everyone was at ease with the help of your calming presence had made me feel at ease as well.

My excitement began to build when you started moving things around the studio in preparation for the setting. I wondered how the photos would look – it is always a joy to me to look at what in my humble opinion are “well-taken” photos. I found that your art direction was easy and clear; I don’t think any of us felt “lost” in a sense. Your positive verbal feedback after every shot was also reassuring – I know how to smile but I imagine that my mum (who does not take a million photos, selfies and videos) may not have felt as comfortable in front of the camera as I would have felt. And that you explained some parts of the session – like why tilt our heads forwards, or why stand sideways, or why the reflector was placed in that particular position – was something I personally appreciated, as I like to understand how things work. I was also surprised by how the little things matter, like when you reminded us to relax our fingers, and that you noticed those things to begin with! But when you think about it, I suppose these things should not be surprising at all, given your expertise and experience – it was all just new to me.

Overall, I would say that the session was comfortable, seamless, and quick; a positive experience for the three of us! I was also really glad to hear my mom’s approving feedback on how you handled everything – apparently she was also anxious and hesitant prior to the shoot but now, she’s a fan! – Hazel

SO What Can You Expect During The Family Photography Photo Shoot with Tomato Photo?

If this is your first professional family portrait shoot with Tomato Photo, you might be expecting the session to be 2-3 hours long with 3 to 4 to 5 clothing changes and an assistant tagging along and making sure that every detail of the dress/hair is in place…

I’m sorry, I’ll have to pop your bubble here. For my family photography photo shoot, it averages around 45mins to an hour. I shoot alone because a lot of great moments happen in split second especially true for young children. I would rather sacrifice some of the perfect pose, perfect creaseless shirt and perfect hair for that genuine moments. Stopping even momentarily to fix those little imperfection breaks the momentum and it will results in missing the shots.

I don’t work with assistant too, I find the subject tend to look any where but the camera hence I don’t get the right looking into camera shots. Furthermore, I feel children tend to need to warm up to people who are foreign to them, so warming up to 1 (Me!) is easier than warming up to me + assistant.  So if you prefer the results, I get them by working alone. So eager parents and grandparents, I know you meant well to help, but I will request for help from you if I need them as I expect you to relax and enjoy the bonding with your family.

Perhaps some of you are curious then of my process from the beginning to the end of the family photography photo shoot… So let me run this down and I hope to let you understand why and how I do it and what it means to the subject in front of my camera.

1. Start with “Warm Up Session”

By “Warm Up Session”, what I mean is time for me to get to know my clients better. This is afterall the first time I get to meet your family (apart from returning clients).

At this “Warm Up Session”, I get to talk to each and everyone who is there and understand what is their behaviour/mannerism through observation. This is also where I get to know which kids belong to which family (when I do extended family photography photo shoot). At the same time, brief everyone on how the shoot will be conducted and what kind of “rules” I have during the shoot so everyone is in the same page. 

I will then let the children to “explore” the space and get familiar with what is there. This stage can be as short as 1 minute to as long as 10-15 minutes depending on family.

2. The Photography Session

This is the actual image creation process and usually last for about 45 minutes or so for a family session.

I tend to shoot really fast and flow from one shot to another seamlessly and go through many poses and combinations in a very short time, especially for families with young kids. I do build excitement and momentum during the shooting process by being the ‘monkey’ while giving lots of reassurances and feedback to clients on how they are doing. Parents are expected to relax while I get the kids attention but pay attention to my instructions while I’m conducting the session.

This is the part where everyone will need to keep up with the fast momentum as I give instructions on the fly (especially for families with young children) because the “look” that I want to create is usually a split second moment type of shot. I do this is to ensure that the people in front of and outside the zone of the camera view “forget” about the camera and focus on what they are doing, how they’re bonding and have fun at the same time. Really… most people won’t have time to worry about anything during this time.

