Outdoor portrait sessions in BGC | Manila Photographer

Outdoor portrait sessions in BGC | Manila Photographer

Outdoor portrait sessions in Manila can be an excellent reason to update your old headshots across all your social media platforms. There’s nothing like impressing your friends or a potential employer with a new LinkedIn image or updating your current Facebook profile with fresh and dynamic images captured in the scenic beauty of Manila.

LinkedIn headshots in Bonifacio Global City

As an individual who values freedom and dynamism, it is crucial to recognize the benefits of a professional portrait session such as the one I offer. Complement your online presence with outdoor headshots to showcase your refined personality while boosting your self-assurance. By capturing these images amidst the scenic beauty of Bonifacio Global City, you can be sure to create a compelling and memorable visual presence across your social media profiles and beyond.

I have shared a selection of photos from a recent photoshoot with a captivating, free-spirited woman on my Instagram account. Working with her was a delightful experience, given her love for traveling, exploring new destinations, immersing herself in local cultures, and meeting new people. I marveled at the number of places she had already visited in the Philippines, underscoring the richness of her travel experiences.

Bonifacio Global City-a place where portrait sessions are at home.

Whether you are a resident of the Philippines or a tourist visiting the country, capturing a portrait while crossing the iconic 5th Avenue crossing en route to One Bonifacio Mall, with its awe-inspiring 3D screen, is an unforgettable moment that will serve as a cherished keepsake for years to come. It’s an opportunity to create a lifelong memory you can proudly share with your friends and loved ones.

Beyond the exceptional headshot session offered, the location of the shoot places you at the heart of Manila’s bustling residential and business hub in BGC. With a wealth of opportunities around, you can enhance your experience by indulging in a quick shopping session at the Square Mall or savoring delectable cuisine at one of the many highly regarded restaurants in the area, further adding value to your visit and strolling around High Street.

Are you looking to hire an English-speaking portrait photographer based in Manila? I would love to learn how to help your project come true.

Bronze Photo Session

1 Hour Shooting Time
Single Location (BGC)
Up to 20 Edited High-resolution Photographs


Silver Photo Session

2 Hours Shooting Time
2 Locations* (BGC&near by)
Up to 40 Edited High-resolution Photographs



Gold Photo Session

3 Hours Shooting Time
Multiple Locations* (Metro Manila)
Travel time&wardrobe changes are not included in the shoot time
Minimum 60 Edited High-resolution Photographs

PS: all the images presented in this article were shot in another country(read more About me) before relocating to live with my family in Bonifacio Global City. They showcase my work and give you valuable insights into the value you would receive from a photo session with me. 

Outdoor headshot photographer in Manila
Portrait in Manila
Portrait in front of a Japanese restaurant in Metro Manila
CV headshot portrait outdoors in Metro Manila
Portrait of a woman wearing a smart casual attire, from a portrait session in Bonifacio Global City
Outdoor headshot session in Bonifacio Global City
LinkedIn headshots in Bonifacio Global City. Outdoor photography session.

Lifestyle Photography | Professional Photographer in Manila

Lifestyle Photography | Professional Photographer in Manila

In Manila, lifestyle photography has gained immense popularity over the years as it captures candid and natural moments in people’s lives, making them more memorable. As a professional photographer with almost a decade of living experience in Asia, my focus has always been on people and lifestyle photography, and I have been fortunate enough to pursue my passion in the Philippines.

Table of contents:

My goal as a Manila portrait photographer is to capture the essence of everyday life in this vibrant city, and to achieve this is possible through my unique approach to lifestyle photography. Whether it’s capturing families spending quality time together, couples sharing romantic moments, or individuals showcasing their personalities, I strive to document real-life experiences in the most natural way possible.

Lifestyle photography.
Couple Portrait for Save The Date photo session in Manila

What is a Lifestyle Photographer?

A lifestyle photographer is a professional who specializes in capturing candid and natural moments in people’s lives, as opposed to traditional portrait photography. The focus of lifestyle photography is to document real-life experiences and tell a story through pictures.

As a Manila portrait photographer, my belief is that every person has a unique story, and it’s my job to capture it through my lens. Whether it’s a family enjoying a day out in the city or a couple walking hand in hand through the streets, aiming to create timeless images that will be cherished for generations to come is my ultimate goal.

