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Sealey Brandt International Photographer Available for Your Shoot here n Singapore

Based out of Singapore for more than a decade and now travelling internationally for the past 8 years, Sealey has captured images of families worldwide including Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and New York and The Hamptons.

Following a distinguished career in advertising, working with agencies including Saatchi and Saatchi, M&C Saatchi, Batey Ads and Ogilvy, she has been commissioned by more than 1000 families to capture nurturing, candid and real emotions. Her pictures are precious because they are real.

Clients often ask me “should I photograph my family outdoors or in the studio?” and my answer is, “how do you want your images to speak to you?”.

If you are photographed outdoors, the images can turn into environmental portraits as if you have enough background in the image it will add to your pictures and tell you something about where that person is and what they are interested in.

Take a lovely family shot outdoor on a beach for example. The more background you have the more beach you will see so that will tell you that that family loves the beach and the outdoors.

If I were to photograph that family on the beach but still photograph them quite closely then you may not see much of the beach. I would do both – photograph them close up and further away – jumping in the water, kids running and doing all sorts of things as the beach is a place to have fun. Get people having fun and you will get great pictures.

It’s important to know how to direct people, make them feel excited, laughing, smiling and enjoying themselves. You then get great pictures if you know how to also work outdoors with the light, have skill in using your camera, have the right lenses etc etc.

Outdoor Photography: Be Prepared For Rainy or Hot Weather

It sounds easy but pop a dog in the shot, 1 – 4 children and get everyone looking good is not as easy as it sounds. If the rain caves in then that’s another story but looking on the bright side it could also make for interesting images if you have the right light as well.

It’s up to the outdoor photographer to make all of the above happen smoothly and get the best results.

A lot of my clients who have wanted outdoors is normally because they have spent time in Asia and know they will move on one day so they want a little bit of Asia or their destination in their photographs.

I have done a lot of shoots outdoors and some of my favourite pictures are taken in the Botanical Gardens in Singapore and beaches and markets in Hong Kong. I have been commissioned by a French family to photograph them whilst on a private Island. What a fabulous memory they have and stunning images.

It can be hot, humid and sap people’s energy and you may get hot and sweaty depending on where your shoot is of course but particularly in Asia. If you don’t mind this and you have a favourite location then do it.

Discuss the location with the photographer and get their input. Be mindful of where as if there is lots of people you may get lots of people in the background.

Outdoor Photography: Consider The Time of The Day

For outdoor photography, you must choose the right time of the day pending the best light i.e early in the morning or later in the afternoon – never in the middle of the day; the light will be too harsh.

Each country varies but the light is one of the most vital ingredients. It can make or break a shoot. I usually take fill in lights and a wonderful little power pack with a flash light attached and umbrellas. but it depends on the shoot – where etc as if you have to walk a long way without an assistant it can get very tricky.

I have photographed families in The Hamptons – just out of NYC and took a lot of extra gear/reflectors etc as it’s what the family wanted. A different type of lighting. This should all be discussed with the photographer in pre-production or over the phone pre shoot.

I love Singapore after the rain. The light can be amazing but people get wet. There are so many wonderful places to be photographed pending your budget, time and likes. Yalk about it and share all your idea’s. The photographer will have ideas too. It’s a great way to start getting excited so explore all possibilities as you never know. You may have some gems.

I always do a weather check and if the weather caves in the morning or afternoon of the shoot we always postphone and shift it to another day. That’s the only down side to shooting outside especially when you are ready to go, excited and then the rain falls.

Indoor Family Portrait Photography

Having your family photographed indoors is very different again. let’s say you choose your home. it’s sounds wonderful but the most important factor again is light. The photographer must bring a lot of lights to light up the room you need to be photographed in so that the background is alive and well lit.

If you have a lot of glass reflection can be an issue. Reflected flash is not good. If you have a lot of glass and the rain comes you need more light as it will get darker than expected.

Just be aware of all those wonderful magazine shoots where everyone looks gorgeous do require planning and all the details are taken care of by a team of people. Normally a stylist, make-up artist/hair stylist and the photographer and assistant pending what and where they want to shoot in the home.

If it’s a beautiful day and you have amazing window light it can be much more simple. The talent of the photographer just needs to shine through and be a great director of people.

Indoor Photography Inside Your Home

My family have lived in a black and white bungalow in Singapore for 12 years. We love our home so I recently hired a photographer to photograph my family. The weather was good. I choose a photographer that was fun and who’s style I liked.

We moved furniture around so we were placed in the right spot with the available light at the time. We changed positions so we got different feels of the home and us. We moved fast so we forgot we were being photographed. We included the dog and our helper. We wanted a memory of our time there. We got it.

I’m so happy we made the time, organised it and just did it! We all grow up to fast. Kids move on and life changes. We need to make these small efforts to preserve our being. It’s also wonderful keepsake for those we leave behind.

There are many other indoor locations you may consider other than your home. A hotel room, an indoor skate park, the office, in your yacht, with your horses in the stables. What ever the idea is, explore. Talk to your photographer and choose the best that suits your family.

Indoor Photography In The Studio

In studio is another option. If you love the look and feel of the way I shoot in studio – black background (can be other colours too but I love black as it keeps it simple and shows expressions) it keeps the image clean and simple. The lighting is consistent and beautiful and there are no weather issues. the studio is fully air-conditioned so you don’t get hot and sweaty.

Just because your shoot is in studio does not mean that the images have to be staged and boring and traditional. That all depends on the photographer. My shoots in studio are very lively, fun, relaxed and people are constantly shocked at how effortless they are and how fun they can be.

There is an impression that all studio shots are staged and posed. That’s simply because people have chosen a photographer that works that way. They don’t know how to make it fun and may not have the imagination to make it fun or experience. Don’t be put off by studio shoots. I have done hundreds of them and I feel that they often have the best results pending the ages of your children too. I love the simplicity of the background and the way I light my subjects.

Each photographer has their different way of lighting. Again one of the most vital roles in photography other than the way the photographer shoots.

I hope that all helps. If you need any help just ask.

Book a shoot with Sealey Today E. [email protected] P. +65 9005 3487


23 August 2019
I must be Sealey's number one fan. Back when I joined the publishing industry in Singapore as the managing editor of a popular listings magazine for expats, Sealey was featured on the cover reversing the role of photographer to subject. She was amazing and handled the situation with flair and professionalism. She is a delightful Human Being. Her attention to detail is second to none and her creative energy will blow you away. this is an awesome read....


17 April 2019
Love this.... Take a lovely family shot outdoor on a beach for example. The more background you have the more beach you will see so that will tell you that that family loves the beach and the outdoors.