I love family to connect. I love hugs. I love closeness. And I love real emotion in there.

So less posing, more hugs, more emotions is the style of my photography.

For extended family portraits without young kids, posing and positioning will be the complete opposite to the experience mentioned above.

Of course, if I have luxury (because with young children under 5 years old, it is NOT possible to pose them, so don’t try! I will talk about that later how I navigate in this) of posing people, I will make sure I make changes, even they think it is tiny… I look at the face, the size of everyone and make sure everyone looks about equal and how the light fall on them nicely.

With young children, I tend to ask them to “move” from where they are to where I want them to be, this take a little experience as it will results into the “pose” that I want and it will happen usually split second. I tend to give instruction as I shoot and I will let parents know during the warm up session to pay attention to my instructions so I can get the best for them.

I also tend to re-assure the subject when I get something nice of them. That usually motivate them to do more. I build excitement and I also build momentum during this process so people are carried away through this excitements and somehow forget that they are in front of the camera and this is the experience that I create. More about their family bonding and what they do and less of being aware of in front of the camera.

3. The “Closing”

At the end of the family photography photo shoot, I may do a scroll through the camera to show clients the images captured during the session, how the products look like if its a studio session and get to know about any particular flaw/edit that clients need me to pay more attention to.

Clients usually get to view the whole series of images anywhere in the world at their convenience within a week via an online gallery. Image selection/order are made online and the finished products delivered when order is fulfilled.

 

If you love the images and love to work together to get the images for your family, drop us a line at info@tomato.sg or call us at 8858 0088

Regards,

Hart Tan
8858 0088
info@tomato.sg
www.instagram.com/tomatophoto
www.facebook.com/tomato.sg

There were about 20 of us. Ages spanned from 98 to 2, members of the family who wanted to play photographer, children who did not want to smile for the camera and tired members of the family from travelling. Yet, Hart took it all in his stride. He was easy going, warm and made everyone feel right at home. He took great natural shots of all of us and we absolutely love love love the photos.

Ren Jong, Fb Review

Hart is superb. Not only was he very responsive – he replied to our inquiry on Christmas Day itself and was available the very next day – but he was also a gifted photographer. He has a terrific approach to building a rapport with small children which really helped ensure our little one was smiling and enthusiastic through the session. Well done! We would definitely use Hart again and recommend him to others.

Nick Nash, FB Review

Top 3 Advices Of Photographing Your Children Successfully…

Children Photography is one of the most interesting subject because it is both fun and challenging. Most parents agree that when kids are happy and smiley, it is fun to watch them… however, they have their moments too, which make it challenging…

Let me share with you my tips and tricks on how I do the shoot that allow the child to response well especially on outdoor location…

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Timing
  2. Location
  3. What to do with your child…

First, let’s talk about Timing of your shoot…
In tropical weather like Singapore, there are only 2 of the best time to head outdoor, which is early in the morning around 8am or late in the afternoon around 5:30pm. However, we also need to work with your child’s sleeping time… we certainly want to photograph them at their best time… Children under 3 years old, tend to be happy in the morning when they had their good night sleep and their breakfast… and if your kids are most active during the later part of the day… well then 5:30pm works.

Second, location of your shoot…
I often being asked about the best outdoor location for photographing children and family… the answer is always depends on what you like the final pictures to look like… Greenery like Botanic Garden? Cityscape like Marina Bay Promenade? Beach such as East Coast Park? Or Historical Joo Chiat Precinct?

