Living In Hong Kong

Part two: Hong Kong photographers choose their favourite image

What inspires the photographs that go into creating memorable images? We ask popular Hong Kong photographers on what goes into their favourite images in our six part series.

Claire Woodrow Photography
Photographer: Claire

“Choosing a favourite image always seems like an impossible task, and really leaves me conflicted. I’m incredibly grateful that my job is also something that I’m genuinely passionate about and to have such wonderfully warm and beautiful clients. As such, so many images are ‘favourites’ and really do make me smile. How can I possibly choose between them?

Claire Woodrow's favourite image, as told by the photographer
Claire Woodrow’s favourite image, as told by the photographer

Having said that, I’m very fond of outdoor shoots: the abundant natural light, freedom of space, and the opportunity to run around and explore, which gives the subjects’ personalities a chance to really shine through. This particular shot just happens to be my favourite subject too: my two-year-old daughter, Nell. It was taken last year in Thailand on the first (very) sunny morning after heavy rain had battered the island for days. So of course we just had to hit the beach.

I just love how this shot really captures her little personality. She’s a real thinker and weighs up every situation before cautiously making a move. This is just one of those moments where she’s frozen, deep in calm contemplation, where moments earlier she’d been madly throwing herself around in the sand, loving how she was making her grandparents (who had come to visit) burst with laughter.

The shot was taken in the midday sun (usually a big no-no!) battling very strong light that would’ve made a shot of the surrounding landscape too stark and unflattering. I used my favourite macro lens here, on a very low ISO setting, which allowed me to open up the aperture to focus in on her features. I love how the light surrounds her and allows her eyes to pop, while the grains of sand gorgeously freckle her otherwise perfectly flawless baby skin. There was very little processing work done on this image as I wanted to maintain a natural look; I just added a touch of warmth to combat the starkness of the sun, and a light vignette to gently soften the edges.

This image is typical of my relaxed and organic style, utilising soft and natural light while capturing warm and ‘real’ moments. Whether I’m photographing children, families, newborns, bumps or parties, I don’t feel images have to be overly smiley and joyous (though that’s obviously lovely too), just natural, warm and true to the moment and the subject’s personality.”

Connect with Claire Woodrow through her studio, Claire Woodrow Photography.