Evening family photography session in BGC | Manila Photographer

Evening family photography session in BGC | Manila Photographer

As a family photographer based in Bonifacio Global City, I’m always in awe whenever I photograph families. Unique vibes are for photo shoots during the evening when the BHS has a colorful warmth from the many lights available. I’m thankful for the shared moments, an opportunity that honors me.

I take pride in being a family man, father to a young daughter. I cherish the importance of family: I would not have been what I am today without the support from my family.

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Mini family photography sessions

You know how important your family photos are. But you lack the time, although you want that new family portrait taken as soon as possible before going on with your life. Click here for more family portraits.

You should not worry anymore. I have you covered, and this blog article is proof: I’ve taken all these family photos in less than 15 minutes during a beautiful evening on Bonifacio High Street.

Yes, they are a little varied, but when time is at a premium, that one photo with all your family members is all that matters. The atmosphere on Bonifacio High Street during that evening makes it up for the need for more time in hand.

Entire family members' portrait taken during evening on BHS (Bonifacio High Street)

The family that makes the subject of this blog article had contacted me for a one-hour family shoot. Little did I know that I’ll visit BHS for only 15 mins! There was one family pose; people switched around in a blazing hurry.

“Wait, the dog, the dog! One photo with the dog. Please, dog, look to the photographer”. Click here for more pet portraits in the studio.

Yorkshire Terrier portrait at night from a family photo session on High Street in Bonifacio Global City.

What room for error: closed eyes, not all people looking into my camera, etc. Luckily, my full-frame cameras can shoot quickly, and I fully took advantage of that feature.

As a client, this may not mean much to you, but let me tell you that it creates additional pressure for me. I know what I’m doing, but sometimes technology needs to align with my intentions.

The story above is self-explanatory if you were wondering what a professional family photographer is. They even contacted me to let me know how they felt after the family mini-photo session.

“We were super happy with our family photo shoot we organized last minute. Cristian was efficient and professional and would have used much more time for different locations, but as we were pressed with time, he was able to capture the essence & beauty of our family in a very short time. He is very easy to work with, and you can be certain you get what you want. Thank you for the amazing pictures!”

Portrait of blonde woman holding her Yorkie on BHS (Bonifacio High Street) during evening

Importance of family photography

Family photography serves many purposes: from merely documenting the likeness of its members to bringing comfort over rough periods.

It is worth mentioning that printed family photos and albums nowadays can last for hundreds of years. Having your own family’s history captured in beautiful images can only add value to your family connections and relations.

Displaying your family portraits or your kids’ portraits will only reinforce their feeling that they are essential members of our family.

Why are you wasting precious time? Press the button below to schedule your next Bonifacio Global City family session.

Entire family members' portrait taken during evening on BHS (Bonifacio High Street)
Yorkshire Terrier portrait at night from a family photo session on High Street in Bonifacio Global City.
Father and sons' portraits were taken on High Street in Bonifacio Global City during a photography session by Metro Manila-based professional portrait photographer Cristian Bucur.
Brothers and family dog portraits from a family portrait session on High Street in Bonifacio Global City by Metro Manila-based professional family portrait photographer Cristian Bucur
Brother's portraits from a family photography session on Bonifacio High Street during evening
Father and daughter's portrait taken during a family photography session on Bonifacio High Street
Mother and daughter's portrait taken during a family session on Bonifacio High Street (BHS)
Brothers portraits and their dog taken during evening in BHS (Bonifacio High Street)
Family couple and their dog's portrait taken during a family shoot on BHS (Bonifacio High Street)
Portrait of blonde woman holding her Yorkie on BHS (Bonifacio High Street) during evening

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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.

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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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Will I be happy to leave Tokyo to be a photographer in Metro Manila?

Will I be happy to leave Tokyo to be a photographer in Metro Manila?

Working as a freelance photographer in Metro Manila was never something I ever thought about, although I know quite a few fantastic people from the Philippines.

Yet, here I am, living temporarily in a hotel in Pasay City. I know; people have already advised me to be extra cautious in this area. So far, I have only met friendly, welcoming people. Hoping that will be the case for the next couple of years.

After arriving at the hotel from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, my family and I had a beautiful surprise from the hotel staff: a very thoughtful welcoming package for our dog, the first pet in the hotel’s history to be a guest.

Photographer in Metro Manila

Considering working as a photographer in Metro Manila was never the case, but so it was my Asian experience, to begin with. Over eight years had passed since using chopsticks had become second nature to me.

Photographer in Metro Manila? I’m not even sure what that means. For me.

Sure, if I were a travel photographer. While loving to take photos during travels, I still consider myself a portrait photographer. People are my thing, and creating portraits for them makes me happy. Whether in a photography studio or outdoors in a local park, I could shoot all day long to create that one image I strive for.

Photographer in Metro Manila

Did I mistake leaving Tokyo to be a photographer in Metro Manila? The ramifications of this question are so complex that I think this is a question that must be answered later. Living here for a couple of weeks is not nearly as “enough” to have an opinion.

However, I know what it takes to feel well and have a wonderful happy life. It takes a home: an apartment where my family and I can retreat from the daily chores to feel safe and cozy. Because I have basic needs, I’ll be over the moon to photograph. Studio shoots combined with casual family sessions in a local park(I’ve been eyeing some places in Bonifacio Global City) could keep me busy seven days a week.

Corporate Headshots Photographer in Metro Manila

While living in Seoul, South Korea, cycling has given my life a new meaning. In all honesty, researching for photography industry in Manila was the second thing I studied about the Philippines. The very first thing I researched was cycling. That’s because I know that besides the obvious health benefits, cycling is an opportunity to meet people and discover the country on an otherwise impossible level. Instagram (click here for my account) could be a great way to learn and discover places, but nothing compares to finding out with your own eyes.

So many ideas and thoughts are randomly going through my mind right now that I think, for the moment, I should keep things relatively short to avoid becoming annoying.

Are you looking for a photographer in Metro Manila? Send me a message and let me know about your project; I’d love to help.

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.