Wherever you prefer to go, it has to be 1, easy to get to… 2, it is not too far from your home… As parents, you and I understand that kids don’t much patience, so I would rather best smiling kids at local park…

Third and Lastly… What to do with your children…
The main reason that you have me as your photographer is because you know I can manage your children as well as your family and give you the best images that you see in our website… after all, after 9+ years of dealing with children, I know how to engage children and make them response the way I wanted them to response…

So the only thing I need you to tell your children is we are going to play at this at location… and get them excited about PLAYING bits and I will take care of the rest…

After all, as parents, we want to see a happy child… so what a better way to enjoy the fun playing shoot with them… this is how I photograph… I never pose people… but I do guide clients to arrive at the pose that I need them to be without them realising it… it is an art in managing people and I love it…

I promise you this… You will totally enjoy the experience having your family and children photograph done…

Sounds like a great idea?  Why not talk to us at 8858 0088 or email us at info@tomato.sg

Outdoor Photography Gallery


Mini Family Photoshoot Singapore – East Coast Park 2019

Who Need Mini Family Photoshoot?

First of all, I know that many of you always look at your friends’ photos and probably think. “There is no way we will put ourselves through all the stress spending hours posing in front of the camera.

First of all, Jessica Bernard felt exactly the same (see her thoughts below)… Josh is 6.5yo and because, Ella who is 2.5, literally hate sand and grass in her shoes while Ella also simply isn’t a morning person.

Similarly, if your family dynamics has more or less the same. This article may be something you should keep reading on.

One thing for sure that we all know is having your memories captured is not only important, it is probably the only way to show you and your family really existed.

Of course, unless you are on Interpol most wanted list or some exclusive people who feel fine to be forgotten once you leave this world, you got to really have your photos taken once in a while. Even more so especially when you have young kids.

Typical Excuse #1

I get it, it is always those few pounds… let me burst your bubble… are you ready…?

It will only get worse…. Just think about last weekend.

Did you have one extra drink that you shouldn’t? An extra slice of pepperoni pizza that you shouldn’t eat?

As a result, unless you are someone who workout real hard regularly; or someone who is either blessed with great genes or is a breatharian, chances are, it will get worse.

Similarly, one of my client waited 6 years… guess what? the weighing scale kept showing increments!

Yes yes, as a professional, yes read PROFESSIONAL, i will light you better so you shave off a few pounds, then capture you in the right angle, to shave a few more pounds… you will be laughing so hard now and glad you did it today… I ain’t a miracle worker, but of course I know a thing or two to make you look better than real life.

Excuse #2

Now, you are probably going to tell me that your husband is going to kill you to spend the money… Times are bad, yadi yadi yaa… or he says he just hates being photograph…

Totally understand… try this…Why do you think I am behind the camera all the time? Because I try to avoid the camera at all cost (pun intended)?

I hate it as much as your husband. In fact, I used to fight with my mother who always wanted our family photos taken. Now, I know I do it for my children. My 3 boys whom I love dearly is going to have some pictures of me with them too!

Excuse #3

Then you are going to tell me that your kids just hate it every time you take that iPhone out and take their photo.

Short answer is, you can pretty much leave it to me with the kids. I have my way around them. All you need to do is (pretend) to be happy and bring lots of smiles. Oh… no no, I don’t mean really pretend… but you know, try to lah! 

It will be easy I promise.

So if you are those who like quick and fuss free experience, a mini session at East Coast Park will be your answer for those grandparents at home and precious memories for your own family too.

So to sum it up Mini Family Photo shoots Are:

  1. Affordable (yes your husband is probably going to nag less. It is certainly not cheap but you know affordable compared to the usual value associated with your memories),
  2. Quick (for those who never have time),
  3. East Coast Park (best place in Singapore, says me!) and last but not least,
  4. I will be the monkey for your children. Means you don’t have to deal with them for at least half an hour. Yes… good thing come in small bite size.

Its too good to be true!“… and it is… because it is only going to last for a very limited time as good, affordable things usually don’t come often or stay very long.

So its a mini date session, I don’t mean dating me, I mean to schedule a date for your mini session for your family who everyone including yourself hated to be posing in front of the camera.

How Mini Family Photoshoots Work?

It is a promise that you won’t have to pose, hence, guidance is provided.

