How to take outdoor portrait photographs

As a portrait photographer, one of the things I love most is taking portraits outdoors with natural light. There is something so beautiful and magical about capturing someone in their element, surrounded by nature.

Whether it's a family photo shoot, engagement session, or just a portrait of a friend, taking photos outdoors is always my favorite. And when the lighting is just right, it can make for some truly stunning portraits.

Here are some tips for taking great outdoor portraits with natural light:

1. Look for soft, diffused light

One of the keys to taking great outdoor portraits is finding soft, diffused light. This type of light is very flattering and makes skin look smooth and flawless.

The best time to take outdoor portraits is during the "golden hour" - the hour just before sunset or just after sunrise. The light during this time is soft and warm, and it creates beautiful shadows.

Another great time to take outdoor portraits is on a cloudy day. The clouds act as a natural diffuser and soften the light.

2. Use a reflector

If you can't find soft, diffused light, you can use a reflector to create it. A reflector is simply a piece of white or silver fabric that you hold under the subject's face to reflect light back up into their eyes and soften shadows.

You can buy reflectors at most camera stores, or you can DIY one by taping a piece of white poster board to a piece of cardboard.

3. Shoot in manual mode

When taking outdoor portraits, it's important to shoot in manual mode so that you have full control over the camera settings. This is especially important when shooting in direct sunlight, as the light can be very bright and can cause the photo to be overexposed.

In manual mode, you can set the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to get the perfect exposure.

4. Use a lens hood

When shooting in direct sunlight, it's important to use a lens hood to avoid lens flare. Lens flare is when the light reflects off the lens and creates a bright spot in the photo.

A lens hood is a piece of plastic or metal that attaches to the front of the lens and blocks the sun.

5. Set your white balance

When taking outdoor portraits, it's important to set your white balance correctly so that the colors in the photo look natural.

For most outdoor portraits, I recommend setting the white balance to "daylight." This will make the colors in the photo look natural, even if the lighting isn't perfect.

6. Use a tripod

If you're shooting in low light or using a long focal length lens, it's a good idea to use a tripod to avoid camera shake. Camera shake is when the camera moves while the shutter is open, and it can cause the photo to be blurry.

A tripod will also allow you to use a lower ISO, which will result in less noise in the photo.

7. Use a remote shutter release

If you're using a tripod, it's a good idea to use a remote shutter release to avoid camera shake. A remote shutter release is a cord or wireless remote that you use to trigger the shutter.

This way, you don't have to touch the camera at all, which will eliminate any chance of camera shake.

8. Shoot in RAW

When taking outdoor portraits, I always recommend shooting in RAW format. RAW files are unprocessed and contain all of the data from the image sensor. This gives you a lot of flexibility when editing the photo.

If you shoot in JPEG format, the camera will process the photo for you and you won't be able to make as many changes in post-processing.

outdoor portrait in nature

9. Experiment with different angles

One of the best things about taking outdoor portraits is that you can experiment with different angles and compositions.

Try shooting from different heights, distances, and angles to see what looks best. And don't be afraid to get creative!

10. Have fun!

The most important thing to remember when taking outdoor portraits is to have fun! Relax and enjoy the experience. The more fun you're having, the more it will show in your photos.

8 Different Reasons You Should Hire Famous Portrait Photographer

Do you think it's ever worth hiring a famous portrait photographer in Hong Kong?

Yes of course! At some point of your life, there deem to be a chance you met someone trying to be a photographer. In order to success, they can try to collect referrals, lower their expenses, be creative, work for free, whatever it takes to kick start their photography business. Regardless of all this, only few really succeed.

Photography and visual art essentially require the same amount of skill, training, knowledge, and time to create a visual image. When taking photos of your brand, you certainly don’t want an amateur creating your image. You want a professional, someone skilled in how to translate an image that makes an absolute statement of your brand. We will tell you hiring an expert is well worth the cost.

They are qualified and experienced in portrait photography

Reputable portrait photographers uses years of training at university or an apprenticeship in photography to help create images of you. They understand the framing of the scene and where shadows, lighting, equipment and even poses that helps to show the beauty in you. They know how to make the best possible images for a given lighting set-up or position. Experienced professionals can adapt to unexpected changes on set as they shoot, which means that they will capture the shot you want to use, rather than missing it due to distractions like background items that crop up. Amateurs might bring a camera to your session but that does not mean they know how to use it properly. 

You can be in photos.

If you use one of the images that are generic and represent no real interaction, then you might be giving a wrong impression to your customers. 

We want stock photos that are creative and that showcase our products, the top portrait photography services, and products/services to show our personality. To do this, we need help from the most famous portrait photographers in the world to take the initiative in arranging the image shoot in a way that will produce good photos and help promote you / your brand for many years.

