Karling Hamill

Portrait | Last Updated: February 28, 2023

I’m Karling Hamill, founder of So Lightly Photography.

I’m a portrait and product photographer/stylist based in Hong Kong, travelling everywhere. My talent is in making you look good!

I do a mixture of portraits – maternity, newborn, family, couples, glamour, boudoir and product styling/photography.

I was raised in Australia, obsessed with light, and always had a film camera in hand while growing up. My work has been published in Frankie Magazine, Vogue HK, SCMP, Tatler HK, and Nosotras.

I used to shoot with Fuji, and I still have a Fujifilm XT2 for hiking, but my main workhorses are the Canon EOS R5 and a Minolta CLE film camera.

My absolute favourite lens which I nickname The Beast is the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 USM. With this lens, I can do an entire shoot along with my set of Kase magnetic filters.

I also love my Lensbaby Velvet 85mm f/1.8 and the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2.

On my Minolta CLE film camera sits the Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm.

I have a graveyard of lenses that I need to sell, but somehow I can’t let them go even though I really only use the lenses I’ve mentioned.

I used to think I only liked natural light and used flash only where needed. However, I’ve now grown to love the look of flash.

I absolutely love my Godox V1-C flash. It is a more readily available brand in Hong Kong than Profoto which I was investigating, but they are a little expensive.

When I’m in the studio, I do love the Profoto lights that come with the space so one day perhaps my budget will allow me to collect more lighting.

I have a bit of a problem when it comes to collecting camera bags. My fave is the Peak Design Everyday Camera Backpack, but when I’m travelling light, I use a Status Anxiety Camera Bag or the Peak Design 6L sling.

I love the lightweight and robust nature of the Peak Design Travel Tripod. It’s a nifty very easy-to-use piece of kit, what’s not to like about it? However, I must confess I often just use my body braced against a wall for stability saving the tripod for the product or night shots.

Lightroom all day every day for me in which I have made my own presets. Apple MacBook Pro is my laptop and editing tool. I like to see my product shots straight away so I will tether to my Macbook with a bright orange lead,  hopefully stopping me from tripping over it.

Extreme Pro SanDisk Compact Flash Cards – and lots of them!

Redback Tough Boots – I’ve had these for over a decade, and they are still going strong.

Kase Magnetic Filters – are super easy to use and I like the carry case, that’s me being shallow.

There is a global shortage of my favourite rolls of film, so I keep a stockpile as it is always a niggling anxiety in the back of my mind that I will run out.

I like to use flowers and other things as props or as a distraction for children on family shoots. They always look so lovely held in their hands, and the kids are still fascinated by them.

Always chocolate and fruit for me and a bit of plastic wrap to put around the lens for a dreamy effect.

Baby wipes for spills and face masks because, in Hong Kong, they are still mandatory.

I’m always telling people to go towards the light, please step into the light! A random person close to one of my photoshoots asked if I was a medium, they thought I was communing with ghosts. They completely missed that I had a camera in my hand.

Website | Instagram 

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