Infant Photography Tips

Infant photography is one of the hottest topics in the photography world. It is an ever-growing trend amongst both new moms and photographers. There are many well known newborn and infant photographers with their work being published, and newer photographers desiring to achieve the same shots, poses, etc.; sometimes at the request of their clients and sometimes simply for the challenge.Infant Photography Tips

However, with this come the stories of endangered or even harmed babies. Because we live in an on-line world, these stories spread like wildfire. This has been a good thing, in that there is more and more focus on educating new photographers on newborn safety. Some inexperienced photographers are seeking and receiving mentoring on newborn safety while others are giving up and only photographing older subjects to avoid the risk. Because there are so many people becoming photographers each month, there are still others that are new and taking risks unknowingly.

Most parents are unaware of how some of these risky, yet beautiful and intriguing poses are achieved. What is even worse is that many photographers are unaware of how they are done properly, and naively attempt to do them anyway. Hopefully they will gain the knowledge and expertise before an infant is harmed, but in the meantime, I’d like to educate new moms, or expectant mothers, that are seeking a photographer for their new sweet baby.

I would first like to advise new moms to seek out their infant photographer carefully. This will be one of the first people, most likely a stranger, to handle your fragile newborn. Many consumers purchase based on price. While budget is important to most of us, and completely understandable is today’s economy, you do not want to choose someone to handle your most precious, brand new baby, based on price alone. While it’s not always the case, lower prices generally mean less experience. You do not want to put your baby in harms way just to save a few dollars.

It is important that you make sure that the photographer you choose is experienced with babies and confident in handling newborns, regardless of the fees that they charge. Thoroughly looking through the infant photos in their portfolio should give you a pretty good idea of their experience and abilities. If you’re unsure, here are a few things to look for or inquire about during your search:

  • Do the babies in the photographer’s portfolio look comfortable? Babies that have just come from the womb are accustomed to being curled and folded. However, some babies, even at just a few days old, won’t tolerate this kind of posing. An experienced and gentle photographer will know when to give up, while others will push an infant’s boundaries to achieve the desired pose.
  • Does the photographer show a variety of babies on their website or are the photos in their newborn portfolio split between a few of the same babies. If the photographer has only included a few different newborns, this should be an indication to you of their lack of experience. Ask yourself if you’re okay with your infant being the baby that the photographer learns with.
  • The last tip is probably the most important, yet probably the least considered since most moms have little or no knowledge of infant photography. When looking through a photographers website or portfolio pay attention to whether or not they have newborn photos on their website that make you wonder, “How in the world did they get the baby to do that?” This might be a photo of a baby hanging from a tree branch, a photo of a baby swaddled tightly but sitting upright, or a photo of a baby with it’s elbows resting on the blanket but its holding its head up with its chin in its hands. These poses should make you wonder, as they should never be accomplished without an assistant (or two) and the magic of a photo-editing program. When these poses are achieved safely, an experienced photographer has used an assistant to help pose the baby, keeping a hand on baby at all times, and then they use a photo editing program to create a “composite” (seaming two separate photos together) which will remove the assistant’s hands from the final portrait. If the photographer does not know how to make a composite, he/she has done these poses un-safely and might try them again with your baby.

Not only will following these infant photography tips help you to find a more experienced photographer that will know how to handle your new baby safely and securely, but hopefully by finding a photographer that has a lot of experience with newborns will lead to a fabulous experience and beautiful photos for you to treasure for a lifetime.

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Infant Session Planning

Infant photographers have an enviable job. They deal with adorable babies and cute kids on a daily basis. These days, a photographer with an impressive portfolio will find no shortage of clients who want photos of their children taken. Children grow up so fast, and it is understandable that parents want to keep snapshots of fleeting precious moments that are otherwise lost forever.

Nevertheless, a newborn and infant photographer faces formidable challenges. Before they can produce images that satisfy the requirements of their clients, there are preparations they need to make. They must also be flexible and adapt well to situations that may Infant Photographerarise during the shoot itself.

Preparing for a shoot
A newborn and infant photographer has a set of duties to fulfil. In order for them to come up with images that satisfy the requirements of the client, they must prepare the right equipment and procure additional materials or props. All these need to be readied before the day of the photo shoot arrives.

In addition to preparing tools and equipment, the photographer has to plan the shoot by making a list of images that the parents have specifically requested, along with a few artistic choices that the parents have already approved. Having a plan is important so that the child’s short attention span is not taxed. A plan also makes the transition from one set-up to the next more efficient so that the child does not tire easily or become bored, grumpy, or frustrated, which could compromise the quality of the photographs taken.

