BOOKING & PAYMENT
The non-refundable deposit of HKD 2500 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. I don't process any photos until payment has cleared.
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.)
When you book me I take that date off my calendar. 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. That's it.
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 generally get the most shots from toddlers up to four. Kids pre-self-consciousness. I am comfortable with all ages (incl. grown ups!), little kids are the easiest an most fun to photograph.
I am not interested in reproducing shots from other photographer's websites or magazines. Best not to have pre-conceptions about exact shots. I just make it all about the kids to get the most natural results.
Please refrain from photographing during the session. (Includes phone cameras!) Having more than one photographer can really confuse eye-lines and focus. And kids usually react differently (i.e. unnaturally) when mom and/or dad is also snapping away.
If there is one thing I have learned from over ten 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 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. Best option for an overcast day.
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 next door 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!
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 locations where they are allowed.
EDITING & RECEIVABLES
You will receive a minimum of fifty (50) hi-res files.
Always good to remember that it's really about the one or two great shots. Don't worry about quantity, you will receive the best photos!
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 to print one meter wide canvases. If you require larger, please just let me know. Unlike most photographers, I just let you print artwork at cost rather than making any mark-up on it myself.
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.
In Hong Kong I can recommend Color Six for traditional prints. For canvases I recommend O-Live Decor in Diamond Hill. You can get quick prints around town at Fotomax, but the quality varies.
In Toronto I use Pikto in the Distillery District for both prints and albums.
For more info email me.