Specializing in newborn photography, I know that sessions with young babies require extra time and patience. You can imagine that a baby as young as 5 days old would need breaks for feeding, changing and soothing, and that attempting to rush through a session just to get it done would only produce poor quality portraits, an upset baby and frazzled parents. As a baby photographer who has photographed more than 600 babies, I know that newborn photography sessions require a time commitment, not only from me, but also the parents of the little ones I photograph.
To ensure each newborn photography session at my studio is a positive experience for everyone involved, I’ve taken steps so that not only the babies are comfortable and properly cared for at all times, but so that the parents are relaxed and content throughout the duration of their children’s sessions, as well.
Newborn Photography, Minus the Upset Newborn
Besides capturing gorgeous photos of your baby, my aim as your baby photographer is to ensure your little one is comfortable while their photos are taken. A baby that’s
upset not only makes everyone else in the room upset, but it also makes it more difficult to take portraits of your baby dozing contently while curled up in adorable poses. To ensure each newborn photography session goes as smoothly as possible, I make a variety of items available to my clients, all of which are geared toward keeping baby happy:
- My studio is always ‘hot yoga’ warm
- Clients have access to a fridge (for keeping formula or breast milk), nursing pillows with vinyl covers, diapers, wipes and lotion for baby’s dry skin
- I’m able to sterilize bottles, if needed
- There are two hand washing stations and hand sanitizer to ensure newborns’ young immune systems are properly protected
- Kleenex and paper towels are also readily available
Of course, despite everyone’s best efforts, sometimes a baby can’t help but cry now and again. Luckily, as a mother and a baby photographer with hundreds of newborn sessions under her belt, I’ve also learned a thing or two about soothing babies!
A Baby Photographer Who Knows How to Keep Parents Content Too
Just like the babies I photograph, I know that making sure parents are relaxed, sufficiently fed and able to work, sleep or even watch TV during their babies’ sessions is a good way to make newborn photography a positive experience. From start to finish, newborn photography takes more than 5 hours, and so I provide the following for the parents who visit my studio:
- Client bathroom
- Lounge area (great for napping!) and TV equipped with Netflix, Rogers cable and a Wi-Fi internet connection
- Microwave for heating lunch
- Access to a fax machine, if needed
My studio is also in close proximity to many restaurants, making it quick and easy to pick-up lunch if you would rather order in.
When you choose me as your baby photographer, my experience won’t just benefit you when it comes to the high quality portraits you receive, but it will also make for a memorable experience, overall. Every baby and every session is unique. Knowing this, I’m ready to adapt to and satisfy the needs of my clients and their children.
For more information on what to expect during your session, or to book your newborn photography, please call me at (905) 449 2200.
A couple of days ago, I shared some thoughts
on what the maternity photography experience is like when you work with a photographer who is properly trained and committed to their craft. The same is true for professional baby photography
, and in fact, when it’s your baby who is being photographed, the outcome for choosing to work with someone whose specialty isn’t professional baby photography could be much more serious than poor quality portraits.
Every day, it seems someone else has set up a studio and started advertising baby photography services. The age of digital imagery has changed photography forever. Whereas in the past a person who wasn’t entirely committed to being a professional photographer wouldn’t invest the large sums of money required for cameras and equipment, now virtually anyone and everyone can purchase a DSLR camera from a local electronics store and create a website to advertise their services.
Without any form of regulation for baby photographers, Toronto residents have no way of really knowing that what they’re paying for is, in fact, professional baby photography, unless they do a little investigating to determine the photographer’s credentials and experience. There aren’t any licensing requirements for baby photographers in Toronto or any other part of Canada, for that matter, and this has led to an over-saturation in the marketplace. Unfortunately, this has only made it more confusing to the people who want the type of experience and quality portraits that are only made possible with professional baby photography.
The lure of ‘cheap baby photography’ is typically what draws parents to these studios, but it isn’t just poor quality portraits that they’re at risk of receiving. In some cases, babies and children are even at risk of injury when they’re photographed by amateur photographers.
