10 reasons why you should hire me as a photographer in Busan

So you can say this is my marketing and sales call but allow me to say that this is my way of explaining to you why you should hire me and what I am about. Clients have choices and I'm here to help you make your decision a little easier.

First as usual, disclaimer: I'm not saying that other photographers do not have what I have or don't do what I do. This is just me, telling a story.

1. I have been taking photos for a long time.
Relax, not that long. This is a photo of a photo I took back in the days (1999?).  I picked this up from my friend's Facebook. It was one of the few times I used black and white film. I had friends who are always eager to take photos and I was the eager photographer.
Now, what I don't have is years of experience as a professional photographer BUT I have been taking photos for a really long time, exactly since 1997 (that's 19 years, yikes, I feel old!). My first SLR was given by my dad for a going to university present and it was a Nikon semi-auto FE10 and although it wasn't the most difficult (like the FM10, manual function) camera but it was a fully manual focus lens. I wasted so many films in the beginning from under or over exposure but mostly from blur photos.  I learned my framing, focusing and composition mostly during these times. Soon, I was taking photos all the time and my friends enjoyed the photos. Back when cellphones were a luxury, it was such a joy to be able to snap beautiful portraits of people and then share them with prints. It gave joy to my friends, so it gave joy to me.  I was the only one with what they would call a 'professional camera' although it wasn't really the case but it was gratifying to be known as 'the photographer'.  I may not be the best photographer around but the passion already sparked during that time.

2. It's my calling.
A woman in Bali, Indonesia, taken with my first DSLR in 2008.  People's faces in portraits fascinated me then, and even now.
It wasn't until 2008 when I had enough money to buy a DSLR, Nikon D3100 with kit lens then I really learned about the maths of photography, the aperture, shutter speed, ISO and the whole list.  (I used my point and shoot Canon during the digital camera boom period and a Canon DSLR of my dad's which I fixed and used for a while). Then, I took photos all the time, daily activity, my growing kids, on family trips, church events, company events, everywhere and anytime.  I know you would think that because I bought the camera, I should be using it all the time, right? Not really, I know people who buy them, either give up because its 'difficult' or 'too heavy'. For me, its all I ever wanted to do.  Becoming a professional photographer was a mere dream then, because I knew if I wanted to do it, I need a lot of money to upgrade. I continue to admire photographs by professionals and always wonder how they do it.  Pre-wedding and wedding photographs - I get excited looking at them. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to be the one 'who took that shot'. So you can see, photography is more than a passion, it's my calling, especially in portraiture. I just recently answered this calling and I made the jump by upgrading my equipment, with the little economy improvement in our family and me having the time to invest, after my youngest son started kindergarten. I guess the 3 elements, time, some money and a great location (Busan) just decided to meet one day and all I had to do was answer the calling.  *Disclaimer: its not how everyone start, this is just how I started.

3. I didn't start going professional for money, it's because I can't publish only my family members' photographs to exhibit my skill. 
A low key portrait of my son when he was almost 4 years old.  I knew that I can't rely on my kids alone to make it in portrait photography.
I used my D3100 until I felt like I knew everything about it and found its limitations, despite how I loved it. So, I upgraded to a Nikon D5300 and added in total 4 lenses later on (not all together) and a couple of speedlights (flash). (I'm sure there are some of you will comment that D5300 is not a professional camera but actually its surprisingly powerful, as the D7000 series are only better in a few areas like ISO and shots per frame for burst shoot but  don't even have built in wifi - wireless tethering guys! I invested on lenses and speedlights. In time I will upgrade the camera body or get a second one. I'm wondering how will the Nikon D7300 be like, as its only released late this year (2016)).

I take a lot of photos of my travels, landscape and nature (samples here) and I started posting those but it didn't really give me the same gratification and feeling of making a picture of a face, an amazing portrait.  I wanted to exhibit my skill in portraiture but I can't keep using only my husband and my kids' photographs for private and personal reasons. I don't have a lot of friends in Busan who can volunteer as subjects AND on top of that I'm a bit chickened out by the Korean law on restriction of taking and publishing other people's photos.  So I started this journey in professional portrait photography so I CAN try, show and prove my skills in portraiture photography with different people - all types of people.  *And now just because I mentioned I didn't start for money, of course it's not fair that I keep working for free though.  What I'm saying is, my motivation is never money but money pays for my equipment, time, years of practice and skill, perhaps music lesson for my kids and my dream studio. Fair enough, ok so let's move on.

4. You like and appreciate my work

I have my best works in my portfolio here and so you can see the quality of my work. All photographers have different sense of art and taste so if you like my work, you should have the easy decision to hire me. If you don't, I regret that, I will do better as my journey.  I believe this is a first criteria before you hire anyone for anything.  Do not believe anyone who simply tag themselves as a 'professional photographer'. Always check their work first.  I spend a lot of time and effort perfecting my photographs from pre-shoot, during shoot and post shoot because I have this pressure as a (paid) professional unlike when I was a hobbyist.

5. I speak English and (intermediate) Korean
Ok, this is just a photo of me I throw in. Probably not related at all but I just love hanboks. Don't you?
Laura, why is this even a reason??? I'll just put this simply, if you speak English and in Busan, Korea and you find it hard to communicate in Korean and to communicate exactly what you need or want in a photoshoot, you won't find that problem with me. I communicate in fluent English, from our emails, to the photography contracts, during photoshoot and post photoshoot to delivery of the final photos.  There will be little chance for miscommunication.

