Looking at this portrait, you might see a cute and sweet little girl sitting quietly on a stool. But look more closely. Look at the expression in her eyes and mouth. She is toying with the photographer (me), wiggling and striking silly poses.
I captured (literally) this shot of my 5-year old granddaughter Elle during a rest break for her mom, my daughter-in-law, who is due to deliver my 5th grandchild at the end of May. One second later, she was moving again. I attempted to get Elle and her little sister Juliet to give me one of those precious shots of older siblings lovingly kissing mommy’s tummy or giving mommy a hug, unfortunately, I didn’t get a single shot in which both of the girls are looking good because they were in constant motion. (Mom looks great in every shot.)
I will post maternity shots in a few days, in addition to newborn shots of Elle’s cousin.
I jumped at the opportunity to practice newborn photography on a friend’s granddaughter; because I’m new at this genre of photography, I did the shoot for no charge.
In preparation, I spent a considerable amount of time reading articles and blogs and watching videos. I also scoured local stores for inexpensive props after searching online and finding that those clever and cute baskets, headbands, and backdrops cost a fortune. I took these pictures with a minimum of props: a wicker basket, a gauze wrap, and a few furry blankets.
On the day of the shoot, I loaded my CRV with my portable studio consisting of backdrop and backdrop stands, light stands, SpeedLites and umbrellas, cameras, tripod, and lenses, and a large suitcase of blankets and pillows. When I arrived at their house, I was delighted to find a large window that provided plenty of light and I was able to use ambient light rather than strobe. I love the effect of soft light and shadows on the baby’s face.
I’ve studied the 517 images I shot that afternoon, analyzing what I did right and where I need to improve; I am now ready to slowly build inventory and I look forward to my first paying newborn client.
It seems that my blog has evolved into a journal about my journey toward becoming a professional photographer. Recently I’ve posted images representing my small successes. In the past, I had tended to discuss my mistakes and failures, but I’ve now decided to focus on my steps forward.
Most of what I know about photography has been self-taught through participating in workshops, reading books, blogs, and articles, watching videos, studying the work of other photographers, assisting some photographers, practicing on friends and family, making mistakes, learning from them, and practicing some more.
Saturday afternoon, I was headed out to photograph a party when a family friend called, asking if I would photograph their newborn (I had begged them several months ago to let me use their baby for practice). I was elated…and scared.
After I finished the party, I got on the Internet and read everything I could find and watched every YouTube video posted about photographing newborns. I learned that it is a daunting task.
After spending a few hours with this precious little one and her parents, I also learned that I love taking pictures of babies.
Now I need to find some deals on those cutsey props and backdrops.
Jaime is a labor and delivery nurse by profession, but her heart belongs to her two-year son and her husband. Her orderly home is a haven of love and life, with family pictures, toys, and evidence of her artistic nature adorning the walls, shelves, and tables. I was blessed to spend a few hours with her and her family.