When Choosing Baby Photographers, Toronto Parents Should Keep the Following in Mind
With a little digging, it’s possible to differentiate between the true professionals and those who decided to start snapping pictures of babies to make a quick buck. While it can be difficult to tell a photographer’s credibility from the props they use or even how sophisticated their website looks, professional baby photography is always performed by those who have made it their passion and who show their commitment to perfecting their craft through continued learning.
Here are a few things to look for or keep in mind when choosing between baby photographers in Toronto or any other locale:
• What, if any, accreditations and/or awards does the photographer have?
• A professional will reinvest in their business, updating and adding to their equipment and props, as well as improving their skill-set through further learning in order to offer their clients better quality imagery
• Baby photographers in Toronto and beyond, who are truly committed, will work to stay ahead of the competition, finding ways to differentiate themselves from the rest
Professional baby photography is an investment and just like any other investment you make, you want to ensure your money is spent well. When they choose properly trained and experienced baby photographers, Toronto parents are guaranteed to have a much more positive experience in the studio and will go away with high quality portraits that are worthy of a place in their home.
As a photographer who is committed to providing the best quality experience to her clients, I know the amount of skill, time and dedication it takes to produce the types of images that I’m truly proud to say were my creation. Professional baby photography is my passion and I’m dedicated to making it my business for the long-term.
To learn more about professional baby photography or to book a session at my studio, please call me at (905) 449 2200.
My recent accreditation in maternity photography from the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) has got me thinking
about my role as a maternity photographer. I feel very fortunate to have helped so many pregnant women capture images that will continue to remind them of the excitement and anticipation they felt at what is inarguably one of the most incredible moments in a woman’s life.
Like newborn photography, maternity photography is a beautiful way to document a special family milestone. Nobody ever regrets their decision to have maternity portraits taken, but only that they didn’t take more pictures of how round their belly was, the way their belly button had ‘popped’ to make room for their wee one growing inside, or their glowing complexion.
Maternity Photography with a True Professional
As a maternity photographer who has photographed more than one hundred pregnant women in the past, I’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes to make a maternity photography session memorable. It’s this experience and training that makes the difference between a session that’s disappointing or uncomfortable and one that was the perfect way to begin your last few weeks as a pregnant momma-to-be. Working with a professional maternity photographer will make a meaningful difference in your level of comfort during the session, as well as in the quality of your portraits.
While all pregnant women are beautiful, there is an art and science to capturing their images in a way that best highlights their maternal features. Creative lighting and images taken against a white background, for instance, give way to stunning photos that perfectly highlight round bellies. Silhouette images are often some of the most striking portraits taken in a maternity photography session and have certainly been a favourite style for many of the women I’ve photographed in the past.
A maternity photographer who is experienced and properly trained will also know what types of clothing look best in portraits. Flowing fabrics and gowns, like those I provide for my clients, drape beautifully around pregnant bellies, while some other cuts or types of clothing hang poorly and produce an undesirable parachute look.
For every maternity photography session, I encourage my clients to bring some of their own clothing but I also provide a variety of gowns and fabrics that I know will photograph well. Before the session begins, I go through the items my clients bring to help them choose the ones that will highlight their figure, not mask it. Without this type of consultation or advice, women would likely be very disappointed by their portraits because what looks good at home, in front of the closet mirror, won’t necessarily look flattering in maternity photos.
Personalize Your Maternity Photography Portraits
There are many ways you can personalize your maternity photography to make your portraits just that much more meaningful. Including your partner or other children is a great way to capture the excitement your family shares for the arrival of their newest member. Off location photo sessions and intimate portraits are also some of the ways my clients have personalized their portraits in the past. But getting creative with locations, adding additional subjects or photographing pregnant women in intimate poses is only done successfully with a properly trained maternity photographer. Without an experienced photographer who’s willing and able to accommodate, portraits can look unnatural and the overall experience can be uncomfortable.
As a photographer and a mother, I encourage every pregnant woman to document their pregnancies through maternity portraits. No matter how many pregnancies you have, each one will be unique, and even though your baby’s kicks and somersaulting will one day become distant memories, your pregnancy portraits will be a lasting memento.
For more information on the maternity photography experience at my studio, or if you would like to book a session, call me at (905) 449-2200.