As a result, I won’t tell you to tilt your head left or right, but I am going tell you to squeeze your kids from time to time or to throw them up and down (for some overdue exercise) and to run with them as well as turning them upside down from time to time or simply chase them down the beach. Simply, spend time, create precious memories with your children.

Finally, You will be sweaty, you will get lots of sand in your shoes, between your toes, you will probably get yourself a little wet, but hey… as results, your kids will remember this great time you spend with them. I will be there just to capture it, probably the way you never thought it was possible.

Above all, who needs a perfect pose model in your family album, so, you can be sure that I am looking for everyday mum and dad who is willing to spend some time with their little kiddos playing wholeheartedly and have their memories captured at the same time.

If that’s you, contact us by phone +65 88580088, whatsapp or email us at info@tomato.sg and lets see which date we can have you in…

East Coast Park Mini Photoshoot Details Here

We recently did an East Coast Mini Shoot with Hart – our first ever family photo session. My husband and I are not very comfortable in front of the camera, while the kids have a tendency to ham it up the second they see the camera – no easy, natural photos for us… or so we thought!

The mini shoot is a great option for those who may not be keen on having their photo taken – because it’s outdoors you don’t feel too fake or posed, and it enables you to interact with your kids and each other in an unforced way. It’s also over so fast that the kids don’t have a chance to get bored, they’re having too much fun!

The three things that impressed us the most:

1. Hart’s manner is so lovely. He’s so relaxed and we were all instantly at ease for the session, we interacted with each other as usual while he gave minor directions or responded to our requests. He’s particularly great with kids, and instantly put my 6 year old son at ease. My stubborn 2 year old resisted his charms initially, but he won her over by encouraging her to look for shells on the beach. The result – gorgeous, candid photos of my kids being themselves.

2. My husband was reluctant to do the photo shoot – he wanted the photos, just didn’t want the awkward photo session – but has since commented that he was amazed how much it didn’t feel like a photo shoot. It just felt like our family, hanging out with Hart, who just happened to have a camera.

3. I can’t stop looking at the photos! The light and composition is wonderful, and he’s captured some brilliant expressions from both my children. I got teary when he first sent them through (same day as the shoot btw!), and it’s so special to have some photos of the whole family – previously the only photo of all of us was a selfie!

From a reluctant, camera-shy family, we are now total converts to the family photo session, and will definitely be booking another mini shoot with Hart in the future.

Jessica Bernard
East Coast Park MIni Session 2019
Details of Mini Family PHotoshoots at East Coast PArk

Black And White Newborn Photoshoot – Tomato Photo Signature Series

Newborn Photography…..So….How it all started for me? Why it started?

Well, it all started in 2008 during the birth of my son. See… I have always love Black and White Photos. I was happily taking all sorts of photos of my few days old son. Lifestyle’ly type shots, detail shots of his hair, tiny toes, tiny fingers.

During the sleep deprived state of mind at that point of time, somehow, I tried to connect the dots between achieving the ‘baby in the womb’ baby’s pose and putting it to live on the ‘outside’. In Black and White.

Black and white images seem to be able to convey more feeling, texture as well as the organic feel of the newborn baby by removing the very instant gratification of colour.

Just How Can I Achieve It?

At first, I thought B&W images will be an easy way to capture, but soon I realised the images though seemingly just a flip of a switch from colour to monochrome, but I was never happy with the results.

To make things worst, shooting newborn from client’s home pose the challenge in the lighting the images properly. Some home are too bright, some home are too dark and some, natural light at home simply out of questions.

I struggle a lot during those time to produce images that truly represent the beauty of the newborn in its purest form. The learning curve was steep and getting the consistent results with smooth gradient from bright highlight all the way to the shadow was an impossible task.

However, during these time, it is amazing how much I am experimenting with different ways from using soft curtain to soften the light, to technical black card, etc. Clients were raving how good the images were however, the quest to perfect the lighting is a personal journey.

