Tears. Tantrums. Usual behaviour from kids and adults alike at the thought of another stiff family portrait session. We sat down with Hart Tan from Tomato Photo to find out how he manages to capture so much joy and laughter, creating beautiful candid photos of families having fun.
Congratulations on your recent placing in our Expat Living Reader’s Awards! What do you think makes your photo sessions different, and so successful?
I take a relaxed approach to my photographic sessions, and really try to take candid photos. I want the people whose photograph’s I take to be having fun and laughing! When they look back on the photos, I hope that we achieve what is the simple inspiration behind our brand; to capture images that bring smiles to people’s faces and warmth to people’s hearts.
What inspired you to become a photographer?
I never imagined I would become a photographer, to make a living from what I love! I started taking photos because I needed a way to capture the joy I saw around me, to record it. The laughter, those heart warming moments. I spent some time in Sydney, Australia, and I was really inspired by the relaxed culture and happy vibe associated with that city.
Where are your favourite locations to hold photographic sessions?
I’m really flexible; any location that is meaningful to my clients works best for me. My mission is to create memories of the vision people have in their minds, to record moments in places that make them happy. This means we could be at their local playground where their children have spent so many hours playing, or a favourite room in their home. It could be somewhere beautiful like the Botanic Gardens, where the family have spent time creating precious memories together. I like to take a lot of my photos outdoors; I think nature has so much to offer, and natural light is so flattering!
When is your favourite time of day to shoot?
To be honest, my favourite time of the day to shoot is when my subject is at their best! A young child less than one year old would probably prefer 6am, whereas a teenager would be better at 5:30pm in the afternoon. For me, the idea is my subject’s timing is more important than the time of the day. Being outside means the light can change quickly, and alter the feel of the photo. Light can be created using artificial lighting to look just like natural light, if needed.
What is your greatest challenge in being a photographer?
I am a kid magnet and love making children laugh; this means I have a problem when trying to capture a serious look on a child’s face! But it’s a good problem to have.
Can you give us some tips on booking a professional photo shoot with Tomato Photo?
1) Book early to ensure we can choose the time you want!
On the day:
2) Wear clothes that are comfortable, and show your true personality.
3) Bring along your children’s favourite toys to make photos meaningful (and keep the kids happy!)
4) Bring bubbles to entertain kids and make them smile. Bubbles also look great in photos!
You can read Hart’s tips on photographing babies and children here