Portrait photographers the post-production skills.

Anyone can take some photos. However, it takes “Hollywood” lighting, a computer with a lot of bells and whistles, and a lot of Photoshop, Lightroom, and filtration to turn those images into compelling work. Whether you send a photographer friend over some snapshots to show them what you want or the photographer comes to your home for a photo session, the job is in his or her hands to turn the snapshots into gallery level of work. You definitely don’t want a friend who has never done professional photography before.

Portrait photography will be more than a fast-snapshot.

We all have cameras on our phones, and we all been taking images of our “everyday” occasions.  But when you We all have cameras on our phones, and we all been taking images of our “everyday” occasions. But when you want to have images that reflect your brand, engage with your audience, there is no going except hiring great portrait photographers. We all know it is important to document our daily life in Hong Kong with smartphones but it is equally, if not more importantly to have great photos to represent your brand.

They care about making you feel good.

Unlike a friend who is helping out, photographers in Hong Kong is truly looking after your interest instead of "just practicing". A professional is trained for years, using all this skills to meet your expectation, understanding you might have time restrain on the project, and he is there to deliver the result that makes you feel happy.

You could even need a little guidance.

Many people become a bit anxious when having their photos taken, especially if this is a business shoot and you have your colleagues or boss involved.  A professional can ease the situation, helping everyone relaxed and act naturally. With the experience, they can give you guidance on posing and also talk to you during the shoot so you feel comfortable, relax, and look natural in the portrait photo shoot

They usually have the equipment.

Your friend may know how to take a candid photo, but a professional photographer has all the equipment. Do not be surprised if they show up with a crew of assistants rolling in cases of lighting, camera gear, backdrops,  and a rolling editing station. With the exception of a professional coverage, they have invested an overall fortune in Your friend may know how to take a candid photo, but a pro has all the equipment. Do not be surprised if they show up with a crew of assistants rolling in cases of lighting, camera gear, backdrops, and a rolling editing station. With the exception of a professional coverage, they have invested an overall fortune in their photography equipment, and use every piece from the most practical to the most hard to use for their photography. A pro will have everything ready at hand so he can adjust on the spot for weather or lighting changes, extra shots (backup battery) to make sure no shot has been missed.

You deserve it!

Some people feel that photography is not in the best interest of their families. They don’t know what they could do Some people feel that photography is not in the best interest of their families. They don’t know what they could do with their images, or they feel like it is a waste of time and money. They’re wrong. As we ages we forget many important things and those we feel are important. Photos help us hold on to those memories. Everyone deserves moments that will be remembered, and, in the end, then we all can recreate our family pictures along with our memories for generations to come.

5 Tips for Taking Family Photos in the Summer

After almost a decade as a family photographer, I have seen it all from epic meltdowns to picture-perfect dream sessions! Follow these 5 tips for taking summer family photos to make things a bit easier!

summer family photo 1

5 Tips for Taking Summer Family Photos

I know first hand how overwhelming taking family photos can be with little ones in tow.  But it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few tips I’ve learned along away to help make the summer photo session more fun and relaxed!

Tip #1: Dress Cool

The first of the 5 tips for taking summer family photos might be the most important!

While layers can be so cute, we all know the summer heat is absolutely brutal. Mommas, try a flowing dress like this!

summer family photo 2

Short sleeves or rolled up sleeves for dad is great!

summer family photo 3

Taking photos in the summer is the best excuse to put the girls in beautiful, light summer dresses and sandals!

summer family photo 4

Shorts and short sleeves for the boys is perfect!

summer family photo 5

There is nothing worse than feeling so uncomfortable in the heat so try your best to find something light, comfy and cute!

Tip #2: Plan out the color scheme

My second tip for taking family photos in the summer is to really think through your outfit colors.

Think about where you want to display the photos. If you have a neutral vibe with the photos, they will look good in every room! If you have a navy and gray living room and know you want to display the photos there, consider incorporating navy into your photos to match!

summer family photo 6

Taking photos in the fall?  Check out our fall outfit inspiration here!

Tip #3: Timing is everything!

I never fully understood the importance of a mini session until having kids. Now I totally get it!

Try doing a mini-session, 20 minutes or less, to keep the meltdowns at bay. Your little ones will have a better chance of holding it together for 10 – 20 minutes. Especially in the summer heat, you’ll be glad you did a shorter session.

Another important tip for taking summer family photos is to consider doing the session in the morning or late afternoon!

With the sun setting around 7 pm or later during the summer, you might find yourself trying to do photos during prime “witching hour” if you do an evening session.

Tip #4: Arrive early, fed & happy

My fourth tip for taking summer family photos is to make sure to arrive early for your photo session! Corralling your family in your Sunday’s best is tough enough so don’t add the stress of being late. Give yourself a 30-minute buffer if you have to! Do whatever it takes to arrive early so you don’t add on the stress of being late and missing time during your session.