I also speak fluent (sounding) but just enough Korean to speak with people around the photoshoot location in case I need to like, "Do you mind moving to the next bench so I can take photos here?" or "Please, no photos." or "My client is bothered by your staring. Can you move along, please?"

So, does that mean I only take English speaking clients?  As a foreigner, I already have a small target group in Busan and I want to help them, so they can help me in a way. I can try competing with the local photographers but that's not what I am about, at least for now. My competition is myself and getting better is my journey.  Photography is art and art is not bound by languages and if one day I have a client who only speaks a language I don't know, they are much welcomed.

6. I'm dedicated to photography

When you're a housewife slash photographer, sometimes you shoot your own cooking.
Nasi lemak is a must have Malaysian dish.
My first job is a housewife for sure but this said, I mean I don't have other official commitments. Photography is my self decided commitment.  Although I'm a housewife, I spend a lot of time in my photography when my children go to school and when they go to bed - it can be marketing, updating my website, studying, editing, photoshoot, experimenting or drafting a photography contract.  I am available for photoshoot on week days also weekend if given early notice.

7. Photoshoot with me is about relation, communication and getting the best out of it
How many times have we stepped into a studio to take a licence or passport photo of ourselves? Probably countless times since we started kindergarten. I'm sure it was never a fun experience, at least I disliked it. I step in, try to look ok-ish, tuck my hair behind my ears and look rounder than a bowling ball and then just to get greeted by a bored, unexcited, 'just want to finish his/her work' photographer behind the lens. The most you get from him/her is "tilt your head to the right a little bit, chin down a bit, 1, 2, 3" and then still manage to have a double chin!

Okay, I'm exaggerating a little bit but I do have experience in my pre-wedding photoshoot. The photos turned out ok but the photographer was just too serious and all he did was instruct our poses and asked us to smile. All I could remember was that we were posed, so we are kind of like posers? Haha...they weren't the most natural pose and it wasn't the real us, we were just this dolled up couple in bright studio pictures.

Photoshoots of normal people should be fun, memorable and natural. Normal people should look normal but with amazing pictures! I rarely ask clients to smile because they have show their real emotion to keep it natural. So, we chat first so they can relax and not think that its something to be nervous about.  We tell about each other and I would reach out why they want to do the photoshoot and if they have done it before. Knowing a client, about his/her career, their likes or even their their least liked body part helps me to understand them so I can bring out the best side of them in their photos. I'm not the funniest person but I think I can crack a few jokes for a a smile. I want them to remember their photoshoot experience whenever they look at the final photos especially if its a family or couple photoshoot. Can you also imagine how maternity photoshoots should be as relaxing and fun as possible when your body is carrying another body in it and you weigh almost 90kg? A mother would want to remember the experience as one of the most fun if not rewarding time as a woman privileged to bear a child. Can you imagine if the photographer just simply starts asking for poses and taking photos? To me is equivalent to regarding the client as mere subject and not a real person.

So, clients are real people and a photoshoot is something personal. I make it meaningful for you so it can be meaningful for me by relating and communicating with you.
This was a professional headshot and I took the shot just as she was about to laugh about something.  I don't think there was another similar shot of her like this.  She looks confident, beautiful and natural in this photo even though it was for professional reasons. I guess she can't use this for passport or job application but its great as a profile photo and websites. Who said professional headshots should be boring?

8. My turnover time is quick.
I deliver final photos (via webshare) within 7 days for the promised numbers of photos. This time only add if there are more photos requested.  Overseas visiting clients have no problem dealing with me as payment is via Paypal and photo digitals can be delivered via webshare.

9. I use a photography contract
which covers everything you are concern about including payment, cancellation and privacy. It protects both the client and photographer.  Do not ever go into a photography deal without a contract.

10. My creativity is important, but your preference is even more important
Every photographer has these ideas bursting from their heads. I have those too and sometimes I just can't wait to use those ideas on clients but not every client will appreciate my creativity.  Moreoever, favourite shots from a photoshoot maybe different from the client's.  I have liked many of my shots but the client didn't like it because its not who they are or they feel they look fat or their eyes are too small or ears too big.  So I respect and listen to clients' taste and the most important thing for me at the end of the day is a happy client!

So these are the reasons why you should hire me as a (portraiture) photographer. You probably noticed that I didn't put down or mention anything about pricing e.g. "My rates are low." or "I have discounts, so you should hire me".  I didn't because these are not only not true but it should not be the reason for engaging with any photographer.  This is something I can talk about in another post. All I can say is, my prices are fair, for me and for you. My work has quality and value and it's something people will pay for if they appreciate it.  I am not only a photo taker. In this job, I'm not only a photographer. I'm also a business owner, customer service provider and a friend.


Busan Birth

Busan Birth
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About Me

About Me
Hello, I am Laura and a photographer in Busan, South Korea. Making beautiful portraits of people is my long time dream and passion. My works include working with singles, couples, families, children, babies and birthdays. Let me help you create lasting memories. 안녕하세요. 저는 로라라고 부산에 사진 작가 입니다. 저의 오랜 꿈과 그리움은 사람들의 아름다운 사진을 찍는 것입니다. 솔로와 커플과 가족과 어린이든의 사진을 찍을수 있습니다. 영원한 기억을 만들어 드릴게요.


For inquiries call 010-68691756 (Busan, South Korea) or PM/DM at www.facebook.com/lrphotographybusan