2013

Concrete truck rolling in and out in front of the house reminds me of my job nearly 10 years ago as a concrete specialist… fast forward 10 years, I have never looked back 6 months into my decision to become a photographer.

There is a saying, if you are doing what you love, you never work a single day in your life… right… you may say, there isn’t such a perfect life… I fully agree with you… the first 3 years or so being a self-employed wasn’t exactly the easiest but of course, the drive come from the hunger inside me that push me to be better every single day. Repeat the same process again in a foreign country which I call home some 6 years ago wasn’t the easiest too.

I remember when I started doing photography in Singapore, I was battling fever, unknown place, public transport that I don’t know much about and charge at a fee that I lost money every single shoot… it was tough… it was a time where I thought of quitting…

What drive me wasn’t money and truthfully, money has never been the driving force behind the business. I remember the single purpose in life, that is to be happy. So what makes you happy? follow your heart and do what you need to do and persist on what you wanted to do and I am sure, with enough time, you will get to the journey that you enjoy.

One thing to remember is Happiness and Success isn’t the destination, it is the journey that is uniquely yours. You are as successful in your own terms so take one step at a time and define your own success and your own milestone as it is your life…

Looking at my achievement today… I am totally blessed to achieve what I set to achieve. Sure, it is very tiny as compared to some of the figures that I looked up to, but nonetheless…

2013 has to be the most exciting year so far since the start of the business in 2008 in Singapore.

3 months in free time while still manage to grow double digits while seeing our subsidiary company, Bambini Photography (www.bambiniphoto.sg), growing at a staggering 255%… so 2013 mark the 6 continuous years of growth in business which I am extremely grateful.

I am very proud to be the Family Portrait Winner of 2013/2014 of Master Photographers Association based in UK and 2 awards of excellent for my Newborn Photography.

Here is the image that crown me the winner of Family Portrait of Master Photographers in 2013/2014:

Furthermore, it is with great honor to accepted as Associate Master Photographer and this title is awarded upon the submission of photographic work and in recognition that the photographer has shown excellence in technique, lighting and composition. The candidate must show creativity and an understanding in the art of professional photography.

Of course, this is not possible without the help of my mentor, William Ng, who trusted me and his willingness to help me to understand deeper into photography.

Awards and title is icing to the cake for clients who have put their trust in me, because, without them, none of the above will be possible.

2014 will see a lot of changes in both Tomato Photo and Bambini Photography and hopefully, these changes would bring us to the new height that basically our way to say Thank You for everyone who is directly or indirectly involve in our journey.

Last but not least…. Here is one image that I took on my last session in 2013… I title it “Leaping into 2014” – certainly that’s what I feel when the image was taken.

Best Wishes,

Hart Tan
www.tomato.sg
info@tomato.sg

 

 


First 6 months of 2012 @ Tomato Photo

Hello all,

6 months of 2012 has come and go in the blink of eyes… It is scary how fast the time has passed.

Despite a slower year for 2012 due to major uncertainty in economic climate especially over Europe while US is still recovering…. We ought to pat ourselves on our back for doing better than our last 4 years…

We will be off for a short 2 weeks holiday in July to the down under to rest, recuperate, recharge and refresh…

If you have been following our post, you might remember what I wrote about Work VS Family Balance¬† and looking back I think it is really funny how we do things back then… A lot has changed since that post years ago to achieve more balance…

As a father, I continue to reduce my time spend on my work by using latest technology (Such as latest Thunderbold Storage system) to cut my working time to spend more time with my kids. I don’t want to miss out as they grow up… it is my choice…

As a photographer, I feel the urge to continue to dream and create images that separate our work. We have added Underwater Photography as part of my offering for maternity and children photography and I also start using flashes, in and out of studio as an addition to my usual natural light photography to achieve more.

As a business, we have delegate a lot of non-important part while spending more time on important thing such as servicing our clients and creating new visions. Furthermore, learn to ignore certain fact in life… Anyway, I have quite a lot of stuffs that I would like to achieve and I will unveil it one by one when the time is right so stay tune.

I often ask myself… if I am happy? the answer is YES, definitely… I have beautiful wife and children, I have my health, I am living my dream pursuing my passion and I feel very rewarding to be able to help people with my Free Business in Photography which I run for many months now… It felt very fortunate that most of my prayers are being answered…

Well, I think this is it for the first 6 months at Tomato Photo… and I will leave you with some images that I created in the past 6 months and love dearly….

 

Regards,
Hart
www.tomato.sg
www.facebook.com/tomato.sg


2012… the first 2 months… & Sony Talk on Children Photography Singapore

Hello all….

2012 has been very rewarding for us at Tomato Photo.

The year has seen lots of actions and lots of talks with potential partners. We are very please with our current achievement but we are not contented just yet…

I am running in turtle’s pace at the moment as we had 2 busiest months that we ever experience in the past 3 years and lots of things needs to be done but too little time…. so I hope for understanding from clients… and I am doing all I can to stay on top of my schedule again in the next few days.

