First off, I love doing family photography in Hong Kong, even though I am better known for my work in luxury weddings and VIP events. Over the years and numerous family photo shoots, I’ve come to realize that Hong Kong is probably one of the best cities in the world to be a professional family photographer. Here are seven reasons why:
There are loads of families here
Although Hong Kong is sometimes depicted as a very hedonistic and business-centric city, there is a great number of families here. Hong Kong is also known to have some of the best schools in the world, and this, along with a good quality of life, ensures high-flying families lay down roots and stay in the city. Great health and maternity care also mean there's never a shortage of newborn photography work, which I love.
The city is iconic
Hong Kong is a city with numerous iconic features, making family photography here a whole lot of fun. The best known symbols of Hong Kong are the Star Ferry, the trams and the skyline, but I like to delve a little deeper on family photo shoots and focus in on the details. Those who live in Hong Kong identify more with this approach anyway. I work with the city’s myriad of steps, its fire hydrants (see header photo), post boxes, street signs, and so on. It’s the little things that make Hong Kong so special in my opinion.
There’s a great mix of grit and glitz
I love creating contrast in my photos, and Hong Kong is a city of contrasts if nothing else. There are plenty of glitzy backdrops to choose from, but there’s also a good amount of grit. I love photographing fresh faced families in some of Hong Kong’s more rugged spots, particularly traditional alleys daubed with graffiti. I find such settings popular with younger families looking for edgier photography locations in Hong Kong.
All nationalities and generations abound
Like any professional photographer, I find the ability to adopt the mindset of other cultures is a key element in photographing their special moments. One of the best things about being a family photographer in Hong Kong, therefore, is that there are so many cultures to explore. As “Asia’s World City”, Hong Kong attracts families from all over the world, and I never tire of discovering new cultures and photographing them.
Beaches, countryside, mountains and islands
Hong Kong provides so many unique settings for family photography. Obviously there’s the city, both the glitzy and the gritty, and then you have beaches, islands, mountains and countryside, to boot. No matter what look or mood the family wants from their photo shoot, you can find it within this super varied territory.
Getting between locations is quick, easy and affordable
If the family can’t decide between city, beach and countryside, no worries. Hong Kong is relatively small and the public transport here is efficient and affordable. Whether you’re getting a taxi or the MTR (metro), you can transport yourself from the bustling streets to the shimmering beach in no time, making it possible to shoot several locations in one day.
It’s very, very safe
Hong Kong has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, which is probably partly why there are so many families here in the first place. For professional photographers this means that when you’re on a shoot you can truly absorb yourself in the process without having to worry too much about your kit. Just be street smart. I can honestly say I’ve never encountered any trouble on a photo shoot in Hong Kong.
In conclusion, it's both exciting and rewarding that Hong Kong combines some of the best elements of family photography into one package, from cultural diversity, to cityscapes, to natural beauty and safety.
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All photographs copyright of Ali G Studios.