Inspiration

What inspire me to create these images is from those ultrasound scans during my wife’s doctor’s appointment. However, how to achieve it on the outside is still very much a question mark. Putting lighting aside, managing newborn and curl them safely to get to the foetal position takes a lot of practice.

It was then that I started to experiment with those poses, those lighting, those shots. It took me quite a while. Trying to hold baby’s foetal position on the ‘outside’ was no feat.

We explored various ‘props’. Going to the pharmacy to get a roll of bandage, using it as a ‘wrap’ with the hope of holding the foetal position. After about a year in 2009, I was ready to do this. Now combining the lighting and the posing is a rather interesting combination.

Trying to convince clients to do a naked newborn shoot while they are still in confinement in the first few days instead of after the 1st month was a challenge in itself.

Back in the 2008, the idea of “newborn” photography was a foreign one. Majority of people will be in confinement and not wanting to do much until baby is about a month old. Even without anyone who is doing it similar way, it takes a lot of learning on my own to create entire body of work.

However, knowing that newborn only resemble how the look like in the womb for very short time and with painful trial and error, we found 5-10 days are the most suitable to do what I hope to achieve.

Ideals Versus Reality

I mentioned previously that I love Black and White Photos. Loving and achieving black and white photos are 2 very different skillset needed. Its easy to love, difficult to achieve. Too much contrast, the photo becomes too bright and too dark and the gradient drops off too much, too little control in light, the photo becomes flat and 2 dimensional. Of course, this journey of learning was a painful challenge.

I reach out to mentor who specialises in B&W imagery and learn the hard way on how to create something that truly mine. I learn the technique, then modify the technique as photographing baby and normal portrait is rather different.

It is exciting that I am still learning today, the type of learning is somewhat different. The days where posing baby was a challenge are gone. The days where inconsistent lighting are gone. What I am focusing after 11 years of learning this genre is how to create more brilliant images for clients at a comfortable duration.

I used to take 4-5 hours to shoot, because I need to learn and today, 1-2 hours is all we need to create a set of beautiful images gallery for your baby. With lesser time, I can see parents are less tired by end of the shoot and results in better family shots.

Shooting newborn nowadays are more like catching up with friends, sharing some parenting ideas, showing new parents how to manage their new baby while let them have set of images that they can cherish and as part of the legacy that they want to capture and preserve.

Newborn Trend Shifts
Over the years, I have seen a significant shift in trends on newborn photography. It all started with Anne Geddes with her beautifully curated baby shots made into a calendar.

It is worth noted, Anne Geddes only shoot for publication and have team of people to make things happen. Thereafter, another series of simplistic, natural light, posy newborn images started to emerge followed by proliferation of newborn props eg. bowls, swings, weighing scales etc.

The trend then moved on to the various material and textures of blankets, wraps, hats etc. All with the vision of dressing up the newborn shoot. Newborn prop makers became newborn photographer’s new BFF. I am of the belief that there were more newborn prop makers than there were photographers.

Photographers were sucked into buying the latest, newest prop creation to add some dimension and a touch of special to the newborn photoshoots. Trust me, my wife was at one stage addicted to buying the latest stuff as well. Looking out for the softest wraps, ideal sized bowls etc. The whole newborn prop industry was exploding.

These days, the trend seem to be digitally compositing images aka photoshopping a baby onto a snow covered woods; trees etc. The sky and your imagination is the limit.

Often, I ask myself if I am too stubborn for not fully adopting the new trend in newborn photography which focus on light and airy concept with flowery/pastelly colour, prop’y kind of images.

These are certainly beautiful images. However, props set up reminds me of fashion. They mark a certain time frame, certain era. Though we feel the nostalgic of those shoulder pad, trumpet pants, etc, this is certainly not something we are going to wear out day to day now.

Why?

When I reach deep down into my very vision why i started all these, it comes down to capturing newborn in their purest form. Form that only exist in the very womb of every mother. Trend come and go, the way how baby exist in mother’s womb don’t. I am glad after a decade, the very images that I created still relevant today and very much being request again and again.

