Behind the lens, there's a story

I knew Flora through one of my friends.

Having blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes, Flora's beauty strikes me at the first sight. I believe every teenager deserves a great portrait every year when they are young, pretty and exuberant, and that's how me and Flora decided to do a photo session.

We chose UC Berkeley because it is one of her dream colleges. We were lucky that day, the afternoon sun was perfect for an outdoor portrait. We were lavishly embraced in the warm, stunning and beautiful California sunlight.

After moving to California from Hong Kong, I changed my shooting habit to cope with the weather and environment here. As a Hong Kong photographer, I depended on luck and fate to meet beautiful beams of sunlight in my own country. Overcast is common in Hong Kong and I had to use flash to create the lighting condition I desired. Here in California, everything changed and I love the afternoon sunlight! When it comes to portrait session in California, I usually start shooting at 4pm (and get the client ready by 3:30pm) to capture the emotion of the subject under natural and mild backlight. Using backlight is important in portrait photography. Many people believe that the subjects should face the sun so that their faces are well illuminated. This is wrong because firstly subjects won't be able to open up their eyes when they are directly facing the sun, and second, direct sunlight creates sheer contrast and overexposes the subject. Backlight, on contrary, highlights the hair of the subject without overexposing their faces, and outlines their figures or shapes elegantly.

Flora and I had lots of fun that afternoon, chatting and taking photos. That's what I LOVE about my job! I believe photography is an art that connects people and I want to WOW my subjects by bringing the best in themselves. Flora is a smart girl, she just did a summer course in Social Psychology in UC Berkeley, preparing her way to become a psychologist. I was just amazed by how many possibilities teenagers nowadays are being exposed to. As long as they are willing to work hard (very hard) and explore new opportunities, the door(s) is (are) open for them! Resources are always abundant, success is for people who have prepared.

I am blessed to know so many good people who have given me so many opportunities to understand myself, create joy and laughter, and take photos of their precious moments,. One year ago I came here with nothing, now I have more than I imagined--establishing my business here, reaching out to new clients, and of course making lots of supportive friends (thanks to the UC Berkeley program that I have enrolled).

And, all the best to my new friend, Flora!

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@Christina Szeto Photography, all rights reserved | Exquisite Family Photographer | San Francisco Bay Area | christina@christina-photo.com | 535 Mission St, 14th Fl, San Francisco CA 94105 | M-F 9am-5pm, Sat 10am-3pm