Portrait Photography in BGC

What does a Lifestyle Photographer do?

By hiring me as your lifestyle photographer, you could benefit from various photography sessions, including family portraits, couple sessions, individual portraits, and urban portraits. You are free to choose from different packages for these sessions, including Bronze, Silver, and Gold, and they can be conducted in single or multiple locations.

Focusing on capturing candid moments in iconic locations, particularly on High Street in Bonifacio Global City, allows me to create the best images for you. This area is the most beautiful location in the entire Metro Manila, and it provides the perfect backdrop for lifestyle photography sessions.

Photography during the rainy season by the Manila Photographer Cristian Bucur

Can a Family Photo Session be considered Lifestyle Photography?

Absolutely! A family photo session can be considered lifestyle photography if it captures candid moments and natural interactions among family members. Matching outfits are well-known in Asia, and it helps in creating cohesive and visually appealing family portraits.

As a family portrait photographer, I understand the importance of capturing real-life moments and showcasing families’ unique bonds. My approach to family photography is to let families be themselves while capturing their natural interactions and emotions through my lens.

Manila Family Photographer

Packages Offered

To help you choose the perfect photography session, I offer a variety of packages, including Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Each package provides different options and locations, ensuring you get the best experience possible.

The Bronze package is perfect for individuals or couples wanting a quick, easy, 1-hour photography session. It includes one location and one hour of shooting time, and you’ll receive up to 20 edited photos(ok, usually a lot more because my clients always receive great images).

The Silver package is ideal for small families or couples who want more variety in their photos. It includes two locations and two hours of shooting time, and you’ll receive 40 edited photos.

Finally, the Gold package is perfect for larger families or those who want a more comprehensive photography session. It includes three locations and three hours of shooting time, and you’ll receive 60 edited photos.

Because I have to do my best at all times, most of my sessions end up with more photos than initially agreed, overdelivering far more images than needed. 

Bronze Photo Session

1 Hour Shooting Time
Single Location (BGC)
Up to 20 Edited High-resolution Photographs


Silver Photo Session

2 Hours Shooting Time
2 Locations* (BGC&near by)
Up to 40 Edited High-resolution Photographs



Gold Photo Session

3 Hours Shooting Time
Multiple Locations* (Metro Manila)
Travel time, time for wardrobe changes are not included in the shoot time
Minimum 60 Edited High-resolution Photographs

Family Portraits

One of the most popular sessions I offer is family portraits. Family is the cornerstone of every community, and capturing those precious moments with your loved ones is essential. Whether in the comfort of your own home or a beautiful park, my goal is to create a relaxed and fun atmosphere that allows you to be yourself. All families are encouraged to bring their pets or incorporate matching outfits for a more cohesive look.

Family portrait by the family photographer in Manila, Cristian Bucur

Couples Portraits

Another popular session is couples portraits. Whether for engagement photos or to capture those special moments with your significant other, my approach to couples portraits is to create a romantic and natural atmosphere. I’ll guide you through poses and prompts that showcase your love for each other while also capturing the beautiful scenery of Manila.

Individual Portraits

Individual portraits are perfect for those who want to capture their unique personality or commemorate a special milestone. Whether for professional headshots or to have a beautiful photo of yourself, my approach to individual portraits is to make you feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera.

Ballet Photography, Photographer in Metro Manila

Urban Portraits

For those who want a more unique and edgy look to their photos, I offer urban portraits in the bustling streets of Manila. Whether in front of colorful murals or the city’s heart, these photos are perfect for those who want to showcase their personality and style more unconventionally.

Bodybuilder Portrait photographer in Bonifacio Global City

Multiple Locations

If you can’t decide on just one location, don’t worry! I offer multiple location sessions(upon availability) so that you can capture different aspects of your life and personality. This is perfect for families or couples who want more variety in their photos.


In conclusion, as a Manila portrait photographer, I believe lifestyle photography is a powerful tool that captures candid and natural moments in people’s lives. My goal is to provide you with the best experience possible, ensuring that you get the most out of your photography session.

Whether you’re looking for family portraits, couple sessions, or individual portraits, my approach to lifestyle photography will help you create timeless images that will be cherished for generations to come. So, book a photography session with me, and let’s capture your unique story through my lens.