My original vision for newborn remain true today… that is to beautify a simple form of newborn pose that mimic the very position in the womb. Something, that even time won’t be able to change it… The truth is I would like to create something so timeless that it will be a legacy that can be passed down in generation. Noble? nope, selfish? yup, totally… but for a good reason.

Here are some of my collection of my signature series… something a little unusual… but simplistic approach to my vision of baby in the womb.

If you believe that the greatest gift you can give to your newly born baby is a simple, natural and beautiful is important. Give us a call or whatsapp us to have a chat to see how we can help to turn those memories into a piece of art. Tangible memories that you can appreciate and create a legacy for your children.

MORE NEWBORN IMAGES HERE

We had a fantastic newborn photography session with Hart. We were rather apprehensive in the beginning and were expecting our little one to fuss and cry for the entire session. But Hart was a true baby whisperer and kept our baby (and the adults!) calm throughout the entire lighthearted session. Hart’s timeless photos of our little one and of our family is something we will cherish for a long time. It’s a shame Hart doesn’t provide babysitting services too!

Ling Koh
Google Review

I engaged Hart to do my maternity photoshoot and extremely loved the experience and loved the photos more. So when my baby was born, I immediately contacted Hart to photoshoot my baby Caleb like a supermodel….and wow! I am still flabbergasted till today on how awesome he is in handling newborns. Photoshoot was at home. When Hart arrived, like any new mama, I was anxious and had to ask if he needed anything else. If he need help with Caleb, can ask for help frm my confinement nanny… And Hart just calmly replied with a smile, “Dont worry. I am better than most nannies”. Indeed… He is like the baby whisperer. Just give him a naked, clean, well fed baby strap in diaper and watch as magic unfolds as Hart smoothly maneuver between his camera and wrapping, rocking, tucking, folding, and stripping my baby down to his balls and returning him to me fully clothed!!! He even fed Caleb when fuel was low, burp and petted him to sleep! My boy didn’t cry at all during the photoshoot (ok he only cried when hungry) amidst all the movements. All in all, Hart was beyond amazing! If i knew he was this good with babies, my hubs and i could hv just left Caleb with him n go out on a date! Thanks Hart! Now i have a problem selecting which photos i want for my album n frame…

Alyssa Chew
Google Review
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Twins – Newborn Fine Art Photography

Twins Newborn Fine Art Photography – An Art In Itself!

The excitement of having the first child is often overwhelming.

Suddenly, life evolve around the preparation of the arrival of the little newborn. Nothing prepares you of what is coming.

Having twins is no ordinary feat… Salute to Mothers who sacrifice so much to bring these little new life into this world. As a newborn photographer, creating fine art photography imagery of a newborn isn’t the easiest, dealing with 2 newborn at the same time require a lot of patience and baby handling skills.

Lets face it, first time parents always nervous (at least I speak for myself), always worried about the newborn… of course, this feeling is understandable. The only way that parents don’t get nervous is to ensure that baby don’t cry. Feeling is often reciprocal, when baby cries, parents gets nervous and baby sense the nervousness, baby cries. A vicious cycle…

Tomato Photo have been commission by many parents whom have tried others but fail to understand the feeling of the parents. Though it is impossible not to have a single cry during the session, it should be keep to a minimum. The rule of thumb is no more than 3-5 seconds cries in every half an hour is good whenever they are in the hand of photographer.

Newborn stage only happen once in a baby’s life… and a very short one indeed.

We have had the privilege of photographing clients who are very much in line with our vision for newborn photography. Allowing us to do what we do best for them and making memories and turning it into Fine Art pieces for display at their homes.

Get in touch with us via phone, Whatsapp, or Email to learn more about newborn photoshoots. Need piece of mind? Read what clients say about us.

View More Newborn Photos

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