It was such a pleasure to work with Chanda Lee as the photographer for our 6 ½ month old son. She was so warm and inviting right from the get-go. Aside from amazing photographs, the best part of the experience for us was the patience with which she handled our son during the session. The pictures turned out really really nice! It definitely was beyond our expectations. We were sad not to have used Chanda’s services for a newborn photo session. Thank you Chandra, for an amazing job done!”
Arooj & Usama
Baby Photography Client
Professional photographers like myself, who have been trained how to safely pose newborns, are horrified by images like those that made headlines not too long ago, where babies were being posed inside glass containers. This type of newborn baby photography
certainly makes a statement but it also sends the wrong message to parents that babies can be posed any way in virtually anything, or that newborn baby photography isn’t beautiful or cute enough when a baby is photographed while simply wrapped in a cozy blanket, sleeping inside a basket.
Newborn baby photography has come a long way as far as creativity goes, but it seems that even some ‘professional photographers’ are pushing the limits to be the next Anne Geddes. As a rule, any newborn baby photography that takes place at my studio is performed with baby’s safety first. Don’t get me wrong, I love the challenge of posing babies with new props and outfits, but I will never attempt to position a baby in a way that I feel risks their safety or makes them uncomfortable. Little necks aren’t yet strong enough to support heads, even newborns can sometimes roll over. If a pose isn’t possible without these potential dangers, I won’t do it.
It’s because I feel so strongly about practicing safe newborn baby photography that I teach other professional photographers how to use a variety of proven techniques which allow us to capture those breathtaking images that perfectly incorporate parents’ hobbies, passions and occupations, while guaranteeing that our little subjects are safe at all times.
Each Newborn Baby Photography Session is Unique
One of the things I think some photographers and parents forget is that every baby is different and that a pose or prop which works well with one baby might not be safe for another. Professional photographers who don’t assess each baby individually before agreeing to parents’ requests to pose their babies inside construction hardhats, on top of guitars or from hanging weigh scales run the risk of endangering their tiny subjects.
Something I always teach other professional photographers is that they’ve got to be prepared to say ‘no’ when a parent requests a pose or a prop that can’t be used safely. A baby that’s wriggly and alert may not be a good candidate for a sling pose, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t countless other poses and props that can be used with appropriate techniques to achieve memorable and meaningful images.
Using Composite Images
A few years back, I successfully photographed a baby in a first-ever stand-alone helmet pose. It was an exciting moment for me as a photographer, and the images certainly spurred many more requests for babies posed inside their parents’ motorcycle, construction and firefighter helmets.
Thanks to technology, I was able to capture this image safely using the composite technique. Instead of taking one photo, with a baby posed alone inside a helmet, the image is created by layering a few images together with Photoshop editing. I take a photo of the baby inside the helmet with their hands folded underneath their chin, while their father or an assistant supports the baby’s head. Then, I simply remove the spotter’s hands in Photoshop and layer the images to reveal a beautiful photo that was captured safely.
Newborn Baby Photography with Spotters
In my post last week, I mentioned that I used my assistant as a spotter so that I could safely photograph the daughter of Amir Johnson, while she lay sleeping on top of a basketball. I use spotters regularly in sessions at my studio and teach other professional photographers how an extra set of hands can make the difference between a pose that’s not possible and one that’s totally safe. As I also explained in last week’s post, using the mothers of my subjects as the spotter isn’t ideal, as babies are naturally drawn to their mothers’ scents and will fuss and wriggle to be close.
I know professional photographers are excited by the possibilities when it comes to infusing their newborn baby photography sessions with creative new poses and props. I’m excited by the possibilities too, but what excites me more is the challenge of making each and every photo session as safe as possible, while still capturing images that are artistic and unique.
When I see photos that couldn’t have been taken without putting a baby’s safety in jeopardy, I can’t help but think that professional photographers should know better, or that the parents of those precious little people should be better informed.
If you’re a parent who would like more information on the safety measures I use during each and every session in my studio, or you’re a photographer who would like to learn how to use posing and editing techniques to make your own newborn baby photography sessions safer, please call me: (905) 449-2200.
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