📸 Skai Chan Photography

FAQ: How to Hire a Professional Photographer in Singapore

This FAQ page answers the most frequently asked questions about hiring me as your photographer. The other answered FAQs are spread across various pages and you should check them out too.

As every professional photographer has his own working style, which differs a little or a lot from every other photographer, do spend some time to find out more about his services to avoid any misunderstanding in future.

If you're set to work with me, do read the service agreement page. If you've any further enquiry, do contact me.

#1 Portrait Photoshoot

  1. Is engaging a hair and makeup artist necessary?
  2. Do you provide outfits for private shoots?
  3. Do I really have to show you my clothes?
  4. What would help you to plan better for our shoot?
  5. Why does a themed professional portrait photoshoot require at least two hours?
  6. I'm obviously not good-looking. Can I turn pretty in a photoshoot?
  7. Can I do a photoshoot if I can't pose as well as the models featured on your website?
  8. Do you provide the venue for the shoot?
  9. Do you own a photography studio?
  10. Can you touch me physically to guide me during the shoot?
  11. Can I bring a friend or my boyfriend along for my solo shoot?
  12. Who else will be around during the shoot?
  13. What kind of Photoshop editing do you do?
  14. Where can I find out more about your portrait photography?

#2 Event & Party Photoshoot

  1. Do you touch up on faces for event shoot?
  2. Can you estimate the number of photographs that I'll be receiving?
  3. How do I get more photographs?
  4. What usually affects the quality of the photographs?
  5. Can I pay you to take a cab in between venues?
  6. Can you come earlier to take some behind-the-scene photographs of my family/friends doing the decoration of the venue?
  7. Where can I find out more about your event photography?

#3 Interior Photoshoot

  1. How would professionally taken interior photographs benefit me?
  2. How much time is needed for a professional interior shoot?
  3. What makes interior photography difficult?
  4. What do I need to prepare before the shoot?
  5. What is a visual merchandiser?
  6. What are the equipment you use for doing an interior photography?
  7. Where can I find out more about your interior photography?

#4 Rates and Booking

  1. How do I confirm your photography services?
  2. How do I place the booking fee?
  3. How many days in advance should I place the booking fee?
  4. Is the booking fee (deposit) refundable if I were to call off or reschedule the shoot?
  5. Isn't it dangerous to place a booking fee (deposit) to a stranger (you)?
  6. When do I need to make the final (remaining) payment?
  7. Will there be a discount if the shoot, such as my event, were to end earlier?
  8. What happens if it rains right before or during the outdoor shoot?

#5 Delivery of Photos

  1. How would I be receiving the photographs?
  2. Will you still have the photographs if I need to recover them after a few months or years?
  3. Can you email me the photographs?
  4. When will the photographs be ready?
  5. What are the reasons that may affect the speed of delivery?
  6. Can I get back the photographs earlier?
  7. Can I get back just one photograph on the same day to post on my social media?
  8. Can I get back the entire album within the same day if I were to pay you more? For example, I want the wedding gate-crash photos to be ready for the banquet.
  9. Can I get back all the photographs?
  10. Can I get back the unedited photographs?
  11. Can I have the RAW files?

#6 Copyrights

  1. What rights to the photographs do I own?
  2. Can I edit the photographs?
  3. Will you post the photographs online?



#1 Portrait Photoshoot

  1. Is engaging a hair and makeup artist necessary?
    Yes, a professional hair and makeup artist (HMUA) would make a big difference in the result. I believe in specialising as not everyone can be an all-rounder. If hairstyling and makeup are so simple, there won't be such courses available with high pricing, and anyone can provide the services easily.
  2. Do you provide outfits for private shoots?
    No. I believe it's best for you to be in your own clothes that you're comfortable in. Of course, I'll use my knowledge and experience to select the outfit(s) that suit both you and the theme/concept most. That's why I'll need you to show me more of your casual photographs (probably in social media) so that I can understand your style and collection of clothes. If necessary, I may suggest you purchase a new outfit.