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Studio photographer in Metro Manila (NCR) | Mobile Studio

Studio photographer in Metro Manila (NCR) | Mobile Studio

As a studio photographer based in Manila, I’m excited to share my experiences and stories about how I helped previous clients, sometimes by visiting clients’ locations with my mobile studio.

Firstly, let me tell you a little bit about what I do. As a studio photographer, my main job is to capture beautiful, high-quality portraits in a controlled indoor environment. This means I must be very mindful of the lighting and posing techniques I use to create stunning and flattering images of my clients.

Manila studio photographer

When people think of studio photography, they often think of stiff, formal poses and bland, dull lighting. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! As a professional studio photographer, I use a variety of different techniques to create dynamic and engaging portraits that truly capture my clients’ personalities.

One of my clients wanted a studio session to preserve her look in images and remember the most iconic period of her life when she looked the best and had a prolific career surrounded by success.

I believe preserving one’s likeness in photographs can serve as an excellent example for future generations. When we take pictures, we capture a moment in time that can never be repeated. These images tell stories of our past, and by preserving them, we can show future generations what life was like during our time.

By preserving our photographs, we can teach our children and grandchildren about our lives, values, beliefs, and how we lived. They can see the world through our eyes and better understand our experiences. We can show them our achievements, struggles, joys, and sorrows.

Preserving our photographs is also an opportunity to pass down family history and traditions. We can show future generations where we came from, how we grew up, and how our family has evolved. It is a way to keep our memories alive and ensure that they will not be forgotten.

Corporate Headshots Photographer in Manila

One of the essential aspects of studio photography is lighting. Using artificial lighting, I create various moods and styles in my portraits. For example, if I’m shooting headshot portraits for LinkedIn or corporate headshots, I’ll use a soft, diffused light to create a clean, professional look.

On the other hand, if I’m shooting a more creative portrait, I might use dramatic, high-contrast lighting to create a more edgy and dynamic feel. The key is to adapt to each client’s needs and create a look that truly reflects their unique personality and style. In the example below, the young engineer living away from his home country wanted a photograph to showcase his origins and traditions.

Studio photography in BGC

Another important aspect of studio photography is posing. I always take the time to work with my clients to find flattering and natural poses while also conveying the right message for their particular needs. Whether working with models, business professionals, or families, I always strive to make my clients feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera.

Creative Studio Photography. 
Studio photographer in Manila, Cristian Bucur

Before all studio photography sessions, my clients answer a couple of questions to make me understand what they need or desire. Discussing in detail about posing ideas, mood, and usage intent for the photos will ensure final images that complement everyone’s expectations.

Ultimately, as a studio photographer, my job is to help my clients look and feel their best. Whether they’re looking for headshot portraits for LinkedIn or something more creative and expressive, I’m always here to help them achieve their goals and capture beautiful images they can treasure for a lifetime.

I have good news if you want to hire a professional studio photographer but lack time to go to a local studio. In that case, I can bring my mobile studio anywhere in Metro Manila, and I only need space available 45 minutes before the shooting time to install the necessary equipment.

I’d be honored to discuss your needs and see how we can work together to create some truly stunning portraits. Thank you for reading.

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How to choose the ideal photographer in Manila for your needs?

How to choose the ideal photographer in Manila for your needs?

I’m glad you’re considering hiring a professional photographer in Manila for your photography needs. Choosing the right photographer can be daunting, but finding someone who understands your vision and can capture your moments beautifully is crucial.

Table of contents:

Determine your needs and style

The first step in choosing the right photographer is determining your needs and style. Do you need a photographer in Manila for a family portrait, a commercial event, or a business headshot? Each type of photography requires unique skills, equipment, and experience. For example, a family photo session requires capturing the couple’s emotions, or a child’s play, while a commercial event needs a more formal and precise approach.

Corporate Headshots Photographer in Manila

Once you have identified your needs, it’s time to consider your style. Do you prefer traditional or candid shots? Formal or casual? Colorful or black and white? Do you need a studio photographer? A good photographer should be able to adapt to your preferred style and offer suggestions to enhance your images. 

