Posing is more than just placing people in a specific position and having them hold still. It is about using your skill (and a few tricks) to help your subjects look their best in your photos. Here are 3 simple tips that will help you get better, natural and more authentic family portraits.
If you are looking for a cosy environment for your family or maternity portrait sessions, our studio is the perfect space for it. We are based at Oval Damansara, Jalan Damansara, which is just along the Sprint highway next to Taman Tun Dr Ismail. Another landmark would be Glo Damansara mall, which is a stone’s throw away. If you are coming from KL city centre, it takes about 20-30minutes by car.
Here’s a few reasons why we love our little nook so much:
1. There’s just so much natural light! While we have the backdrop and lighting for a more formal corporate shoot, we tend to use a lot of the beautiful natural light streaming through our ceiling to floor panels. It is perfect for family sessions with babies and young children. We can use our black out curtains and sheers to control the quality and quantity of light that comes into our studio. Our natural light studio looks best between 9am-4.30pm on a sunny / cloudy day.
2. It feels like home We have arm chairs, sofas, bean bags and mattresses to make the space feel so cosy, almost like home. We even offer snacks, water, coffee or tea to ensure you have a comfortable session with us. While we do not require you to remove your shoes, our studio is cleaned regularly so that hygiene is maintained. If you need a steam iron, a hair dryer, gel, facial blotting paper or wet wipes, we have it all. We even have toys and bubbles to entertain your little ones when they get antsy!
3. We have various background options available Our walls are painted white, brown and we have a white brick wall available as backdrop options. If required, we can set up seamless white or grey backgrounds for shoots that need it. While it might seem ‘plain’ to some, our style is to keep everything minimal and classic.
4. Need to make it more colourful with props? Yes, you can! If you would prefer a more ‘set up’ look for the session, you can bring your own props or utilise some of the items we already have. For example, we have a child size tent, rocking horse, paper flowers in various shapes and colours, chalk boards, vintage luggage bags, Scrabble letters and more. Just share with us some thoughts about the theme or look you want to achieve, and we can contribute ideas to make it happen. Alternatively, we can recommend decorators that you can hire to style your shoot!
5. We can accommodate a large group
Our little nook is approximately 400 sq ft, so it can accommodate large groups as well. We have photographed up to 26 adults and children in our studio before! It just takes a bit of coordination and lots of patience from everyone as we work through the groupings. We also have a separate overflow space where family members can relax while the session is ongoing.
6. Easy access We have 2 entrances to our studio, one through the lift from the main lobby if you need wheelchair access and the other directly from the carpark at zone F. We can reserve a parking lot for you at our carpark so it makes it convenient for you. The entrance from the carpark is our main entrance and it leads you through our shared office space with our other colleagues from Integricity.
We invite you to make an appointment and visit our studio if you would like to have a look at our space, or book it for your next family, maternity, couple, newborn or corporate headshot session! Have a look at some sample photo sessions taken at our studio.
It is common to receive an enquiry requesting for a two to four-hour long family shoot. People tend to have the impression that you get more out of longer sessions. However, that is usually not the case. At Stories, most of our Lifestyle packages are an hour long. Some people seem to think that’s too short but do remember that if it involves children, you’ll be surprised that a single hour can seem like forever to them! I tagged along on some family sessions and here’s why I think an hour is really good enough, especially for an outdoor shoot in our beloved country.
1. Humidity Even if it isn’t a terribly sunny day, you can be perspiring within five minutes of starting the shoot! On one of the shoots, the perspiration showed through the dad’s dark blue shirt. Fortunately, his wife had insisted he bring along an extra shirt to change into! Mum and child were neither not spared from the icky feeling of sweat. Can you imagine spending three hours posing for photos feeling like this? Believe me, an hour is just right. We all love our country but not the humidity.
TIP: Always bring along some extra clothing and a small towel for outdoor shoots. A hand fan can be very useful too.
2. Timing of shoot If you’re a local, you’ll know that our tropical weather is quite unpredictable. Due to the heat, outdoor shoots should take place in the early mornings or late afternoons. However, certain months are prone to rain in the evenings so if you plan for an afternoon shoot, it could end up a washout. The other thing about being surrounded by greenery is that it’s perfect for creepy crawlies and mosquitoes to come out and play! You won’t be able to enjoy your shoot if you’re being eaten alive by mosquitoes.
TIP: Check the weather forecast nearer to the shoot date and speak to your photographer about contingency plans. Bring along some insect repellent too!
3. Attention Span Children are usually quite excited at the start of a shoot but that initial excitement fades very quickly. They don’t like being told what to do, where to stand or where to look! Most of the time, young children start getting fussy even before the hour is up. Tantrums are common when children get tired and an hour will seem like too much to ask from them.
TIP: Bring along some snacks (but nothing too messy!) for your child. Food usually helps to change their mood. We also usually start the photo session with the large family photo so that we get the safe shot done!
Now if you were thinking of doing an outdoor shoot, don’t let the negative aspects frighten you. Come prepared and you will have an enjoyable experience, plus beautiful photos in the park to last a lifetime. But if you’re toying with the idea of having a three-hour family shoot in the park, maybe you should reconsider shortening it. An hour really is sufficient.
Some things just get better with age. They develop character. They become more endearing and turn into a true gem. That is how we like to think of our Kombi. And because she’s so special to us, we’d like you to get to know her a little better too.
She’s in excellent condition considering her age. To keep her looking young we’ve dressed her in bright blue, earning her the name Smurfette! She loves company and is most comfortable with not more than eight friends at a time. She also knows it’s not cool to arrive at a party all sweaty with messed up, wind-blown hair so she ensures you enjoy the ride with an air-conditioning unit fitted in all the right places. She can be a bit loud, but she’ll be the life of the party!
Due to Smurfette’s age, she has her very own driver for all her escapades. We also make sure she’s fueled up so she has the energy to last throughout your event! Even though we know how much she likes to party with new friends, as her guardians, we have set some boundaries for her own safety (and everyone else’s!). For example, she’s not allowed to attend functions beyond 200KM of Kuala Lumpur, much to her chagrin because she’s a real party girl. However, we feel longer journeys take a toll on her and we don’t think you’d appreciate a cranky party pooper.
Limitations aside, Smurfette has already been to quite a few events. She’s been spotted at pre-wedding shoots, ferried brides to their weddings and even played a role in corporate events around town. How’s that for an old grandma like her? She loves meeting new people so if you’d like to get acquainted with her, just get in touch with us. We’d love to set up a date for you.
At the end of 2016, 4 of us from the Stories team made a special visit to Fugee School, an education hub for refugee kids in Kuala Lumpur. It was a time of getting away from our usual work to do other socially responsible photography and video related projects. In a way, it was something similar to what we did in Kelantan some years back with the flood victims. I met with Deborah Henry, co-founder of the school, to run through some ideas on what we could do for Fugee School, and we narrowed down our focus to a documentary style approach that would give some insight into these families and their life here in Malaysia.
We were blessed to have met two students, Yusra and Hafsa. Listen to their heartwarming stories in the video below, and support amazing organizations like Fugee School who work to make a difference to these children.
Yusra’s Story Photographed & filmed by Jamie & Chi Yin Edited by Chi Yin Creative direction by Grace
Hafsa & Hasan’s Story Photographed & filmed by Grace & Jennifer Edited by Chi Yin Creative direction by Grace