    Anyway, I do different kinds of portrait shoots and it's impossible for me to get the outfits for all of them, including for people of different body types.
  3. Do I really have to show you my clothes?
    If you've to provide your own outfit for the shoot, we'd have to go through them together. It may be troublesome but it's absolutely necessary in order to produce better artwork.

    (1) To allow me (and the HMUA) to choose the most suitable outfit for the theme.
    (2) To avoid fashion disasters.
    (3) To avoid choosing the wrong outfit due to miscommunication.
    (4) To make sure the outfit still exists and is wearable.
    (5) To allow me (and the HMUA) to plan our jobs (colours, style... etc).
  4. What would help you to plan better for our shoot?
    Tell me more about yourself so that I can understand you more.
  5. Why does a themed professional portrait photoshoot require at least two hours?
    It requires time to set up and dismantle the professional equipment. It takes time for individuals to get warmed up and also feel comfortable with the photographer - if you're looking for a good expression. Usually, the first half an hour of the shoot is just to get you warmed up.
  6. I'm obviously not good-looking. Can I turn pretty in a photoshoot?
    With proper hairstyling and makeup, wardrobe, lighting, lenses, angles, poses, expression and, finally, trust in me, you can definitely look much better. I won't promise you the sky but you should talk to me and we will explore together.
  7. Can I do a photoshoot if I can't pose as well as the models featured on your website?
    Yes, you can! You're definitely better than you think you are.

    I've been working with non-professional models since the beginning of my photography journey and most of them have zero modelling experience; a few of them do have experience working with hobbyist photographers. Somehow, the results on my website prove that everyone can model. It also depends on the theme and concept, which you should discuss with me to explore together.

    Of course, we'll likely need a longer session if you don't have the experience or confidence. At least, just trust me!
  8. Do you provide the venue for the shoot?
    No. We can do the shoot at anywhere that's legal and free for the public. However, for venues that would require booking or entry fees, you've to pay for it. For example, if you wish to do the shoot inside a hotel, photography studio or zoo, the expense will be on you.
  9. Do you own a photography studio?
    Yes and no. I use my residence in Tanjong Pagar (Singapore) for studio photography. It may not be big but I'm able to produce the work that you can see on my website.
  10. Can you touch me physically to guide me during the shoot?
    No. I'll guide you verbally or mirror (demonstrate) it to you when necessary. My style of posing is more towards lifestyle and thus it's less posey. Although physical guidance would speed up the shoot a lot, it can be too suggestive and may cause misunderstanding. I hope to do my part to let everyone know that there're still many decent male photographers around.
  11. Can I bring a friend or my boyfriend along for my solo shoot?
    I don't shoot when the model's boyfriend is around because it will definitely be distracting and disruptive based on my experience. Do read reasons why models shouldn't bring their partners along for photoshoots.

    Do bring a female friend along who can help out a bit here and there if it's an outdoor shoot. She shouldn't be acting as a bodyguard/escort for you because it's quite insulting to me for doubting my character. Perhaps, you should read my testimonials to see what existing models think about me.

    However, do note that the presence of a third person would definitely pose more constraints for I would likely avoid certain angles of shot instead of asking the third person to move away.
  12. Who else will be around during the shoot?
    It depends on the scale and type of shoot. Sometimes, the HMUA and/or assistant would be present to assist me. They have a rapport with me and will be able to help me to work better. For any sensual shoot, I'll definitely keep the team to females because it's going to be sensitive and awkward for another male to be around.
  13. What kind of Photoshop editing do you do?
    For all photographs, I would be doing basic enhancement (cropping, exposure and colour tone correction).

    If you were to require advanced enhancement for skin retouching, it's chargeable by per photograph. By default, I would do all editing towards the commercial standard since I was coached by a commercial HMUA when I was new. Therefore, if there's anything that you wish or don't wish to remove, you've to inform me during the discussion.
  14. Where can I find out more about your portrait photography?
    The portrait photographer page will amaze you.

#2 Event & Party Photoshoot

  1. Do you touch up on faces for event shoot?
    Usually, no. I only do basic enhancement. For advanced enhancement that includes skin retouching, it's chargeable by per photograph, which is too expensive for the huge number of event photographs. On the other hand, I don't do quick editing work that may make the faces look unnatural; it'll tarnish my reputation.
  2. Can you estimate the number of photographs that I'll be receiving?
    If the quantity affects you tremendously, you can assume it's not more than 30 per hour for a normal event in order not to be disappointed.

