Having now been at this parenting game for nearly five years, I can confirm that my transition into one of those annoying aunties that I remember from my own childhood is nearly complete. You know the ones – perhaps not an actual aunt, but a friend of your parents who you’d see once or twice a year, and whose immediate reaction would be to squeal, ruffle your hair, pinch your cheeks then bellow “WHEN DID YOU GET SO GROWN UP? Look at the SIZE of you!”, all the while making incredulous gestures at your – apparently gargantuan – self.
Having recently performed many rounds of this pantomime with my friend’s kids, it struck me that *stating the very obvious here* children grow up very quickly. One minute you’re cradling a teeny newborn and the next you’re sponging mango off the walls while they screech like a banshee and repeatedly trap their brother’s fingers in a drawer for fun. Therefore it’s probably a good idea to capture these (snort) precious moments while you can.
When Venture Studios got in touch a couple of months back asking if we’d be interested in coming in to road-test their studio photography service, I will admit that my initial reaction was to wonder whether we’d manage to get a serviceable photo out of the lot of us. I’m not great at having my photo taken, Mr T-T has a tendency to squint one eye while smiling, lending him the air of a pirate, and my children’s usual MO is for one to grin enthusiastically at the camera while the other gurns off in the opposite direction. But, working on the theory that if anyone could get a good picture, a photo studio could, we took up their offer and headed up to Venture’s space on Wellington Street.
Arriving at the huge studio space, we were greeted by friendly photographer Rick Reeder, who talked us through the experience, asking loads of questions about us as a family and about what type of images we were looking to achieve. There are a number of options available, including brightly coloured, stylised shots, black and white portraits and art photography, however we were certain that we wanted a natural, candid style without any forced poses and so came more or less as we were, with just a couple of changes of clothes. Rick also asked us to bring some items that captured our kids as they are right now, and so we took along just one each of the boys’ favourite toys, although families are encouraged to bring plenty of props if they prefer.
Once Rick was happy with our brief, he led us through into the studio to begin the session. The studio space was well-lit and swathed with a white backdrop, but most importantly, it was HUGE, meaning that Young Master T-T – never one to be still for long – could run, jump and generally throw plenty of shapes for Rick to capture. We were encouraged to move around the studio interacting naturally and to use the full range of space, getting down on the floor with Baby T-T to create interesting images.
The session was slated to run for an hour, which I thought would feel like an eternity, but seemed to pass in a matter of seconds, and before we knew it, it was time to pack up and head off. Leaving the studio, we all felt that the experience had been far more fun than expected and were excited to see the images.
A couple of weeks later, we were invited back to the studio to view images from the shoot and to select the final picture to be framed. Venture have a comfortable lounge area specifically for that purpose, and relaxing with coffee, Mr T-T and I had a fun 45 minutes of reviewing all the best shots. Once your images are selected, Venture send them to the UK for framing, so delivery can take a few weeks. You can also take a selection of images home on a memory stick, though these are of a quality that’s better for sharing digitally, rather than printing. You’re encouraged to leave younger kids at home for this review session, which made sense as selecting images was HARD and I’m not sure I’d have been able to concentrate while corralling the boys, but after much deliberation, we finally agreed on our favourite.This sweet, candid image perfectly captures the kids exactly as they are. Master T-T loves being a big brother, hugging, kissing and tickling Baby T-T – who is utterly fascinated with absolutely everything his bro does – almost constantly. Of course, a split second later would have seen the baby toppling over backwards while his brother ran off cackling in the opposite direction, but it was wonderful to capture this quiet moment of brotherly love for posterity. (If only to remind them how well they once got on when they’re older and in the thick of an argument about who broke who’s train track).
We had a wonderful time with Venture, and would definitely recommend them to others… Which is why I challenged them to put together an extra-great deal for readers of this blog!
What’s the deal? Accidental Tai-Tai readers who book before 15th March 2016 will get a discounted AND upgraded Venture Plus package, including:
- A 30% discount (HK$1,602 instead of the usual HK$2,288)
- An upgrade from a 10”x8”desk frame to a 12”x 12” URBAN Wall frame or 21”x 21” VUE Wall frame (valued at HK$7,000)
- A upgrade on the standard package from three to 10 digital files (valued at HK2,800)
- A one-hour shoot with a British Institute of Professional Photography certified photographer at Venture’s Central or Tsim Sha Tsui Studios
- A 45 minute photo review session
- Professional photo editing of images
To bag this awesome deal, just email or call Venture Studios at the numbers below, quoting MKBLKF602 to book your package on or before 15th March 2016. (Once booked, you can redeem your package within two months of booking).
Central Studio: 1/F, Winway Building, 50 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong; 2885 6262, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tsim Sha Tsui Studio: Suite 608-9, World Commerce Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong; 2377 4888, email@example.com
Please note that this post is not sponsored, however our studio session was by invitation – thanks for having us, Venture!