Just a little, every now & then about what I do and what I'm thinking about.
Sometimes I'm so used to doing what I do, I forget my clients are not so sure of what to expect. I'm sure they're wondering If the session will be value for money & how baby will react and a million other things that go through your mind before booking a session.
I've recently had a bathroom re-done (bear with me...it is relevant) and after some very basic questions between myself & husband I realised when you are not living it day-in-day-out you don't know what will happen and what the person delivering the service you hired them for is thinking about and assumes you know. Once we had suitably got on the contractors nerves for a week or so I realised he was assuming we knew things that he hadn't directly stated. I'm not blaming him, we all do it! But it made me wonder if I do this too much with my own clients?
So....here it is....the things I'm always thinking or pre-empting but not saying out loud because I do it so often.
1. "What if my baby is really fussy and never settles for the entire shoot?!?"
- I photograph newborns - they cry. It's fine, I have yet to be tested so much that I don't get the shots I want. Even if the parents and I spent the first hour settling baby - we then have a nicely tired out baby that then allows me to get on with the shoot and do changes without batting an eye. This is the reason I also like to do newborn shoots in the first 2 weeks as they need sooo much sleep that they will eventually drift off generally very easily! Which also leads me to number my point number two...
2. "2 hours seems like a long time for a newborn session?"
- So number 1 is also why newborn sessions are 2 hours - this allows for prop changes, wrap changes, settling, feeding and nappy changes as required. Having 2 hours means that there is no need to rush or be flustered. If me and the parent(s) are relaxed then baby will also be more relaxed, which equals better images :)
3. "I'd like some naked shots but what if my baby wees?"
- I'm a Mum and was a childminder for a while, so I'm used to the natural functions of babies. It's also why I take absorbent pads for under blankets, why my backdrop is vinyl and why everything I use is washable! If baby wees it's really no big deal, I'll happily deal with it and there is no need to be embarrassed - because baby isn't!
4. "My baby has rashy/spotty/flacky skin, surely this will ruin the images?"
- All newborns have uneven and dry, red, spotty skin - some more than others. If I was submerged in liquid for the best part of a year I'm guessing my skin wouldn't be it's best either. As part of my normal editing I remove dry skin, spots, marks and even out babies skin as best as possible without them looking 'fake'. I leave anything that is a permanent part of them such as birthmarks and moles unless you specifically request I remove in editing.
I think these are the main worries of parents/guardians but if you do have any other queries on a session I'm more than happy to discuss them before booking. My aim is to make sessions as stress free and enjoyable as possible!
I'm a Mum. I know what it's like - trying to juggle time, money, commitments....and your sanity! I started seriously taking up photography as a career once my kids were born, once I was a first hand witness to the speed at which they changed before my eyes. I am naturally creative (even have a degree to prove it ;)) and I love kids (just gave up being a Childminder to concentrate on the Photography!!?!) so this is my passion. I've been doing this a while but I also am aware of the struggles of parenthood.
Nowadays smart phones are amazing and I do myself even capture the odd fabulous image of my kids.on them I also understand that the cost of a photographer is a luxury, one that many do without. But just incase you were thinking " Is it really worth the cost of a photographer, I'm sure I could do a relatively good attempt at it." I have just made a quick comparison of what you get from a photographer..like me, compared to a Smart phone photography session.
If you were looking to create some artwork for your home or gifts from your images this is a big difference. the resolution of an image is very important as the quality reduces the larger you make it. My images would be 5+GB and a standard smartphone images is around 2MB
2. Creative Ability
I love being a photographer. It's a job that allows for my creative passion & love of people. I have a degree in Fine Art & Photography and hopefully...have an ability to create pleasing compositions, colour stories and framing. Like anything, my ability grows and improves each year as I actively research ways to improve myself and move with the times.
3. Range of Images
My sittings last from 1-2 hours. After this time kids are definitely restless and fed-up of my camera in their face! This is generally ample time to allow for different outfits/backdrops/props etc. but it's all gently curated and captures close-ups, serious poses, formal poses and long shots. My overall aim is to capture what my clients want, so a good range of images is also giving you value for money which is something everyone loves.
Doing this for over 8 years in a variety of situations has given me a wealth of experience, some good, some bad but all useful. I'm good at fitting in a space given and using the tools I have to hand - it's not always easy but it is always different which is something I love. I'm able to change my set-up slightly to accommodate different lighting or get great shots of a grumpy baby! My experiences over the years have a allowed me to be clam and confident even when things are not going quite to plan.
5. Post Production
A lot of photographers don't like the post production part of a job and some even outsource it. I feel like it is just an additional bit of creativity I get to do at the end of a job. Yes, it does take a long time but the results are so worth it. I use Photoshop to correct colour casts, brightness of parts of the photo, the overall composition and getting rid of unwanted blemishes. Creating a 'piece of art' ready for a families wall is the absolute best & I just love to see a finished piece on a repeat clients wall. I'm always happy to incorporate particular asks if possible and ensure the highest standard of work. Smart phone editing and filters are brilliant but do not allow for the minute parts of correction that I go into - so it all depends on what you are after.
All in all - it depends on your desires, budget and situation, like most things. If you want something that has a little more elegance, quality and expression I'd opt for a photographer if you can. Getting one you are comfortable with, is able to listen to your requests and outs you at ease. I love photography & I couldn't do it without my lovely clients!
Photographer, Mum & Tea drinker...