I start venturing out to people’s home to do the maternity photography session, i think it allows for personalised images being created just for the couple.
In the past, lighting was big and cumbersome but things changed, with more and more compact professional lighting that accept variety of light modifiers that used to be only available for studio space, it makes me wonder if studio photography might be a thing in the past… Well, time will tell.
I am absolutely delighted to be able to shoot at one of the house around the corner from me which has win a major architectural award for the design. Coming from Interior and Architectural Photography background, I love to blend the two together as an addition to portrait setting.
I bought along 2x Einstein 640 plus a Profoto AcuteB2 600W and one large softbox, One medium softbox, one strip light as well as the beauty dish that allow me to create images that I had in my mind. The softboxes can be set up within minutes so there is very little time needed. To top if off, I will also bring black backdrop to do some “studio’ look images.
Here are some images I took on the day…
Baby Milestone Photography – What Is it?
Baby photoshoots that involve babies around 6-9 months old are fun to do. It is around this time when baby reach their sitting up milestone.
They seem to be in a stage where their personality is fully form; yet not being shape by world. They explore the world around them and as they develop, they reach their milestones at their own pace.
6-9 Months Sitters Baby Milestone
Their first milestones would be to be able to roll over by themselves and be on their tummy around 3 months. Liftling their head thereafter.
Around the 6-9 months mark, the baby tend to be able to sit up independently.
It doesn’t stop there!
They’ll move on to moving around by crawling on all fours, on 3’s or they belong to the bump shifters group.
They are happy to do what they are happy to do and very intrigued with what’s around them. They are just a pure joy to work with and Love it…
Why Do Baby Milestone Photography?
The baby grows so fast and changes so much during the 1st year of their lives. Many parents do the popular milestone shoots at newborn and 1 year old.
However, the in-between stage where they exhibits various expressions, curiosity and mannerisms are worth preserving.
When they learn how to sit up around the 6-9 months, they tend to push towards the next milestone of crawling instead of going backwards to being on the tummy for long.
So, how long do parents want to procrastinate before you miss capturing this milestone again? They won’t sit still for long once pass this milestone:)
Scroll down to view some of the images I did for this baby on their best 6-9 months old…
Tomato Photo is an established brand and being associated with one of the best in Fine Art Newborn Photography and Lifestyle Family and Children Photography. It focuses on things that touches people’s heart and that’s what we are known for.
Hart was a dream to work with! All those other reviews on how good he is with children were certainly not exaggerated (if anything perhaps understated!) He really does have a lot of chemistry with children and managed to get some great shots of my usually impossible to sit still toddler. Would highly recommend him and will definitely be back. Hart was also very flexible with regards to timing and location – which was very much appreciated.
Bernice Volta Hadajat
My family and I thoroughly enjoyed the photoshoot session with Hart! Hart made us feel really at home and my daughters had lots of fun at the studio! I’m very pleased with the moments he has captured for us and we will be back for more shoots in the future!
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.
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 a number of years now, helping me with client’s enquries and getting the details booked in correctly so I can concentrate on the photography part.
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”.
As our client Shahira says:
We were initially worried how the kids (3 year old and 7 months!) would be for the photoshoot. Would they be cranky and uncooperative? Then we met Hart who managed to win them over in less than 10 mins. We took his advice to let him handle the kids so we simply watched from the back. The kids were sooo comfortable and were totally in their element. To our surprise, the shoot lasted less than 30mins but it was enough to get wonderful, beautiful photos of the family. Told Hart we will see him again on the next milestone. Thank you Hart!
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
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 photoshoot,
- it averages around 45mins to an hour.
- I shoot alone because a lot of great moments happen in split seconds 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 imperfections breaks the momentum and it will result in missing the shots.
- I don’t work with an assistant too
I find the subject tends to look anywhere 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 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 about my process from the beginning to the end of the family photography photoshoot… 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 after all 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 shoots). 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 lasts 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 kid’s 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 having fun at the same time. Really… most people won’t have time to worry about anything during this time.
I love families to connect. I love hugs. I love closeness. And I love real emotion in there.
So less posing, more hugs, more emotions in the style of my photography.
For extended family portraits without young kids, posing and positioning will be the complete opposite of the experience mentioned above.
Of course, if I have the 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 falls 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 takes a little experience as it will result 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 motivates them to do more. I build excitement and I also build momentum during this process so people are carried away through these 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 about being aware of in front of the camera.
3. The “Closing”
At the end of the family photography photoshoot, 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/orders are made online and the finished products are delivered when the order is fulfilled.
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.