Jonathan was my first 2015 session……. he was born 7 weeks early and at only 4 pounds. A lot of Preemies can be quite alert and harder to photograph due to being born early but he was very crusiey and slept most of the session.
I was having a conversation with some other professional photographers on Facebook today. The subject was about new photographers starting out or even just parents trying newborn photography with their own babies and Safety was on the top of the list, so I thought that I would write this blog for anyone who a/. actually reads my blog and b/. for anyone just starting out and is thinking of photographing newborns or c/. Mums and Dads thinking it looks easy and posing their babies at home.
We all have to start somewhere and learn our profession, whether we are photographers or dentists, shop assistants or going to be a mechanic. When I first started photography way back in the 80’s….yes the 80’s (I’m showing my age !) I learnt photography from a fantastic teacher at high school who taught lighting, posing, exposure, composition, darkroom skills and the art of seeing and much, much more…Thanks Mr Bridge, apologies for my grammar (he was also my English teacher).
I now had the fundamentals for being a photographer…..so I thought…..then I get a job in the photographic industry and started working for a well known family portrait studio. The first thing they taught us was safety. WOW! A total eye opener about working in the big wide world. They taught us to have parents standing next to their child at all times and for babies they had to have a hand underneath clothing, no sharp props (common sense ya think), props with wheels had to be fixed so the wheels couldn’t move, and I could go on. Even back then newborn photography was nothing like it is now…..these days we see babies hanging in hammocks, lying on their tummies holding their heads cupped in their hands, in buckets and I could keep going on and on.
I must say when I first started to see these images of a newborn being able to support their own head was “how can a baby do that?” and then “how is that done?” So I researched and learnt and researched some more and started to realise that most of what you see these days is all a illusion……well at least I hope it is…..most/not all professionals use Photoshop to create these images that WOW you.
It takes a lot of time and patience to get a baby settled and you can’t just “plonk” a baby down and expect to photograph he/she in one minute. Most sessions take me at least half an hour just to start and transition them from each pose, perfecting each movement and adjusting hands and feet, fingers and toes into a beautiful image for their parents to treasure. My sessions can take 2-4 hours. I always explain that not all babies will move into all poses, some babies love being on their backs while some love their tummies. Some love to be wrapped and some love to be Houdini’s.
So, new photographers or parents before you think “I can do that” remember this is a little person, a precious life. Babies are not props.
Qusetions to ask yourself:
And if in doubt don’t try it. Remember this is my opinion and not everyone will agree with me.
And for parents choosing a Newborn photographer, please make sure the photographer you choose cares and respects your child’s safety.
This image below has Dad holding the baby cupped in his hands, Mum is right next to Dad with her hands cms away from babies back in case she arches her back. Her bottom and Dads hands are resting on a metre wide posing beanbag.
The images below was created by using composites. A technique using layers and copying and pasting.
Its always a special day when I photograph a wedding but its even more special when the Bride is your family…..sister in law. Peter and Amelia have been together for such a long time. I first meet Amelia when she was only 4. I have seen her grow up to be such an amazing sister, woman, mother and now she is Peters wife. We meet Peter when he was 13 at our engagement party…..he was such a smooth talker and we thought he was a keeper. They have a beautiful wee girl Briar, who was their flower girl who gave her mum a run for her money on how gorgeous she looked on the day.
We arrived in Hurunui at my sister in law, Michelles farm on the Friday after traveling down from Wellington on the Ferry with 2 sick girls on a cold day. When we arrived we had a family BarBQue and found out it was Peters Grandfathers 80th birthday which was a lovely suprise for him when Peter and his family wished him Happy Birthday.
We woke up to a beautiful sunny day and started helping out in the Marquee setting tables etc. I left my husband in charge of getting my 2 girls ready ( but instructed nieces to stand by to help ) and drove off to the cottages to photograph Amelia getting ready. My niece Jessica was the Hairdresser and did a fabulous job. and my sister in law Michelle did the catering. It was an amazing day seeing all our family together and the day couldn’t have been better.
When Olivia asked me to be their wedding photographer I was truly excited about their day. I meet Olivia when I photographed the preschool she worked at and then she recommended me to her friend Tracey, to be her wedding photographer, which Olivia was her Bridesmaid. So on the 1st of November it was Olivia and Kyles day. The day couldn’t have any lovelier……the weather was a perfect Nor Wester day. I meet them at Fusion Hair Salon in Opawa. Jeanette did such a fabulous hair do on all the girls and make up by Selina Nunn. After having Hair and Make up we went back to Olivia and Kyle home to get ready…..after a Red Bull and some deep breathing to settle the nerves we headed out to Trents Winery for the Ceremony and Reception.
Meet Olivia and Kyles baby boy “Boss”……such a cutie!
Call me chicken no longer……
Two weeks and one day ago I decided NOT to enter the NZIPP Iris awards feeling chicken.
Then two weeks ago, early Monday morning at 3am I woke up in a panic thinking “Holy cow….why not”…. so stopped the negative mind games and put my big girl undies on. I only had one image ready so I entered just one.
On Saturday morning I sat nervously watching the live online streamed NZIPP Iris awards being judged waiting for my one and only entry to come up. Like many other photographers who entered I was totally in awe of the process and other photographers work. Such talented people. I started to wonder if I was good enough to receive a high professional standard or if I was lucky a Bronze. The judges were talking quite a bit about the image before mine then all of a sudden here was my image on the screen for everyone to see. Then I hear “82 Silver….next print please.”
OK ……was that it? You know what even if I hadn’t gotten a Silver I would be proud that I had the guts to enter …..now I am planning my images for 2015……watch this space!
Thank you to my models Ivory and Mila.
Ian was so gorgeous……such a cutie with his dark hair and olive perfect skin. He arrived a little early for his Mum and Dad. We also photographed their other baby….a fur baby.
His Mum and Dad wanted their other fur baby not to miss out on the fun. I must say she was the most well behaved dog I have ever worked with, however even though she was so good, working with newborns and animals you should never risk a babies safety. The images are actually composites (mums hands are actually on the baby at all times)
And in the end at the last minute we did a couple of images but Ian decided that he had, had enough. I just love his wee face……hes getting hungrey.
But he settled just in time for the last shot of the day.
People often ask me if I have heaps of photos of my girls and the answer is always yes and no….yes on my iphone but no not on my walls (don’t shoot me) …..in the past I always photographed all the mile stones, birthdays etc but as they get older life got busier with swimming, gymnastics, netball, and dancing after school and on the weekends. And also photographing your own kids is actually harder than photographing clients children. Well I have had a few sleepless nights with the guilt of not having any recent images of my own children to be proud of. I worked up the patience and took Izzy and Jazzy downstairs to my studio and curled their hair and popped some lip gloss on them. To start with they were little angels but it only took 5 minutes and it was just farts and giggles.
The calm before the storm…..
Now the next image is totally fake…..in between giggles I got this but i have to laugh as it was a fluke that I got this.
I love freckles…..Izzy has such luscious lashes….she takes after her father.
And then the giggles began…. with a warmer edit.
Then it was all over red rover….let the starfishing begin!