it’s midnight and that’s the only time of the day I seem to find to write the updates on my website. Better than nothing! 😉
I’m posting the pics that I took for a newborn photoshoot: it was my first time with a two week old baby, Elsa. She was lovely and her parents too ( especially when she had some ” watery problems ” on her dad’s sweater; It happens! ).
You have to be careful not to stress too much the baby, shoot fast and think before what you want to do; I make some plans but I’m also ready to have a shot at it, because I usually don’t bring the kids in my studio. I’d rather go to my customers’ place, it’s more comfortable for them. I just bring some monolights with me, tripod, backdrops and other things that I may need.
I never start shooting before talking for a while with them; so I asked Nina about her pregnancy, if Elsa was in good health, their habits. You must know that a baby needs to eat often, so it’s you the one that will adapt to his or her schedule, not the opposite. Be patient and diligent in these kind of photoshoots, because consideration is the key.
Nina had already some inspirational photos on her mind, so I’ve worked to get what she wanted. It’s good to ask your clients before you see them if they have some ideas in their mind that they would like to get in the pics; then, don’t stop for a mere imitation, but try to put as much as possible of you into that. Mix up the elements, change the colors, use a filter and go beyond the simple picture: with kids you can dare, also a creative approach to editing can do good.
So I did this in a couple of hours; the house had an amazing light and really nice furniture to play with, so I’ve been able to create very different situations in a short time and space. Of course, you have to be lucky to work in buildings where the light arrives properly; if not, your monolights will help. I use white umbrellas for softening the shadows and also as a help, when it’s a bit too dark.
Give the parents the time to change the clothes of the baby: she or he will cry, but don’t worry, it’s ok. They’re babies, you’ve been a crying baby too, don’t feel scared or annoyed. It’s their way to communicate. Just focus!
After taking some pictures of Elsa on different places ( bed, armchair, floor ), it was time for some family portraits. Get the single parent ones and the whole family ones: you can focus on details when one of them is holding the baby and on the room when picturing all of them.
Clean the room, hide things that can clash. It’s not that you’re faking something, but there’s no point into taking a good portrait while the background looks awful. I know you can blur, but it’s also about the colors, the shapes and the lights too. Composition.
Then, about the editing part, I really don’t have a specific approach: I chose the ones that I prefer and fix them, but I try to pick at least one from every “situation”. Something that may not look good for you can have a meaning or can be appreciated by your customer. You’ve better get used to that and go beyond your artist-ego. When You are working for clients, what THEY want comes first. The commercial side of the photographer doesn’t make him or her heartless or unsensitive; it’s more about being less self-centred, because you’re not alone with your camera, you are with other people who are paying you to do something and their opinion and tastes matter too. They pick you, they trust you, but don’t shut the door to the others just because you don’t think they can question you. They can. And it’s your job also to please them, so step off the pedestal.
Today I brought Nina the pictures and she was enthusiast: I love it when people are happy with the results! ^_^
Enjoy it! Then, when I was saying goodbye to Elsa, she gently looked at me and gave me a smile. Her mum stared at me and told me ” It was her first!!!!” .
So… I got the first smile of a child. It makes me feel.. honored. Happy. Lucky. It’s like a little mistery of nature, ’cause children are still that for me. I didn’t realize that this morning. But after a crazy working day, as soon as I had the chance to think about it, I felt some shivers. It’s such a good thing.
So, yeah, I wish all of You to see a baby smile for the first time in his or her life, possibly at you like it happened this afternoon. When it will, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Too weird to explain.
Well, of course, no camera at that time to catch the moment; but, you know, sometimes it’s a good thing. Don’t look at life through a lens all the time; just put it down, enjoy and.. smile too.