However, consulting a few photographers’ portfolios should answer the questions above, especially because some will have a set style and may want to stay within a specific territory, which leads to the next point.

Look at their portfolio

A photographer’s portfolio is the best way to gauge their skills, style, and experience. Please look at their website, social media profiles, and blog to see their work. Look for images that match your style and needs. Pay attention to the quality and consistency of their work. Can they capture the emotions and details in a way that resonates with you?

Ballet Photography, Photographer in Manila

A photographer’s portfolio should showcase their versatility, creativity, and ability to capture their clients’ unique personalities and stories. If you’re looking for a wedding photographer, check if they have experience shooting in different locations and lighting conditions. If you’re looking for a family portrait photographer, check if they can capture the essence of your family in a natural and candid way.

Quality-grade photography

An important aspect to understand is that there’s a big difference between quality-grade photography and photos that look good. 

Quality-grade photography is produced with attention to detail, technical skill, artistic vision, and professional camera gear; most of the time with a second backup professional camera. It involves careful composition, lighting, and post-production editing to create an image that looks good and conveys a message or tells a story. 

Photos that look good, on the other hand, may be aesthetically pleasing but need more depth and technical excellence of quality-grade photography, which can be seen on a computer’s screen or in actual printed photos. They may be snapshots taken with a smartphone or point-and-shoot(or entry-level consumer cameras) camera showing their limitations once you print those images(remember those pixelated images?).

An important tip is to ask for a couple of images in the format and size they will deliver to an actual client. If you wonder why there is a simple explanation: all social networks optimize the pictures in such a severe way that will make the photos look far away from the actual files. 

For example, on my website, I have made some mistakes using the wrong software to optimize the images for speed, to load faster for people who don’t have a fast internet speed. That helped with my website loading time but diminished how the photos looked. I know this doesn’t sound very easy, and it has nothing to do with photographer skills but with the company that makes the website.

Read their reviews and testimonials

Reading reviews and testimonials from previous clients is an excellent way to gauge the photographer’s quality of work and customer service. Look for photographers with a proven track record of delivering high-quality work and excellent customer service. Reading reviews will also give you an idea of how easy they are to work with and if they can accommodate your specific needs. In my case, I have asked my past clients to provide me feedback on my Facebook page; you can read them all here.


Additionally, if you want to go out of your way, you can ask for references from previous clients and check if they are satisfied with the photographer’s work. A good photographer will be fine providing you with references and examples of their happy clients, although this is an extreme requirement. Their Facebook page or Google Maps entry should suffice 99.9% of the time.

Schedule a consultation

Once you have narrowed your search, schedule a consultation with the desired photographer. This will give you an opportunity to discuss your needs, style, and vision and ask them about their experience and process. A good photographer will take the time to understand your requirements and offer suggestions to ensure your images are stunning.

I always encourage my potential clients to meet, at least virtually, via a video call. I know that time comes at a premium nowadays, but it is much better and more productive during the photo shoot if we already “know each other.”

During the consultation, ask the photographer about their shooting approach, equipment, and post-processing techniques. Ask them about the number of photos you can expect, the turnaround time, and how they deliver their final product. A good photographer should be able to answer all your questions and provide you with a clear understanding of their process.

My work etiquette dictates the existence of a contract, as it should be, mainly because I have a bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Law. I prepare all the details mentioned above in a contract, and all parties involved sign before starting the photography session or event.

Consider the cost

The cost of a photographer is an important consideration, but it should not be the only factor. Remember, you get what you pay for. While sticking to your budget is important, don’t compromise on quality. Good photography is an investment that you will cherish for years to come. 

Event photography for the Swedish Chamber of Commerce by Cristian Bucur photographer in Manila

When comparing prices, make sure you understand what’s included in the package. Some photographers will have additional fees, such as printing charges, retouching, or travel expenses. Ensure you understand the contract’s terms and conditions, including cancellation policies and payment terms.

Since photography is a luxury service, expect it not to be cheap. Most photographers in Manila won’t be able to shoot 8(eight) hours a day, 5(five) days a week, but they all should be able to make a living like any other professionals.

In conclusion, finding the right photographer in Manila may take some time and research, but it’s worth the effort. Remember to identify your needs and style, look at their portfolio, read their reviews and testimonials, schedule a consultation, and only then decide. With these tips, you can hire your ideal photographer in the Philippines.