Also, you’ll want to eat ahead of time! Nothing is worse than a hungry toddler … or husband! Am I right?! Make sure everyone is happy and fed so that all you have to do is play and love on each other during the session!

I know not everyone is for bribes during sessions but fruit gummies really are the only thing that gives us a fighting chance with our toddler. If you know there is something that will motivate your little one, bring it!

summer family photo 7

Tip #5: Don’t sweat the small stuff

I mean this quite literally! We all know it can get quite sweaty in Hong Kong but don’t worry about it. Dab it if you can and move on! It most likely won’t show up in your photos.

Also, don’t worry about the small stuff! Relax, have fun, and just embrace your crazy life! I know my life with two little ones right now is ridiculous! 9 times out of 10 they are screaming in the photos we try to take off one of them with my big camera. For real, we took our Easter photos with us smiling and Kayla in the background screaming! It was hilarious. I could get frustrated but I know it’s just life right now! She won’t be like this forever! I just try my best to distract her and have fun.  Eventually, she warms up and we at least get a couple!

Also, kids tend to feed off of your energy. If you are rushed and stressed, it could affect them more than you think. Odds are that if you are calm and having fun, they will too!

I hope these 5 tips for taking summer family photos help make your session a total success! You got this!

Cheering for you always!

So much love from our family to yours!

How To Choose Props For Your Photo Session

Have you ever thought about adding props to your photo sessions? Props can add interest, depth and an extra flair to your pictures, and if used correctly, can be a timeless addition to your session.

However, it is important to be careful when choosing props for your session, especially for sessions that are not done in your own home. Here are a few tips for ways to incorporate props in your next session.

While you might have recently seen a few photos that incorporate a specific prop, try not to use something that will not look really dated in 20 years’ time. Classic is definitely better and there are many fun options to choose from. When you look back on your photo session, will you really want to see that trendy hipster accessory? Our couple below brought along love letters that they wrote to each other and had calligraphed by an artist. We love this romantic touch to their session, and we know that they will treasure those letters years from now as well!

choose props 1

Be realistic

It’s easy to go wild when thinking of a theme or props that will go with it for your photo session. One tip that can help you avoid this is to actually incorporate every day items that you use or that inspire you. For example, if your child has a signature baby blanket or something their grandparents handed down to them, bring that along. Do you and your fiancé or spouse love going to the farmer’s market to pick out fresh vegetables and flowers? Then incorporate a florist-arranged bouquet or pack a picnic for your session. Before you decide to remake your favorite movie scene, think twice about how realistic it is for you to be in those outfits and acting something out. Remember, we’re not here to create a dream life for you — we’re here to document your real one! 

choose props 2

Size matters

There are some larger props that work really well in photo sessions. For example, if you love going on road trips and want to incorporate a vintage car or you absolutely love horses and want those in your session, that makes sense because as we stated above, that’s realistic. It’s a part of your real life. However, there are some larger props that can take away from the beauty of the photograph altogether. Make sure that your prop enhances the photo and doesn’t detract from it. One of our sweet families brought along the stuffed fox above that ended up being their son’s favorite: it made an appearance at their maternity and newborn sessions as well! It was easy to pack and a family favorite! On the other hand, this vintage car below became our couple’s getaway car — it belongs to the bride’s grandfather!

choose props 3

Make it meaningful

If your child has a favorite stuffed animal or if you have a musical instrument that you treasure, try and incorporate it into your photos. This way your pictures will have more meaning to you and your family. On the other hand, do not overload your photos with “cute objects” that you saw on Pinterest. You absolutely do not have to go out and buy all of those props that you saw in that one photo while you were scrolling at midnight (and we recommend that you don’t!). In the photo below, one of our couples incorporated blocks that their baby shower guests wrote on for their daughter. This is a wonderful example of a meaningful prop that made the perfect addition to their newborn session!

Use what you have

Make the current season work to your advantage by using what’s available. Leaves in the fall make for amazing props in photos and don’t cost a thing. In the photo below, our bride-to-be used a jar of matchbooks that her grandparents collected on travels to style their bar cart. Adding this brought a feeling of legacy in a simple object, one that is true to them (and one that probably won’t ever be replicated — not even on Pinterest)! 

choose props 4

Remember, using props can be the perfect addition to your photos but make sure that they don’t become the main focus! These photos are about you, not your props! 

5 tips to choose a portrait photographer


Choosing the best portrait photographer to capture your family / yourself is not as simple as just picking the first name that pops up on Google. So how do you choose? There are so many great photographers in Hong Kong, here's how to choose who's right for you! I'm here to help! As an experienced Hong Kong portrait photographer, I'm very familiar in this field and I've got some useful tips to help you choose the right photographer to capture the essence of your team or family.  

