Beautiful Moments Project (Part XVI) - MR Photo Team servicing the elderly

Today, my whole student team went to an elderly home at Wanchai to help the elders take passport photos. We had to serve 30 elders in 1.5 hour and the whole process was extremely smooth. I truly think practice makes perfect and the students who participated in our last activity show much confident this time. It is very apparent in their body gesture.. by the way they stand behind the tripod.. looking quite professional as they click the shutter.

Besides teaching my students how to take pictures, I had also put much emphasis on basic gentle manner that are required when servicing the elderly. I had taught them how to politely and gently invite each elder to the photoshoot set, how to check their clothing to make sure everything looks good, how to direct the elder to look at the camera, and lastly, escort the elder back to their seat when we finish. We had role-played in our class many times (some students take the role of an elder, while another is the photographer). We also taught them do’s and don’ts.. such as we can’t shout at the elder in all cases, and that we must maintain our tone of voice as caring and loving as possible..with a smile.

In today’s service, we were astonished by our students. They helped the elder hold their walking stick and handbags, and guide the elders throughout the process with a big smile.  They would say “婆婆小心, 慢慢行”.. etc.. The elders were very happy and felt much warmth!

Next class will be our last class for this term. And what makes me happy is that St. James Settlement invited me to teach another advance photography class starting May. I plan to teach them more advance photography such as studio lighting with strobe lights, softbox etc.., and possibly desktop photography :))))

The Weather….

The weather these few weeks had been SOOOOOOO gloomy and unstable.   I had quite a number of outdoor shoots that had to reschedule due to no-sun.   Some even rescheduled over 3 times!!.. If you ask me.. sun is really important to an outdoor shoot… especially when taking pictures with children.  Children move really really fast and I must use a fast shutter speed to capture the moment.  If there is no sun, it means I have to use a much higher ISO to achieve the result… and the photos would end up MUCH grainier.   I basically prefer finer photos, unless conditions do not allow it.   I would also try to avoid using flash during outdoor sessions as I think the flash would kill all the mood.

Let’s hope the weather gets better in April.
Well… it is a good thing that I get more time to finish up my many post-production deadlines! :D

14 days old newborn baby boy

Today, I had an in-home session with a super cooperative and beautiful 14 days old baby boy! He was such a joy to work with and I owe him big on this! This little buddy was awake most of the time, but he was nice and calm, with quite a lot of expressions for a 14 day old! A special thanks to his wonderful mom for helping out throughout the session with all the posing and set :), thank you!!! Great photos will be shared here soon!.. aah. can’t wait to post!

Backing up your memories

Do you do backups? Recently a client of mine told me that her hard drive crashed and several months of family photos disappeared from her 1 year old baby. Luckily, she had been emailing her friends her baby’s photos all along and was able to ‘recovered’ some photos back from her friends. I would like to share this client’s story as it could happen to all of us. Basically, a normal hard disk would crash when it is around 2-3 years old. If you had not been doing backup of your family photos, I urge you to do it now. I really mean NOW. As at this digital age, not many of us would have our photos printed out, and we thought it was save to simply transfer all the files to our computer, but it is NOT! I had my HD crashed several times before, it was really a pain to see valuable memories disappeared within seconds. We all have poor memories (well, at least I do)… and I rely heavily on ‘tangible things’ such as photos or writing to recall my memories from time to time. I would basically use my camera to capture anything that I would like to remember, and would write down all my thoughts to every detail on my passworded private blog (a.k.a. diary) so that I have something to enjoy when I grow old. Memories, to me, is the most important thing in life. I even kept all the secret notes I passed to my classmates at grade 9!

Having learned from these painful experiences, I now do 2-3 backup copies of everything. This would include 2 extra external HD backups, plus, 2 copies on DVDs (which I think was the safest format).

Some must backup memories:
- family pictures taken by digital camera
- family videos / sound files
- pictures taken by your mobile phone
- your family blog / personal blog
- emails

Suggestions on how to backup your memories:
- make 2 DVD copies (different brands) of your photos and store at different places
- set your computer to automatically do daily backup for all your files
- make prints regularly and store them in photo albums, sorted by year
- if you keep a blog / journal of your baby / family, check with your blog provider / hosting provider for backup options
- make backing up your HD a habit and a regular routine (eg: at least once every 2 months etc..)

Hope this post would be useful to you.

Beautiful Moments Project (Part XV) - 1st MR Photo Team at work!

Today, 5 of my MR photography students had been selected to form our first photo team to service the community with the photography skills learned to-date! We are all very excited! We had been teaching them everything from setting up a tripod to basic photography to directing the model. We went to a kindergarten in CWB and our aim was to take simple passport photos for thirty K2 kids. As I mentioned earlier in previous post, setting this goal was abit challenging as this team of students are all medium to severely mentally handicapped adults (equivalent to 4-5 years old + illiterate). To our surprise, the target was met on time and the resulting photos were all very good (even this is their first time servicing!) . The children were all very happy and were fighting to shake hands with the photographers. What is most rewarding to me was to see my students feeling very happy about what they had done. On our ride back, I noticed several of them were smiling happily with a very satisfied and content look on their face (as if they were reliving what had just happened!). I guess we all feel good to give, and to do it with our own hands make us feel special and valuable. It always feels good to admire yourself when you know you had done something right. And this is what made them smile happily from their heart today.

First Birthday Celebration!

Today, I was invited to a korean baby girl’s first birthday party.   More exciting details and photos to be shared with you soon.