Are you ready for your next photo session? Tap now the contact button below!

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Creative portraits in the studio in Bonifacio Global City 

Creative portraits in the studio in Bonifacio Global City 

New Year’s resolution is behind, and you search for creative portraits in Bonifacio Global City. I have the perfect solution for you if you’re looking for a unique and innovative way to capture your personality in stunning photographs. My studio sessions for creative portraits are designed to showcase your individuality in the most beautiful and artistic way possible.

Table of contents:

Why creative portraits?

In a day and age where selfies with your smartphone are somewhat the norm, you deserve more than a mere snapshot.

Creative portraits in the studio in Bonifacio Global City 

Portraits should be more than just a simple snapshot of your face; they should capture your essence, soul, and character. That’s why I use various techniques to create portraits that are as unique as you are. While there is no assurance that the results from one particular session will fit you, too, it’s my priority to make sure you are going to love your shots.

What do I do to find inspiration?

How many times have you heard “you’re talented”? The reality is that “talent” is, more often than not, a lot of continuous hard work, education, staying updated, and learning new techniques.

Yes, talent means hard work—a lot of it. My first attempt to make creative portraits in my tatami room was years before, and the result was very different from what I saw on Pinterest. 

Studio photography in BGC

One of my favorite techniques is using creative lighting to enhance the mood and atmosphere of the portraits. I use a combination of studio lights and other lighting techniques to create stunning, captivating, truly one-of-a-kind images.

Another technique I use is incorporating elements of your personality and interests into the portraits. Whether it’s integrating your favorite hobbies and color schemes or capturing you in a specific environment that is meaningful to you, I always strive to make each portrait session unique and personal.

Studio portrait photography in Bonifacio Global City

One of the best things about my studio sessions for creative portraits is that they are not limited to just one person. I love capturing couples, too. By bringing different personalities and styles together, I can create stunning and memorable portraits you’ll treasure forever.

My studio is located in Bonifacio Global City, one of the most vibrant and energetic parts of Metro Manila. We could also use this location to provide endless opportunities for creative and unique portraits, whether against the stunning skyline, in the bustling streets, or in one of the many parks.

When you book a studio session with me, we will create a personalized and tailored experience. We’ll discuss your ideas, personality, and preferences, and I’ll use that information to create a portrait session that is unique to you. Every session aspect will be carefully crafted, from the lighting to the wardrobe and poses, to ensure you love the final results.

Studio photographer in Metro MAnila

I also provide a range of packages to suit every budget and need. Whether you’re looking for a quick and straightforward portrait session or a more elaborate and creative experience, I have a package that will work for you. Plus, with my years of experience and expertise, I will provide the best possible guidance and advice to help you get the most out of your portrait session.

So, if you’re looking for a unique and creative way to capture your personality in stunning portraits, look no further than my studio sessions in Bonifacio Global City. With my expertise, passion, and commitment to capturing the true essence of every person I photograph, I guarantee that you’ll love the final results.

Don’t wait any longer to book your session. Contact me today to schedule your personalized and tailored portrait session, and let’s create some truly unique and beautiful images together!

Portrait photographer for athletes in Bonifacio Global City

Portrait photographer for athletes in Bonifacio Global City

Are you looking for a portrait photographer for athletes in Bonifacio Global City, specializing in capturing the beauty and strength of athletic individuals? Whether you are a bodybuilder, yoga practitioner, cyclist, or any other type of athlete, I am here to help you showcase your physical prowess in a stunning portrait.

Portrait photographer for athletes in Bonifacio Global City

Living in Bonifacio Global City, I am lucky to be surrounded by a community of passionate and dedicated athletes. I have worked with many of these individuals to create powerful, dynamic portraits that highlight their hard work and dedication.

Cyclist portrait in Bonifacio Global City

As an avid cyclist, one thing that sets my portrait photography apart is my attention to detail, which comes from my love of sports. I take the time to understand your unique story and tailor the shoot to your specific needs. Whether you are looking for a simple headshot or a more elaborate composition, I will work with you to create a final product you will be proud to display.

In addition, you will benefit from my extensive knowledge of lighting and posing techniques that allow me to capture the most flattering angles and highlights of your body. Every person is unique and deserves to be celebrated, regardless of their shape or size.