    There're way too many factors that would affect both the quality and quantity of the photographs. A photographer can easily promise you a good number of photographs but he can include all the photographs that are less pleasing, totally meaningless or 'repeated'. For example, a photographer can just snap the same people multiple times at one go. Besides, very few viewers would be patient enough to run through excessive photographs.

    Therefore, you should always go for quality instead of quantity. Besides, you should trust the photographer whom you're hiring to do his best.
  3. How do I get more photographs?
    Plan more interesting activities and invite more interesting guests - I'll love you for these as well. The venue should be reasonably big enough for me to roam around and not catch too much attention from the guests.

    If the entire event is about eating, there will be fewer photographs to be captured since most guests will feel uncomfortable being snapped while chewing on the food. If your guests are camera-shy or they (likely kids or animals) are moving too fast, there will also be problems. I've also been encountering kids who are overly attached to me throughout the event which prevents me from taking more photographs of others. Some venues also have restrictions.
  4. What usually affects the quality of the photographs?
    Usually, it's the lighting. You can read quality vs quantity of photos. Please note that you should be updating me with as many details as possible so that I can give you advice, if possible, to make arrangements.
  5. Can I pay you to take a cab in between venues?
    Yes, but it's highly advisable not to. Taking public transportation is too unpredictable in timing and may cause unnecessary stress to me. Instead, do arrange with one of your guests to give me a ride.
  6. Can you come earlier to take some behind-the-scene photographs of my family/friends doing the decoration of the venue?
    Yes, if you wish to book my time earlier, do let me know - I'm more than happy to be able to cover the behind-the-scene work to create a 'complete story'. Generally, photographers will arrive earlier to get prepared and rest for the booked time, and no client should take their good intention for granted.
  7. Where can I find out more about your event photography?
    The event and party photographer page will amaze you.

#3 Interior Photoshoot

  1. How would professionally taken interior photographs benefit me?
    Regardless of the use of the photographs, having good quality ones won't harm. You'd never know if one day you would need to print them out on large prints and the quality would be very obvious. For businesses, good quality photographs will reflect on your brand and good photographs would benefit you in the long run.
  2. How much time is needed for a professional interior shoot?
    The duration varies and depends on the number of scene you wish to cover. Do contact me for discussion.
  3. What makes interior photography difficult?
    It's very time-consuming. In order to capture photographs that can showcase the entire place sharply, a long exposure is required to achieve a wide depth of field in low ISO, and thus the camera has to be placed on a tripod stand. Adjusting the tripod to each intended angle also requires a lot of time. A slight re-adjustment for each scene would require repetition of the work.
  4. What do I need to prepare before the shoot?
    Clean and pack the place accordingly to how you intend to let the viewers see on the photographs. Even if you have a visual merchandiser for the shoot, do clean the place first.
  5. What is a visual merchandiser?
    For an interior shoot, a visual merchandiser is someone who will style the furniture to highlight the features or bring out the mood.
  6. What are the equipment you use for doing an interior photography?
    For the minimum, a camera, wide angle lens and tripod. There is, of course, different quality of equipment.

    I don't use a Fisheye lens as it will cause distortion, which I would probably use for creativity purposes and not for the usual interior photoshoots. I'm happy enough to use a good wide-angle lens like 16-35mm (on full frame body) for an interior shoot.

    Although I might bring my lighting equipment along, I rarely use any so I will not change the interior designer's carefully designed lighting. Besides, I like to keep everything natural.
  7. Where can I find out more about your interior photography?
    The interior photographer page will amaze you.

