📸 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 FAQs are spread across various pages, and the main photography pages are portrait, event and interior and real estate.

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 and privacy policy pages. If you've any further enquiry, do contact me.

#1 Rates and Booking

  1. How do I confirm your photography services?
  2. Why do I have to pay the deposit before you to start giving me advices and suggestions?
  3. How do I place the booking fee?
  4. How long in advance should I place the booking fee?
  5. Is the booking fee (deposit) refundable if I were to call off or reschedule the shoot?
  6. If I don't schedule the shoot with you, will my deposit be forfeited?
  7. Isn't it dangerous to place a booking fee (deposit) to a stranger (you)?
  8. When do I need to make the final (remaining) payment?
  9. Will there be a discount if the shoot, such as my event, were to end earlier?
  10. What happens if it rains right before or during the outdoor shoot?

#2 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?

#3 Copyrights

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



#1 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. Why do I have to pay the deposit before you to start giving me advices and suggestions?
    So that I can continue with my photography services.

    There are many people who don't respect professional photographers' expertise and would try to get free tips. They don't understand that it takes lots of photography experience, creativity and researches to give suitable and good photography solutions.

    I'm a bespoke photographer and would spend more time and effort than most others to create personalised and unique work and therefore, I can only take up a limited number of projects. Should I be attending to 'shoppers' who are only seeking for my ideas without compensating me, I won't have the time and energy to assist sincere clients who truly deserve my help.
  3. How do I place the booking fee?
    You can make a PayNow transfer to me. Please do a final confirmation with me before making any transfer in case the timeslot is no longer available.
  4. How long in advance should I place the booking fee?
    ASAP because reservations of my timeslots are made on a first-come, first-served basis.
  5. Is the booking fee (deposit) refundable if I were to call off or reschedule the shoot?
    No, for two reasons. Firstly, I've to block off the timeslot for you, which means I'll be rejecting other clients' requests or pushing away my personal commitments. Secondly, it takes time and energy for me to discuss about the shoot, to give advices and/or suggestions, and also anticipate possible problems.

    The booking fee will be a compensation for my consultation services and loss of potential jobs.
  6. If I don't schedule the shoot with you, will my deposit be forfeited?
    I will hold the deposit for one month beyond the initial booked date or month; thereafter, the deposit will be forfeited should you not go ahead with the shoot.

    That means should you book my timeslot for two months later on the 25th, should you postpone the shoot and not schedule another in time, your deposit will be forfeited on the 25th of the third month, which is three months after booking the shoot. In the scenario that you only specify that you want the shoot to take place two months later, and yet you don't schedule a shoot within the next three months, the deposit will be forfeited as well.
  7. 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.
  8. 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. Alternatively, if you find it a hassle, some clients who prefer to transfer the full amount to me together with the booking fee and you can follow suit.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

#2 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 prioritise 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.

#3 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:
- How to plan your wardrobe with your photographer
- 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


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