Fitness portrait in Bonifacio Global City
Fitness portrait

If you are an athlete living in Bonifacio Global City, I would be honored to work with you to create a stunning portrait that showcases your strength and beauty. Whether you are a bodybuilder looking to capture your chiseled physique, a yoga practitioner hoping to catch your inner peace, or a cyclist looking to showcase your athleticism, I am here to help.

So why not treat yourself to a professional portrait that you can cherish for years to come? Contact me today to schedule a consultation, and let’s create something extraordinary together!

Are photos from a pro photographer really that much better?

Are photos from a pro photographer really that much better?

They say it’s better to show than to tell. But this being a blog post, that kind of necessitates me telling you a few things. I promise to include lots of photographic evidence. When you get to the end of this post, you can judge for yourself whether this is a service you need in Metro Manila or not.

Table of contents:

It’s in focus, right?*

Though not what you’d consider a tight-wad, I have opinions on what certain goods and services are worth. I struggle with balancing price vs quality. I often think that it’s okay for other people to pay for nicer things, whereas I tend to take the economy route. For me, getting quick studio headshots at the local studio, in and out in 5 minutes, had always been enough. Well, that’s the way I used to think.

Why am I never in our family photos? Don’t you love me?

When it came to getting family portraits done, I knew we needed a professional photographer. We had tons of family selfies and smartphone pics snapped by someone else. None of them were worthy of displaying. None of them popped. They always had at least one unwanted element – someone with their eyes closed, a stranger walking into frame, the background not quite right. Always something.

My wife is usually the one snapping pics. She (rightfully) complains that she’s never in our pics. She’s the one that takes the time to stop and take photos when we’re out as a family. It’s her that wants to preserve those memories. I’m the guy that never thinks to snap a picture. But I always appreciate looking at the ones other people took the time to capture.

Though not usually my thing, I decided to schedule a family photo shoot to surprise my wife. I was pretty sure we’d get some decent pics and knew that this way we’d all be in the shots together.

Though our shoot was a family session, we each also had several individual pics taken. Thus, we got a nice mix of professional group and individual shots. Including our family pet in the shoot was a great touch, and something our photographer was happy to accommodate.

Damn! Who are these people and why do they look so good?

When we got the pics, we were all overjoyed with the results. The first thing that was immediately noticeable was the quality of the images. Yeah, smartphone cameras are getting better and better – but they aren’t DSLRs. And while smartphones have been improving, so have those fancy cameras. Expensive equipment in the hands of an amateur won’t always make a difference. But the right tools in the hands of a pro – the results speak for themselves. The vibrant colors. The blurred background. The dog looking in the right direction! I don’t have any photos on my phone that look like that. My wife doesn’t have any on her phone either.

 We’re BOTH looking at the camera!

57 channels and nothing on – 1000s of pics and they all suck

Outdoor portrait of the man. Metro Manila-based professional portrait photographer Cristian Bucur
Who’s that handsome devil?

As I was setting up my website for my new English copywriting & proofreading business, I started sifting through my folders of images on my hard drive. I was looking for shots I could use on my ABOUT page. I was looking for pics that captured the real me. Not stuffy, posed shots, but professional looking ones that oozed natural. Though it was fun scrolling through 1000s of pics and reminiscing, I wasn’t finding any candidates for my ABOUT page. None of them were of a high enough quality. None of them were professional enough. They looked like phone pics. Then I stumbled on the folder containing images from our family photo shoot. Now these, these were what I was after! The majority of candidates came from that folder. But I couldn’t have all the pics on my ABOUT page with me wearing the same outfit. I’m no fashionista, but even I know that ain’t a good look.

I then turned to looking at the images I’d used as profile pics on my social media accounts. I found a few more candidates from that group. I realized I’d chosen them as profile pictures for a reason. They stood out to me. They captured me in a natural way. They were pics of myself I didn’t hate. I’d go so far as to say I actually liked them. They were simply good pictures. Interesting note – those profile pics had all come from the same source.