How to choose the best portrait photographer

1. CHOOSE A PHOTOGRAPHER WHOSE STYLE YOU LOVE

First things first: If you don’t like the portrait photographer’s style, there’s no reason to continue. Everybody has a style they like or are looking for, even if you can't name or put your finger on it. Make sure to take a good look through the photographer's portfolio to see whether their style is consistent and is what you are looking for. 

Settle on a style: It is important to consider the type of photography style that the photographer provides. Do any of the following appeal to you?

Documentary:

Instead of a series of posed photos, these are candid or spontaneous pictures. This style tends to be photo journalistic,  you'll very rarely see people staring at the camera - the photos capture the moments exactly as they happened, and together they tell a story. These photos also tend to have very minimal editing. This style is great to capture raw emotions.

Portraiture/Studio:

These tend to be more classic and traditional portraits. If you like posed team or family members, make sure you are choosing someone who shoots those specific types of photos vs in-home/in-office lifestyle photos.  Even within studio portraiture, there is a lot of room for creativity. 

Fine art: 

In fine art portraiture, the artist's vision plays an important role. Though it's similar to documentary photography, this style gives the photographer greater artistic licence to input their particular point of view and style into your photographs, this does not mean that the photographer will not spend time with you discussing your hopes for your portrait photography. Fine art photography is generally more stylized with a signature look. See this interview with Bill Gekas to get a better understanding.

Edgy and Bold

When you see images with the camera tilted at different angles, a surprising view (i.e. a photo shot from overhead).  This is an offshoot of fine art, is marked by "outside-the-box", tilted angles and unconventional framing. 

2. CHOOSE A PHOTOGRAPHER THAT SPECIALISES IN THE TYPE OF SHOOT THAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR:

This may sound obvious, but it's not something that people always consider. If you are looking to have some outdoor portraits, it may be a good idea to go with a photographer who mainly does outdoor photography and uses natural light. If you are looking for portraits of your children, it makes sense to choose someone who specializes in family photography (rather than specializing in, say, landscape or pet photography).

Someone who specializes in the type of photography you are looking for will be an expert in that genre and that will go far in getting you beautiful photos. Do your research to ensure that the photographer you choose is good at the type of photo shoot that you are looking for. 

3.  CHECK THEIR PORTFOLIO, LOOK FOR CONSISTENCY.

Start your research by reading any reviews on LinkedIn or by checking the photographer's website portfolio. Have they got some testimonials in their website? What are the reviews like? This will give you an idea of the set of skills that the photographer has and what kind of work they have done and how their clients felt. The wording and design of their website, will also give you a glimpse about the photographers personality and sensibility. 

Another important factor is the photographer's portfolio, is it consistent? If you notice that a photographer's photos don't have a consistent look overall that may be red flag.  Are there enough photos on their Website for you to make an informed decision? Is the quality of the photos, style, creativity and editing consistent?  I spend hours going through my work to perfect it, and I undertake continuous training to be the best I can be.

4. INVESTMENT, HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

Realistically this should be the last thing on your mind, but usually it's the first. If you want someone literally just to snap photos away - you can find that easily and cheap. But is that what you want? Good photography is not cheap.  

The best portrait photographer's take their art very seriously and will go above and beyond your expectations. They will want to give you artwork to hold and be proud to share with their clients and extended network. A good photographer will invest time and money to ensure they improve their skills. It's important that your photographer communicates with you and hears about what you want from your session. 

How much will it cost you?  Is the photographer upfront with their prices? Do you know exactly what you’re getting from them? Every photographer has a different way of working. Some will do viewings and in person sales, some will offer all-inclusive packages. Don’t forget the cost of your photos is not just down to the moment they press the shutter and take your image. You are paying for their knowledge and experience, processing, and equipment as well as the experience.

5. CHOOSE A PHOTOGRAPHER WHO IS COMMITTED TO YOU FROM BEGINNING TO END. 

A photo session is more than just showing up and having photos taken. Choose a photographer who is involved beyond just taking a deposit for a session, shooting the session and mailing you your images. Your overall experience will be enhanced if you choose someone who works with you on each step, from initial consultation to choosing a session date, helping you pick out outfits or backgrounds and helps you to design your session.

Personality:  Check for recommendations. Are they good with children? Are they relaxed? Having your photographs taken in front of a stranger can be very daunting, you want someone to make it as relaxed and fun as possible! I have a lot of experience capturing portrait photography for schools and this is because my relaxed, friendly and unobtrusive approach works perfectly within this environment.

I hope this post how to find the best portrait photographer for you has helped and if you feel my work represents what you are looking for please feel free to get in touch using the contact info below.