Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Five: Family photoshoot tips (Review of Tomato Photo)

I love taking photos of the boys. There is something very satisfying in being able to capture those smiles and loving moments, which otherwise do fade away in the quick passage of time. However, one challenge about having one parent behind the lens is that family shots are really rare. Or even if you could get a passerby to help you take a shot, you usually end up with one or the other kid not looking at the camera, or the hubby looking ridiculous with his mouth wide open (usually when he's trying to tell the kids to "smile!"). So when we were given the opportunity for a photoshoot with Tomato Photo, we were really delighted!

We really enjoyed the shoot with Hart, and I'm glad that we now have more photographs of our family of four to cherish. Here are 5 tips that we've picked up, to make that photoshoot go smoothly:

:: Choose a favourite, familiar location: 
We opted for an outdoors shoot because we felt that the boys would be more comfortable running about in the park. And we chose to do the shoot at Bishan Park since it was nearby, and the boys were familiar with the place. I think another plus of having the shoot at a favourite hangout would be that looking at the photographs in the future would bring back all the fond memories that you have of that place!

:: Timing is key:
Mornings and evenings are probably the best times for a shoot, especially during the golden hours (the first and last hour of sunlight of the day). Also since we're in sunny Singapore, its probably better to have the shoot during the cooler hours, unless you want everyone to look hot and sweaty in the photos! That aside, do bear in mind your children's own rhythms and choose a time when everyone is well-rested. We opted for an evening shoot, since the boys aren't too chirpy in the morning. Thankfully, they napped in the afternoon on the day of the shoot, and were all ready to smile and play.

:: Come prepared:
For an outdoor shoot, remember to bring things you would normally bring for an excursion: mosquito repellant, water bottles, snacks, and a change of clothes for the kids (and I had to bring sour plums for myself to keep my nausea at bay!). It had rained before the shoot, so the ground was pretty muddy and the kids actually ended up pretty dirty, so the change of clothes was handy. We also let Junior J choose a toy to bring along, in the hopes that that would let him feel more comfortable in front of the camera:

You could also think of bringing along extra "props" for the kids to play with, if you think it might add interest to the shoot. Perhaps crepe paper or ribbons tied to a stick for waving about, or bubble mixture?

:: Choose a photographer that you are comfortable with:
I think the photographer really makes a difference. Not just with regards to his/her photography skills, but how comfortable he is with interacting with children. Junior J is pretty camera-shy, and pointing a camera at him and asking him to "smile" is a sure-fire way of getting him to either run and hide, or grimace in pain. However, during this shoot, Hart took the time to interact with the boys to get them comfortable with him, and the boys (even the reserved Junior J), were actually laughing and playing with him within 10 minutes of meeting him! Hart is a father of three, so it comes as no surprise how naturally kids take to him, and I think that helped him to capture lots of smiles and happy moments during the shoot.

:: Enjoy yourself!
I think a good photoshoot should feel more like a fun family outing more than anything else. I know the boys enjoyed themselves, running wild on the grass, and playing with us as well as with Hart. Its a win-win situation this way: they have fun, and we end up with lovely photographs!

All in all, we enjoyed ourselves and love the photos. Thank you, Tomato Photo!

Disclosure: We received a complimentary photoshoot as well as an album of photographs from Tomato Photo. No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.

Mum in the Making


  1. Beautiful photos! You look great! Love the one of you and Junior J. So lovely!

  2. And lol at your comment of "ridiculously looking hubby!"

  3. the photos are lovely! especially the one of baby j catching the bubbles! beautiful!

  4. you look so radiant! finally, i see more of you, Justina!!! =) beautiful pics!

  5. happy pics, yay!



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