Need to get some good shots taken? I know a guy…

That source? The guy that did our family shoot. I’d known him for years. It was because I’d liked his previous work that I contacted him about getting our family portraits done. You see, he was also the ‘unofficial photographer’ for my old cycling club. He photographed our cycling events but also always brought his camera to our informal get togethers. I’d been using his photos from those events as profile pics for years. Why? Why did I keep choosing his photos for my profile pics? Was it just because he had a big fancy camera? Well, maybe, though I suspect he would’ve taken much better pics with my phone than I ever had. The reason I’d been using his images for profile pics was simple. They were unposed images that showed me looking natural. I didn’t have a stupid expression on my face. He’d snapped them at just the right moment. Quite simply, he took good pictures. 

Portrait from a "men's night out". Metro Manila-based professional portrait photographer Cristian Bucur
Will any studio headshot do? Is any studio photographer better than none?
Headshot or arrest photo?**

When I first set up my LinkedIn account years ago, I figured I needed a professional looking headshot. I used one of the few photos of me in a suit and tie I could find. I’d had it done at a local studio a few years ago. The studio photographer took 1 shot and glanced at the screen on his camera. He transferred it to his computer and showed it to me on the computer screen. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. My eyes weren’t closed. I had a neutral look on my face. It would suffice. It was a professional looking photo in that my appearance was professional. But it wasn’t what I would call professional looking. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it terribly good. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t particularly like it either. What do you think?

After setting up my website, I decided I needed to update my LinkedIn profile, including my photo. That headshot of me in a suit and tie wasn’t great and didn’t give off the vibe I was looking for with my new site. Again, I ended up going with one of the pics my favorite photographer had taken. It was a shot from one of our cycling events. I had no idea he’d taken it until afterwards. It was a little more casual, but the quality gave me a professional air. Perfect!

Portrait from a "men's night out". Metro Manila-based professional portrait photographer Cristian Bucur
Professional, yet approachable
Time for your decision – what say you? Yea or nay?

All the images I selected for my ABOUT page came from the images included on this page (creepy headshots aside). I’ve used several of them as profile pics on various platforms. Their quality coupled with how natural I look make it an easy choice. They’re pictures of myself that I actually like. 

I know I started this post by stating that you could be the judge. To hell with that. Does getting your photo taken by a professional photographer make a difference? Damn straight it does. If you find the right one. And if you don’t agree with that, I’ve only got one response…

Portrait of a man wearing sports goggles. Metro Manila-based professional portrait photographer Cristian Bucur
Headshot or mug shot?

P.S. If you haven’t figured out who this mysterious photographer is, you can go check out my ABOUT page and check the photo credits. 😉 

*, ** @credit to the local studio.
Guest article, courtesy of my dear friend, Dean @ English Copywriting & Proofreading.

5 reasons why people feel uncomfortable during photography sessions

5 reasons why people feel uncomfortable during photography sessions

Adults during photography sessions in front of a photo camera can have great fun, or, on the contrary, it can be a traumatizing experience. I am writing this article to list some of the reasons why people freeze in front of the camera when they finally decide to have a photoshoot. From the beginning, I want to let you know this is normal and common, and it happens even to me. All ideas presented here are all my opinions based on my work and experience as a photographer in Metro Manila.

Are photographers the exception to being camera shy? Well, it is not uncommon. Not long ago, I have been part of an evening event with creatives consisting of photographers, models, makeup artists, and more.

Taking photos during the entire evening, I could observe that the only people who loved their time in front of the camera were mostly models (read more about that great event). I am too one of those photographers who doesn’t like the time spent in front of a camera. Of course, I do love to see portraits of myself after the fact. I always think I should have far more photos of my wife and myself. Sometimes, after ten days of vacation, we barely have ten portraits of each other.

My experiences as a photographer based in Bonifacio Global City are that people have different reasons for freezing or feeling uncomfortable during a photography session. After all, we are all different.

List of the most common reasons people feel uncomfortable during photography sessions

Reason #1

When it comes to the most common reasons people are camera shy, there are quite a few explanations. By far, the number one reason is self-consciousness. Because of this, people, instead of relaxing and having fun during a photography session, focus their attention and mind on thinking about how they would look in the final photos. More often than not, this leads to exhaustion, anxiety, and tense moments.