#4 Rates and Booking

  1. How do I confirm your photography services?
    Place a booking fee (deposit) to confirm the shoot and the timeslot will be reserved for you.
  2. How do I place the booking fee?
    You can make a PayLah or PayNow transfer to me. Please do a final confirmation with me before making any transfer.
  3. How many days in advance should I place the booking fee?
    ASAP because reservations of my timeslots are made on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Please note that I'll only begin the planning with you after the booking fee is paid. This is to prevent people from wasting my time and getting free advice.
  4. Is the booking fee (deposit) refundable if I were to call off or reschedule the shoot?
    No. I've to block off the timeslot for you, which means I'll be rejecting other clients' requests or pushing away my personal commitments. The booking fee will be compensation for my loss.
  5. Isn't it dangerous to place a booking fee (deposit) to a stranger (you)?
    I've been establishing my reputation and updating this excessively informative website since year 2012. I won't jeopardise the thousands of hours of my hard work.
  6. When do I need to make the final (remaining) payment?
    At the end of the actual shoot - to ensure there's no unintentional or intentional delay because my passion is purely in creating photographs and not chasing after payments. There're some clients who prefer to transfer the full amount to me together with the booking fee.
  7. Will there be a discount if the shoot, such as my event, were to end earlier?
    No. If you book my photography services for a specific amount of time and it happens that the shoot ends earlier, I'll still be paid for the time booked. Note that I've already turned down other projects and personal commitments for you.
  8. What happens if it rains right before or during the outdoor shoot?
    Before booking my slot for the outdoor photoshoot, do check the weather forecast. Although no weather forecast is 100% accurate, at least schedule the shoot on a day that you're more confident that the weather will be good, or at least, don't rain throughout the day. Cloudy days are best for shoots because the light will likely be softer.

    We can try to plan for places that are sheltered or have shelters nearby. We can also have a wet weather programme. Alternatively, we can improvise the photoshoot to include the rain.

    There's no refund because once my time is booked, I'd have to turn down other jobs (indoor/ studio photoshoot) and/ or personal stuff.

#5 Delivery of Photos

  1. How would I be receiving the photographs?
    You'll have your personalised URL to download the photographs; you can do it at anywhere as long as you have internet access. This system will ensure that you can get back your photographs almost instantly once they're ready and it's also more environmental-friendly compared to the use of CDs or thumb drives.

    I'll remove the photographs from my server three days after sending you the URL. This is for safety purposes and besides, server space does cost money. If you require more time, do let me know immediately when I send you the URL.
  2. Will you still have the photographs if I need to recover them after a few months or years?
    No, I don't promise this.

    I have many clients and photographs that it's impossible to make sure I can store forever for good. I do back up my files on at least two separate disks every time but there are still chances that all copies would be corrupted over time or even during the transfer. Besides, storage space needs money and thus I may delete the older albums over time.

    If you are worried about losing your photographs, you should back them up on your own free storage spaces such as Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Telegram or others. If you don't mind storing lower-resolution images, you can upload them to your Facebook account and set the album private. You can also get a thumb drive or external hard disk and store them.
  3. Can you email me the photographs?
    No. The file size of the images are huge. You can download them from the web link that I'll be sending you.
  4. When will the photographs be ready?
    It's subject to my schedule (depends on your luck) and I'll usually give a long buffer time (please refer to my service agreement for the most updated time) so that I won't over-promise anyone. For sure, I won't want to pile up my work and thus I'll definitely return you the photographs ASAP; and usually, the speed is stunning.
  5. What are the reasons that may affect the speed of delivery?
    The requests for photography services are very inconsistent and thus every professional photographer has to prioritize his time; post-production, in which the working hours are more flexible, will be done on days/time when there's no actual shoot.

    Every photographer has many clients and I may have worked with other clients before your shoot. Assume that it requires three working days to do proper post-production work for every event album, it may take weeks before I can start working on your album. Advanced enhancement for portrait photoshoots will require an even longer time, depending on the number of photographs. There're also chances that I may be attending to other clients after I've done the shoot for you.

    I'll go through every album countless times over days to improve them; I don't lie to myself that I'm able to work properly even when I'm exhausted, just for the sake of finishing the work earlier.

    Some freelance photographers and companies do outsource their post-production work to a third party and thus they can deliver the photographs earlier. It also depends on how detailed is the person (photographer/retoucher) who's doing the post-production. However, I believe the photographer who does the actual shoot knows best what has to be edited on the photographs.

