Kansas City Women Photographer

Promotion & Business

Let's Make Yourself A 2017 Calendar Girl

 
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This coming year of 2017, make yourself a calendar girl! 

If you don't know it already, we just had a client, an everyday woman like you and me made it to the cover page on Ink magazine and that empowered so many other women in significant ways! I want you to be that person, I want you to know that you are worth celebrating, I am pumped about it and decided to throw a "Let's Make Yourself the 2017 Calendar Girl" promotional event this coming December.

Those who participated will get an hour calendar girl boudoir photo session with me, plus a super pretty BRASS EASEL + 2017 MONTHLY CALENDAR filled with your 12 favorite images that you will get to enjoy all year round. Just think about seeing yourself in new light every month, this would be the most inspiring gift you could gift to yourself. To top it all, you will also receive the digital files (printable up to 4" x 6") that you could share with your closest friends. All for $400! 

Doing this calendar girl boudoir session with me is a great way to boost your confidence and you will be reminded of how beautiful you really are. Plus, you can even make it a surprise gift for your significant other in this coming holiday season!

I want you to know that mini package is not something that I usually do but I am doing it this time for you to get a taste of how it feels like to be comfortable in your own own skin and be proud of it!!! I want all women to be able to do this! Contact me ASAP to book a session. A non-refundable deposit of $300 is required to secure a time slot. 

Photo shoot date: December 3rd (Saturday) and 4th (Sunday)

Photo shoot time: 
9am-10am
11am-12pm
1pm-2pm
3pm-4pm

Venue: Sandy Hong Photography Studio in Overland Park

Click on the time slot that works best for you to reserve!  

Update: Sold out

 

Press

We are on ink magazine KC!

 

Look whose work is on the cover page of Ink magazine KC!! I had the opportunity to work with Caitlin Cress, a reporter from Ink on a boudoir story she was putting together.

The issue came out this week and I was flattered by how everything turned out. If you haven’t already I would suggest you to take some time to read about it. Also really appreciate my clients Renee and Michelle for sharing their incredible boudoir experience!

 

Boudoir

The door is opened

 

A few close friends who watched me grow professionally told me that I don't stick to the same photography style. Yes, I often change my style depending on what’s inspiring me and what my clients need, and I think that's a good thing because we should open to positive changes. When I was in my 20+ and started doing boudoir photography I was all about the bright, beauty and cute boudoir photos. Coming from a conservative culture, being able to declare myself a boudoir photographer was a big achievement.  I couldn't picture myself doing any dark, sensual photos. Asking another woman to pose sensually? you must be kidding me. And I didn’t quite like the images I saw online, they looked a little too cheesy or some even horrific to my taste. Therefore my pictures have always been bright, classy, elegant. I wanted everybody to be comfortable with my work.

I have remained the same for most part, avoiding explicit work. However the longer I am in the industry the more I started to appreciate sexier, darker and sensual photos. That’s partly because I have seen enough work to be able to tell good photos from bad ones. The very good ones are so splendiferously done and are indeed an art of its own. I loved those photos as they are work that I am incapable of producing, I started following some of the great photographers, and often revisited their pages for inspiration and ideas. To me I was peeking through the key hole to a world that I didn’t feel comfortable stepping into. I had the desire to open the door but doubted my own knowledge and skills.

Turning 30+ now, I have become more mature and appreciate women’s body more than ever before. I take pride in photographing women from all walks of life, in different shapes and sizes. The greatest thing I have learned is that women who love themselves, their bodies, should be able to choose what photos they want for themselves. Clothed or not should not matter.  

I think maturity cured my vulnerability towards body. Exposing to more fine art photos made this trial a feasible one. I felt ready to explore a new style, I made a call for dark sensual photos, and women responded.

These pictures were done in my 10” x 10” makeup room with just a simple setup of a daybed, white sheets, a window, a lovely lady and some deep house music that I really love. I actually chose to ‘lock’ myself and her in the room instead of using my main and much bigger studio area so that we could have an intimate setting with the right mood. It was amazing how smooth this whole thing went, like I have done it many times prior already. I kept myself controlled and focused, and made her feel at ease.

The result took my breath away, they are exactly what I dream to do. All my doubts are now cleared. I have faced my vulnerability and it’s so liberating. I finally opened the door and can now breath the air that was previously foreign to me. I find this side as beautiful as where I was used to be in, just in a different way.

I am happy as a woman and as a photographer for having learned things that I wouldn’t have if I did not keep an open mind. Starting from now if any client come to me and wanting some dark boudoir photos like this I can proudly tell her LET'S DO IT! Nothing should prevent something so beautiful like a woman's body from being documented.

*When doing photography of this nature, your privacy is of utmost importance to me and you will be protected like how I would protect myself. Contact me if you have any questions.

 

Boudoir

Anonymous Collection

 

Today I put together an anonymous theme album. These were taken by me over the years working with my wonderful clients, and I thought it's fun to create a collection to let you know that you can request shots like this too for your session. This is especially important if you are planning to order an add-on keepsake book because they make great page fillers! On top of that, anonymous shots are also perfect for ladies who'd love to have their images featured without being identified.