I did a photography session for a lovely couple in downtown Bonifacio Global City a while back. I literally took photos of a young rocket scientist and his girlfriend. Soon after I took the first few photos, I realized that the young man in front of my camera was terrified. Had I pointed a shotgun at his face, he would probably have been a lot less terrified. As a photographer, I had to find ways to loosen up my client’s tension.

Thus, I started to explain the feelings I had while I was in front of the camera. In my case, it’s a matter related to my nose length. I dislike seeing profile photos of me (from one side of the face) because I think my nose is a tad too long. Keeping the conversation flowing helped my client to relax, and he finally forgot he was there for a photography session. I’m very proud to say he didn’t even realize when we finished the photoshoot that he and his girlfriend could go on with their day.

Couple portrait by Bonifacio Global City Photographer Cristian Bucur

Reason #2

The above leads to the second most common reason people feel uncomfortable in front of the camera during photography sessions- they think some parts of their body don’t look very pleasing. We are all very different and see and perceive things differently. I will not make a point in discussing points of view or paradigms. Something better to be dealt with with the help of someone who has studied this phenomenon. From a photographer’s perspective, I can avoid things that can quickly look better by using different framing angles or lenses.

Masking some little facial features could be achieved sometimes easily just by using a narrow aperture, a setting done in-camera for which you don’t have to worry. If you wonder what a professional photographer can hide this way, the answer covers a lot of minor things (in my humble opinion): chin, forehead, one eye smaller than the other, or cheeks. You can complete the list with anything bothering you.

Bodybuilder's portrait taken on open street by the photographer in Bonifacio Global City
Look at the confidence this athlete has. Doesn’t he look perfect? Read more here: PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION FOR ATHLETES

Reason #3

A third common reason people feel uncomfortable in front of the camera consists of illnesses that leave marks on people’s skin, like vitiligo, acne, and other similar diseases, which can affect anyone. Don’t worry; for most mild instances, if you inform your photographer, there might be ways to cover some of the issues, either using the proper makeup applied by a makeup artist or, after the fact, in post-processing when digitally editing the photos.

Every photographer has a different approach and may or may not be able to supply such services, which can and should come with an extra cost. Using Photoshop for advanced editing of skin to cover acne, applying a tattoo, or coloring the skin to cover vitiligo can be a very lengthy process and can last hours.

The good news is there is always a solution; all you have to do is inform your photographer. I believe every photograph is a product that I can continuously improve; that’s why I learned how to do enhanced photo editing and manipulation. Below is a sped-up video of some advanced photo editing I have done for a client. Keep in mind this is only scratching the surface of what a photographer can accomplish using advanced photo editing.

Reason #4

A fourth common reason people feel uncomfortable in front of the camera is clothing. Some people don’t know what to wear during a photo shoot to make them look better. After all, if you pay a professional photographer, why not ask for some advice too? I will not pretend I’m a mainstream Bonifacio Global City fashion photographer, but I do know a thing or two.

General rules are that avoiding wearing clothes that distract will only grant better-looking photos. Avoid big distracting logos, stripes, incorrect size, and similar colors with the location of the shoot (if shooting in a park, wearing green should be avoided). Ensuring ironing the clothes before the shoot sounds silly, but this is something often overlooked.

Woman portrait with her hair blown by the wind by Bonifacio Global City Photographer Cristian Bucur
To be honest, I have no idea what that text means, nor can I read it.

Reason #5

A fifth and last reason which will end my list of most common reasons why people feel uncomfortable in front of the camera, consists of people with body imperfections. For obvious reasons, I will not expand on this more than necessary. All I can say is I consider every and all people to be perfect. As they say, “Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.” There is nothing to hide or feel uncomfortable about in this view. Show yourself off and be proud to be living a full life. I will be delighted to photograph you at any time of the day.

Pet portrait of an amazing hairless dog I shot in my home studio:  Xoloitzcuintli.
An amazing hairless dog I shot in my home studio: Xoloitzcuintli

An important tip is to always inform the photographer before scheduling any photography session to avoid any things you may not like. I urge everyone to follow this advice anytime and tell their professional photographer to make their portraits, considering their personal preference. This way is the first step to follow to avoid never building tension that shouldn’t be there in the first place.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. If you have questions about the ideas presented in this article or you would like to improve it further, please click the contact button below. I would be delighted to hear from you.

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