Sony Singapore has invited me to run Children Photography at the Art House on March 11 and March 18.

For those who are interested (you don’t have to be Sony user to register), you can register through Sony’s Website http://support.sony.com.sg/sdw_new/courseOverView.do?courseid=131

Here is the snap shots from the site.

I will be sharing my tips on how to shoot a family and children using natural light. Most importantly, it is the things beyond the equipment that I believe make or break the session… so if you are curious about how I photograph and what I photograph during the session, please join me on either session.

Hope to see some of you at the talk.

 

Regards,

Hart
Tomato Photo
www.tomato.sg


Goodbye 2011 and Hellloooo 2012

Hi all,

As always, we have been always eager waiting for the next Christmas… and Christmas 2011 come and go in a blink of an eye.

2011 has been quite a lot of ups and downs for us at Tomato Photo…

So lets recap….

The 2011, started quietly for the first 2 months and non-stop for the next 10 months as far as business goes. The quiet months were effectively time to sit back relax, regroup and recapture the spirit and revise the goal that we set a year ago…. Our aim was to grow Tomato Photo about 35% in revenue for 2011 but we end up growing at 57.8%. This is huge jump from our prediction and volume from each month has been over our estimated 30 shoots a month in general. There were quite a few changes that we had to make in 2011 to cope with the increase of business volume. Of course, I bought something nice for myself so I can remember the hard work everytime I look at it….

Tomato Photo website has closed the year with over 5 million hits on our website alone and I am very happy with the results. However, as always, I am not going to stop at where we were but we will continue to learn from our mistakes and move forward in building Tomato Photo’s brand image. So 2012 will have quite a lot of things that I would like to achieve and I am ready to push for another big year.

In 2011, there were 5 “Free Business Talk” that I run that design to help up and coming photographers to learn about the business side of photography. I am grateful for our clients support and without them, I won’t be achieving such an amazing results, so the business talk, is my way of giving back to the photography community and with the hope that someone will become successful and pay it forward by giving back to the community and help others and the process continue. I have been asked many times that what would I gain for helping “competitors” to know more about the business… The answer is simple… Nothing. When helping other, asking something in return often will fall below your own expectation, so without expect anything in return, makes things a lot more fun and enjoyable. Life is simply too short to always think about ourselves.

In 2012, I have planned at least 10 sessions that runs in the next 12 months. So email me if you are interested to join one of the session.

Running a successful business is beyond financial gain and sometimes, the joyous moment in my work has to be achieving the impossible, that is winning the trust of the little people that allow me to capture beyond their pretty face. I guess that has to be one of the most challenging part in my work.

I stop the possibility of travel overseas to conduct sessions for clients at least for another 2-3 years mainly because my youngest boy is merely 5 months old and I want to be with them… It doesn’t make business sense to pass on opportunities like this, but life sometimes is illogical. I made my choice to be around my children when they need me, and so some sacrifice has to be made… you can’t win everything… life is unfair… I know it and I have to just deal with it.

The funny thing is, despite my persistence in saying NO for travelling overseas for sessions, wonderful clients have been travelling to Singapore for holiday and have the session done right here in Singapore. I am just flattered by it, for a moment, I thought, wow… really? It was scary because there were huge trust that given to me and believe in my ability to ensure everything is in order despite crazy raining season and short delivery timing.

Life though is hard sometimes, but there were lots of little glimpse of light that brighten the darkest time of my life.

Of course, life isn’t always smooth sailing…

In 2011, I have been through one of the darkest time in my life and it was scary and stressful… Earlier in the year, the incredible-difficult-to-deal-with landlord of our previous premises drop the ultimatum for us to move simply because they thought it was great idea to tear down the beautiful and rustic historical shophouse to make way for condominum so they can make more money. Sure, life goes on, it was stressful to find a solution to accommodate my business and my growing family. I have lost quite a lot of sleeps in finding the right solution and everything fall into place amazingly… going through that and big renovation at record time and move the studio and at the same time, Mason, was born. As we moved in to our new studio, life turn a lot more darker with the passing of my beloved mother… and during these difficult time, I have witness the worst of business practice which I am so inspired that I won’t do that myself. Business isn’t all about making money, of course, many will disagree with me.

Anyway…. if you have read this far and hasn’t fall asleep… well done for keeping up with my rumbling….

I will leave you with the comment of one of my clients who has used our service for the past 3 years… (shoot was suppose to be outdoor at botanic garden, but it was pouring rain and we did the session in their hotel room) and mom is pregnant with the 3rd…

Hi Polo, please thank Hart for the lovely photos once again. I love the way he captured the children, he really understands the essence of who they are and it shows in the photographs. Matthew has yet to see them but I’m sure he’ll be as blown away as I am. I can’t imagine that all those images where shot in our tiny hotel room. Thanks once again, Happy New Year to you and the family.

Jillian

Here are some images taken on the day… It was challenging to shoot with ambient lighting without flash and active kids, so I hope the images won’t be too “blur”….

 

Regards,

Hart
Tomato Photo
www.tomato.sg


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