BOOKING & PAYMENT
The non-refundable deposit of HKD 1500 must be paid within two days of booking. I do not hold the date unless the deposit has been made. Balance due on day of the session.
When you book me I take that date off my calendar. If I have to cancel for any reason, including weather (100% my call), any money paid to be refunded in full. (Minus transfer fees if applicable.)
Weather delays happen no more than 5% of the time.
The only thing that will cancel or postpone a session is bad weather. 100% my call.
Nobody is pickier about my photos than me! I never go ahead if I think the weather is not conducive to good photos.
Once you have made the booking and paid the deposit, please mark in your calendar. I don’t send reminders.
If you have any questions at all, feel free to email me at any time. We can discuss details after you've sent your online info.
I shoot candid available light photos of kids, like these. Of course I am happy with shooting a few family photos along the way, but my main focus is getting great photos of your kids being themselves.
I don’t do Photoshop outside of minor touch-ups for bruises and boogers. Replacing heads etc is not my thing. Getting a perfect perfect photo of a large group all staring perfectly into the camera is much harder than it sounds. Photographers who specialize in this are after a couple of shots per session and often use Photoshop to transplant heads, eyes etc. (And they are not going to hand over the images files as so much work has gone into the finished product.)
Of course I will shoot family pix! Here are some samples. If you are after the perfecty perfect Photoshopped family shot, go with a studio such as this one. But most of these studios only sell products, whereas I hand over lots of hi-res image files which your family will own for generations.
I am not interested in reproducing shots from other photographer's websites or magazines. Best not to have pre-conceptions about exact shots. Just let the kids do their thing and me do mine.
Group family shots can be really quick and easy, or very difficult and time consuming. Some kids are just not interested in sitting in a bunch and staring directly into the lens. When you look at my portfolio, a huge number of these samples are kids who don’t want to sit still and stare at the lens. They want to play and be themselves. That’s what I am best at capturing.
Also, please refrain from photographing during the session. (Includes phone cameras!) Having more than one photographer can really confuse eye-lines and focus. And if one parent is a shutterbug, that can change the whole dynamic. So only one photog. Me!
Finally, if there is one thing I have learned from fifteen years of kids photography it's that telling a kid to "SMILE!!!!" doesn't work. Ever!
If you have an idea of a location, i will tell you the times that work for that spot. if you have a specific time, then I will suggest locations based on that. The weather we need for photography is counterintuitive to some. (e.g. Overcast days with high clouds are best, but even rain can work. I can't photograph on beach on a sunny day.)
Weekdays are much better as most public spaces are virtually empty. HK public places are extremely busy on weekends, especially Sunday afternoons. We never know if a particular public space will be holding a huge event on the day of our shoot, so if that happens, we must pick another spot. If you are completely set on a certain location, plan for a weekday session if at all possible.
I have a two hour option that is great if you would like to more of a "Memories of Hong Kong" session. We can hit several locations and really capture the kids in their city.
LOCATIONS & WEATHER
It's important not to get too fixated on the location, we just need a spot that works for the light that day. A place kids can be themselves. My shots are 90% kid, at least. Many of the families who I've been working with for over ten years, just trust me on the day to pick a spot that works.
Beach - early morning (8:30 start or earlier) or late afternoon (4:30 start or later). Timing depends on the beach. Weekend afternoons tricky with the crowds. As the great light can be brief on sunny days, these aren't always long sessions, but we get a lot of images. Beach is by far the best option for overcast days.
Parks - Parks are best from mid morning through mid afternoon. Most parks are very empty on weekday mornings. Hong Kong has some incredible parks, especially if you are willing to travel a bit. (To a Canadian, everything is close in HK.)
Urban Jungle - Start any time from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunny day is best.
It is 100% essential that we have a secondary location option for urban shoots, since the weather in HK cooperates about 50% of the time. We can do a park or somewhere more open in case. Please also note, urban is a great choice for kids photos, but not always for parents.
I am always interested in hearing your ideas for locations. Many of my best spots were suggested by parents.
No home sessions unless combined with a suitable outdoor location within walking distance.
The only weather that will cancel a session is rain or very dark black skies. Otherwise assume we are going ahead. Don't pay attention to HK weather reports, especially a few days out!
Again, location requests are just that, requests, not demands. There is a reason you don’t see other photographers shooting in as many locations as I do, it’s really tricky! I’ve been doing this since 2005, so trust me!
The main thing is that the kids should be comfortable and happy with what they are wearing. Please stay away from "busy" patterns. Solid blacks and whites aren't always great either. Bold colours usually work, especially if shooting in parks with lots of green.
Bring a couple of options so you can get several 'looks' in your session. Bring a couple of changes for beach sessions.
Bringing a prop or two can sometimes help. Not too many toys, but a couple of interesting ones can liven up a session. Beach props always welcome.
Dogs are great at the (very few) locations where they are allowed.
EDITING & RECEIVABLES
I try and keep my prices down, so post-production is a major factor. My volume of files doesn't allow for anything other than very basic photo editing (i..e Photoshopping) along the lines of wedding photography, NOT the images you see in Vogue. Decent retouching of adults can take at least 10X longer to look natural.
I don't hand over unedited images, just the hi-res I select and send after the session. Files are sent by online download.
The image files are 4000 pixels on the long side,, big enough for A4 prints and large canvases.
For the albums, I just design myself, print and send. It's my take on the session 100%. I am not factoring in enough cost to make it a collaborative process. You are free to make your own albums, there are plenty of great printing options online. With my designs I tend to go heavy on the kid pix over the family shots.
When You Receive Your Files - BACK THEM UP! Download them to a few computers. Put them in 'the cloud'. (e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox) Mail them to your Gmail or Yahoo accounts and just leave them there.
I do my best to archive every project in three locations, but I can't guarantee I will have your files if you lose them!
I am not in front of my computer from Dec 15th till the end of January.
If you ever have a problem printing my files, please let me know!
I process everything in colour. I don't add a lot of saturation and contrast as this can be added later if need be. There is a major trend in kids photography toward heavily stylized retouching. These photographers are generally trying to sell expensive artwork, which I don't do. I just hand over the files and let them free so future generations can enjoy them in a timeless format. (When backed up correctly!)
If you would like to print an image as black & white, ask your printing shop to do the B&W conversion.
When you receive your hi-res files print them all at 4"x6" (4R) or 5"x7" (5R) to see if there are any issues.
If you ever have an issue with printing an image, don't hesitate to contact me.
For more info email me.