It’s easy to think that we will always remember what our children looked like with images in our mind, even 20 years down the track – and then we let the years slip by, our memory fading.
This is why it’s so important to have plenty of photos to preserve the moment. And pictures taken on your smartphone aren’t the same; it’s much better to invest in a few professional shots every couple of years. You’ll be eternally grateful.
There’s a wonderful quote from “The Sunscreen Song” which enforces this message: “Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.”
We asked some of Hong Kong’s portrait photographers to choose their favourite image, tell us why they like it, and reflect on why they love their job.
If you’re looking at getting a special gift as a Christmas present for your partner, or grandparents, or if you’re thinking of getting married, do yourself a favour and make sure you have some great images to look back on.
“Greatest maternal love” – Larry from Cozy Hub
“I chose this photo as it shows the various moods and emotions of the mother before and after the baby is born – graceful, happy, anticipated, worried and thankful. The series needed at least two to three months to be finished.
The upper part was taken when the mother was about 32 weeks pregnant; she was full of happiness and anticipation at having the baby. The lower part was taken about 20 days after the baby was born.
The photo was taken at our Cozy Photo Hub studio, with no special effects or lights in the setup – we just used natural light so the overall effect is warm and gentle. Besides that, the emotion and posture from the client are essential. To make the photo work, the skills and techniques of the photographer are important, but also the communication between photographer and subject.
We really love this photo because the client’s emotion is impeccable and, more importantly, there’s a real story behind the image.”
“Timeless and natural” – Divi from Diviphotography
“I have always gravitated towards black and white images as I love their classic, timeless feel. I wanted to find a way to intertwine the vibrancy and beauty of Hong Kong with portraiture, so a lot of my family shoots are shot in and around the city.
To create a more striking image, soft accents of colour are used within in a black and white image, to highlight items of particular interest. I adore Chinese signs, the striking lines of Hong Kong’s classical and modern architecture, waterside views and lush greenery. Many clients like these things, too, and cherish their keepsakes both here in Hong Kong or back in their home country.
I specialise in maternity or ‘bump’ photography, as well as newborn, children and family shots, all with a very candid, natural feel. I’ve always worked with children, so I love that I can pursue my passion of photography while still being able to interact with babies, children and mums-to-be.
I only use natural light, no flash photography. I find using natural light not only advantageous for babies and children, but I also appreciate how it can transform an image with its gentleness or intensity, especially in maternity and newborn shoots.”
“Beach sisters” – Doan from Doan Ho Photography
Clear Water Bay. It was taken when Summer and her sister were left with their grandparents. After a few memorable shots with the grandparents, I was delighted to have the girls somewhat to myself on the beach. (I find that my little clients are more at ease when the parents aren’t watching them so closely.) We hunted for some sea shells, skipped rocks, and even caught some baby crabs while I squeezed in a few shots here, there, and in between. That’s when this priceless moment happened. The girls were just being themselves.
I love this image because it’s timeless, authentic, and beautiful. It reveals Summer’s beauty and personality, as well as her trust and comfort level with her photographer. My creativity and passion is embedded in this image, as it is with all of my work. I truly enjoy connecting to and capturing treasured keepsake moments.
I specialise in family portraits, high-school senior portraits, environmental and lifestyle photography, and weddings.”
“Happy henna wedding” – Kathy from KayEllePhoto
“I still remember taking this photo at a German wedding in Hong Kong. There were so many kids at that wedding, but these two girls in particular came to me and showed me the henna on their hands. While they were holding their hands out to me, I snapped a photo right away.
I love this photo because of the colours, the smiles and the meaning of the henna – all these elements are in harmony. Every time I look at this photo, I always remember the joy of being at that particular wedding.
A good photo is about restoring one’s memories by capturing an emotion, mood or thought, or an image that can tell a story. Perhaps because I’m a female photographer, and I’m pretty ‘smiley’, kids and parents around me usually seem to be at ease, which makes it easy to instruct and photograph them.
Other than engagement and wedding shoots, I’ve been doing a lot of photo shoots for families and kids recently, and I really enjoy it.”
“Musician in black and white – Rick from Venture Studios Hong Kong
“This is one of my favourite images because it reminds me perfectly of the subject and his personality. He is a singer and musician who we worked with as part of the promotion for his concert in Hong Kong; we did the shoot in our studio in Central.
For me, the importance of an image comes from capturing the character of the subject and how a viewer connects with the image based on this.
There were a lot of technical considerations around creating this particular image, including lighting, choice of lens, and composition, but my intention was that these techniques would not become the primary focus of the photo. Personally, when I approach my portraiture, techniques should always enhance the character as opposed to using techniques for techniques’ sake.
I always look to capture character in my images and I enhance that character with simple geometric composition and a strong tonal range. This is why a lot of my work is in black and white.”