It was my birthday and I am shooting 4 shoots in 1 day on extremely painful feet isn’t a life of a photographer that I am envisioned.
It is an obsession and perhaps addiction to the act of preserving memories for others. Always enjoy every second when I am out and about.
Another beautiful session for Macfarlan whom I have the privilege to see the kiddo grow up from little newborn…
Arrive on the day, being told Jay, the elder boy was in the bad mood and they have contractors coming in an hour… no pressure!!!
I love the space and I love the lights and all I need to do is to take away the computer and miraculously make everyone smiling naturally in front of the camera.
I always remember vividly when my little boy was cruising below the dining table and I always love those moments and here I find the perfect place and light and perfect smile…
At the end of the day… client’s kind words strengthen my belief in memories preservation. It is the best gift I could receive for my birthday…
These are great photos! Love them! Thanks so much! – Mamiko
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
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.
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.
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.
Facebook Review, 21 July 2019
We have invited Hart twice to our home to capture some family memories. The results have been fantastic and we could not recommend Hart more highly. He is great with dogs, babies and the adults.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 8858 0088
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.