Great images for your family photography session often happen right at your home.
Client usually worry that their home isn’t suitable for the session… I started my career as Interior Photographer and I have photographed thousands of homes and the aim is to make the space looks beautiful as possible. Naturally, I understand how to get the best angle for your home.
It is the essence of a person that I portray in my quest to preserve memories for my clients. Our physical outlook will change by time, but the essence of who we are remains… So it you wonder why my picture looks different… what you are looking at is the person based on my interpretation.
As a Master Photographer, I get 95% of what I need in the camera, leaving 5% of work in photoshop. Children often scratch their face, bump on their head, dirt on the shirt, etc… these are the 5% that I do in editing process. As I manage the shoot to edit to archival myself, there is a continuity and consistency for every single shoot.
I have photographed Melanie & family for many times over the years.
The challenge was to tell a story for this little girl and capture who she is, her “position” in the family… but of course, getting the tweens to smile naturally… last but not least, beautiful family photography right at their home.
I will guide your family through the whole process so you know you always get the best from each shoot.
Like to do one for your family too? contact us today.
Associate Master Photographer
Emerald Hill has been one of my favorite place because of its unique architectural design… I had privilege to photograph some of these historical houses over the years and each and every single one of them are so unique and interesting. So Emerald Hill hold a special place in my heart when it comes to Singapore.
Its Christmas time… Kelly and Matt just moved to Singapore not long ago and wanted to capture this year’s family photos at a location that is uniquely Singapore. For the past 4 years, I have been photographing family outside our studio… many love the unique side of Singapore, be it the leafy Botanic Garden to vibrant color of Emerald Hill to their own space at home. Most of the location of choice generally depict the “space” that the family enjoy and hence the need to preserve part of this memories.
Anyway, when we started the session with Kelly’s family, Sophia (the youngest) decided it is time not to be in the photos… hahaha… I guess this is the most interesting part of my work as winning the trust of the little people is an art all together as there isn’t one fit all solution and I love it when I win their trust. This is the thing that keep me going each and every time… its the fun of interaction.
I love it when clients send me feedback/testimonial… let me assure you… I am not perfect in anyway… I do have clients send me email and tell me they don’t like the pictures… I had 2 this year…
Here is what Kelly wrote me on the email:
Thank you so much for the beautiful family photos! Your calm and laid back attitude, combined with your expertise, really made for a successful photo shoot. You captured so many split second smiles and moments with our little ones – we will treasure these images forever.
Kelly and Matt Doktor
Here are some images taken on the day:
I wish everyone is well during this festive season.
Veronica wanted some images that the family can cherish and wanted to do the session at home as his 10 months old feels the best at home.
The session started about 8am and took a good 40 minutes or so before the little boy feels tired… the shoot went really well and I am happy to see such a warm connection between the parents and the child and it makes recording part of memories for them very rewarding.
Veronica is kind enough to drop be a testimonial which read:
‘We loved working with Hart. He has really captured the essence and spirit of our family in his photos. He was also very good in interacting with our 10 month old baby and making him smile!’
I love it when I could make someone laugh and feel warm when looking through the memories of their family through photography. I thank God for such a wonderful gift.
Here are some images I took for Veronica and her families…
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?
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.
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!
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?
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?
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Google Review, January 2019
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.