    If you wish to find out more, do read how can photographers return photographs fast.
  6. Can I get back the photographs earlier?
    You can opt for the express delivery services while asking for the quotation. It means that for post-production, I'll queue your album at the front. I'll be setting aside my personal commitments and working overtime (OT), including working both at night and over the weekends or holidays, just to finish them earlier for you.

    Do note that I dislike it (money isn't everything) and it's based on your reason for the urgency and whether I can commit to it. It's also subject to my availability. That means if I have other commitments on the day or the days after, after shooting for you, I won't be able to commit the time for you.
  7. Can I get back just one photograph on the same day to post on my social media?
    It's subject to my schedule and has to be made known before I give you the quotation. This requirement (express delivery services) is chargeable. Do note that even if it's doable, the photo may not be the final version (and I really dislike it).

    It's important to note that even if a client requests only a few basic edited images, the photographer will still need to go through the entire set of images taken to ensure that the final product is of high quality. This process takes time, but it ensures that the client will be completely satisfied with the final product.

    If you need a photograph urgently because you need to post a 'breaking news', I'd suggest you use a camera phone to do a quick shot.
  8. Can I get back the entire album within the same day if I were to pay you more? For example, I want the wedding gate-crash photos to be ready for the banquet.
    No. This isn't about money. The quality of my work values the most to me and I'll need more time to work on them to create the best work possible. You pay for my photography services to receive top quality photographs, and it's against my principle to return you 'half baked work' although it'll reduce my effort (more relaxing for me) drastically.
  9. Can I get back all the photographs?
    No, you'll, at the most, be getting back only all the good photographs, and it depends on the package that you've chosen.

    Bad photographs are faulty or under-satisfactory ones that shouldn't be shown to anyone because it'll affect the photographer's reputation. Many bad photographs will be taken due to many reasons. During a shoot, I'll be taking many test shots just to test the lighting at different places, angles and timing. There'll be bad expressions of people or even blurred photographs (camera shake, movements... etc).

    That means if you happen to see a photograph on the back LCD screen of my camera, it doesn't mean that you'll definitely receive it. Besides, the photograph may look good on the tiny screen but it may appear to be blurred when you look at it on a larger screen.
  10. Can I get back the unedited photographs?
    No, every photograph represents my work and I won't let it tarnish my reputation. You pay a photographer because you love his unique style of work, which includes both shooting and editing (post-production) of photographs. Besides, every photographer has his own style of shooting, such that he may overexpose or underexpose any photograph on purpose, and nobody knows his actual plan for post-production.

    Therefore, the photographs that you'll be receiving will be edited with either basic or advanced enhancement, depending on the package you've opted for.
  11. Can I have the RAW files?
    No. RAW files are unprocessed photographs that you won't need. You don't have the right to edit my work anyway. RAW files will also reveal the camera settings to achieve the photographs and it's the photographer's secret.

#6 Copyrights

  1. What rights to the photographs do I own?
    I, the photographer, own all rights to the photographs. You're allowed to post them online, and share with others, or even print them out. You're not allowed to sell the photographs or transfer these rights to anyone else.
  2. Can I edit the photographs?
    No. You don't have the right to edit the photographs.

    The mood of the photographs is the result of both the actual shoot and post-production work. If I take a photograph and someone else edits it without my guidance, it doesn't represent my work anymore.

    If you think you can do the post-production work equivalent or better than the photographer, you should pick up the camera yourself. You shouldn't be insulting a professional photographer.
  3. Will you post the photographs online?
    By default, yes. However, you can choose to buy over the copyrights to the photographs, which you've to state when you're asking for the quotation.

    Most photographers, similar to makeup artists, have to post new work regularly, on their websites and social media accounts, for marketing purposes or even to enter competitions.


You may be interested in:
- Unreasonable requests for photographers in Singapore
- Important checklist for hiring a photographer
- What to expect in all phases of a photoshoot
- How to judge a photographer
- Why can't professional photographers take up cheap jobs


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All articles and images remain the property of Skai Chan and should not be downloaded, reproduced, copied or used in any way without written consent.

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