I actually enjoy taking these shots even though they are not the typical portraits that my clients would pick. I love it for the creativity part, it's icing on the cake that helps me tell a better boudoir story.

Hmm.. the more I thought about it, the more I am inspired to do an anonymous theme, dark and sensual boudoir photoshoot. Drop me a line if you are interested, as I would love to talk more about designing the experience for you.

 

Promotion & Business

What worked for me

 

As a new year starts I always like to reflect back how I did in the past year. Personally, I achieved the goal of visiting 30 countries at the age of 30, visited my Malaysia family twice, became a sister-in-law, had my first Halloween makeup, celebrated 14 years of courtship with Yong and finally got a Kansas state driver's license. Yay! Professionally, 2015 was a tremendous year for me. Let me put it this way, if 2008 to 2014 were the years I acquired knowledge, skills, experience for my photography business, then 2015 was THE year I pieced everything together. Here I would like to share with you the top 5 things that worked for my business. 


1. Make real connection with my clients

One of the most rewarding decisions I made last year was to make real connection with the women I photographed. As a woman myself, I know that there is absolutely no "one size fit all" photography package for my clients. We all have unique taste and expectation for photos and I would not want a woman to book me before knowing that we could be a good fit. Therefore I insisted that my potential clients should be invited to my studio for a face to face meeting. We talked about what brought them to me, how they felt about their bodies, and how to pose for the most flattering images and how to hunt for wardrobe. Of course they also got a complimentary studio tour so that they could see the things that inspire my photography style with their own eyes. 

I feel like by doing all these I could better understand my clients' needs and it helped me to carve them a dream photoshoot. Clients were more engaged, more excited for the shoot, and that's the perfect buildup that I need prior to the actual shoot. After the initial meeting I also followed up with personalized Pinterest board, emails, text, video conference, and whatever communication means to help them make the best wardrobe decisions, book their desired hair and makeup artist and make sure everything is on track. Making real connections required a lot time and attention, but does it all worth it? Yes! They trusted me, they knew that I would make them look great. When I requested them to "smile just with your eyes", they would do it for me even some of they didn't know how, and they all ended up getting killer smiling eyes shots. 

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2. A nice and versatile home studio

After I made up my mind to focus on just photographing women, I knew I needed a studio space. I had very specific requirements in mind (high ceiling, white wall, white floor, independent makeup room and bathroom) and it took me five months in 2014 to find my dream home that would also allow me to dual purpose it as my studio. 2014 was all about exploring the perfect spaces for photography. In 2015, I found hundreds of ways to photograph women at different corners of the studio. I also figured out how natural lights change with seasons, and what kind of shadows and shades I could get! Now that photo spots are everywhere in the home studio, I have to make sure that the the house is always clean, the showroom kind of clean (hence the no shoes policy).

3. Hair and Makeup policy

All women look good with some makeup and with professional hair styling and makeup application they would look even more fabulous. Don't believe that? Check out the before and after portraits of my clients. In 2015, I made a studio policy to use only professional hair and makeup service for my clients. I want them to be taken care of professionally and feeling beautiful throughout the entire photo session. I frequently reach out to local hair and makeup artists and am happy to report that I found some that I really enjoyed working with. How did I pick who to work with? My general guideline is that the artist must capable of styling hair and applying makeup, have pleasant personality, punctual, efficient, helpful and professional. Also, I value hair styling skill slightly more than makeup because hair is often the break or make factor. I can always retouch a flawed makeup in post-processing but with a flawed hair there is nothing much I could do.  

4. Commitment fee

Imagine the night before a photoshoot, I did my homework on the shoot, prepped my studio, booked the hair and makeup artist, just about to go to bed so that I could wake up fresh the next morning. Then I received a text message from client, telling me that she has changed her mind, and not quite ready for a photo session. That feeling sure doesn’t feel good does it?  

Starting from 2015, my studio policy is that I collect a $300 commitment fee from my clients that is fully refundable upon completion of the photoshoot and reveal session. Paying the commitment fee encourages my clients to commit to the dates booked, and it gives me peace of mind to prepare for their appointments. Not a single client forfeited their $300 fee since I started doing this, it has been working great for the studio! 

5. Branding and packaging

Few years ago when I was visiting Paris I picked up a Chanel pouch for my cousin.  I honestly have forgotten how the pouch looked but I still remember the wonderful service that I got from the sales assistant. She meticulously wrapped the pouch in a fancy box and decorated it with cute ribbons and paper tissue before putting everything in a very nice bag. I had a great experience and felt valued as a customer.  I want my clients to know that I appreciate their business with me, therefore for packaging, I also wrap their portraits in boxes with my brand embossed together with other handpicked packaging materials to compliment their products. These little details are what make me happy and I hope they make my clients feel appreciated too.

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How was your 2015? Share it with me?