Indoor photography requirements
Usually, photographers choose to conduct the photo shoot at the client’s home where the child is most comfortable. An unobtrusive and intimate environment that encourages the child to be as natural and uninhibited as possible gives the photographer plenty of opportunities to capture the child’s unique moods and expressions. In this natural and relaxed setting, the photographer has a better chance of capturing a child’s true personality and preserving a spontaneous smile or a natural pose.

There are other advantages to using the subject’s home as the venue. During a home shoot, the photographer only needs to bring basic photography equipment. The parents can be asked to set up and prepare the areas where the photo shoot is to take place according to plan. If there is a need for special props, the photographer can opt to arrange for a few hours the day before the shoot to set everything up with the help of the members of the household, if they want to give a hand.

Outdoor photography requirements
Photographers who specialise in newborn and infant photography usually offer a wide range of photo packages. Aside from taking a set of photos indoors, older babies and toddlers are usually invited outside for more dynamic and exciting images. Typically, the photographer scouts nearby areas such as parks, rivers, or the seashore, if it is accessible and recommends these settings to parents. Once they approve, the photographer can also plan for an outdoor shoot, which has different requirements than that of an indoor session.

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Hasselblad H5D-50 Test

Hasselblad H5D-50Hasselblad H5D-50

For the last couple of years I’ve been using a Hasselblad camera. Most of my shoots have been with a rental in London as buying this this beast is not feasible for me at that time. In 2013, however, I decided to invest in one and get the “just released” H5d-40 camera for our new studio in New Delhi.

In a few months since the Hasselblad purchase, Nikon released the 810 camera model and I was blown away with the speed and versatility of the 810. I found myself using the 810 in practically most of my shoots due to its convenience, lighter weight, and amazing speed. My Hasselblad H5d-40, meanwhile, sat idle for a couple of months waiting for the next big moment.

The next big moment arrived in Aug 2014 when I decided to photograph my son Hasselblad H5D-50 Sensorwith the Hasselblad. Took a few shots and then to my horror there was a red patch on all images. Surely it wasn’t my son acting weird that could have caused that to happen. I sent a RAW file to my Hasselblad representative and 2 days later they responded back, confirming my fears, that the sensor on the camera was damaged. Given the defect they decided to replace the camera with a new one.

Then came a wait period of 2 months given that I was only scheduled to fly back to London in early November. It also gave me 2 months to reevaluate my choice of cameras and think if I should upgrade to either the new Hasselblad H5D-50 C, the Hasselblad H5D-50 wi-fi, or the Hasselblad H5D medium format camera. Given that I mostly shoot in studio and that large prints are important to my clients, I decided that the Hasselblad H5D-50 medium format was the best camera for my use.

I returned back to Delhi a week ago. However, given that I was away for almost a month I had a huge pile of to-do’s that needed my immediate attention. That meant that testing the Hasselblad H5D-50 was put on the back-burner.

Yesterday though I got a chance to put the new Hasselblad H5D-50 to the test. Seeing the digital images in their full glory (on screen at a 100%) and in print – they blow the doors off any Nikon or Canon I’ve ever shot.

One of my first reactions was that with a Nikon and Canon I have become too trigger happy and it means much more time in front of the computer and less time behind a camera – with a Hasselblad H5D-50, I can see that it would be the reverse.

What also impressed me is how easily one can hook up a Hasselblad H5D-50 camera to an iPad – and with the iPad’s Retina Display the RAW images look spectacular. What this allowed us to do is show the parents the images in real-time and make adjustments on the fly.

The size of the RAW images is massive. Measuring 8176x6132 means printing 6 feet long posters should be a breeze.

My next goal is to use the 120mm macro lens on newborns and capture their teeny tiny toes.

Here are some images from the first tests with this camera

Raw Image at 100%

Hasselblad H5D-50 Test

 

Final Edited Image

Hasselblad H5D-50 Children Photography Delhi India

The Importance of Patience

The Importance of Patiencednf-blog-patience

Today I think about patience.

Patience is one of the most important qualities we possess as humans, listed as one of the Seven Heavenly Virtues, yet it seems that patience is losing value in a world that has become obsessed with instant feedback.

I look around me and see people driving as fast as possible, fast food restaurants with drive though windows and articles in magazines about getting more done in less time.

Sure there is value in getting things done quickly but what about the things that can’t be done quickly? I think people are forgetting that some things require a long amount of time to be done well. In fact when I think about anything I have ever done really well the one common factor is the amount of time I put into it.

People ask me the reason behind our success and the answer is quite simple, we spent a lot of time doing it. There was never a simple trick or a quick fix that allowed me to make huge jumps, it all comes down to the years and years I have dedicated myself to getting better.

It requires an immense amount of patience photographing children. Each child is different and understands things differently. It requires immense patience and practice to know how to bring the best out of every child. Spending years dedicated to one thing takes a lot of patience but the reward is always worth the price you pay.

I have a feeling that those who remember the importance of patience in the following years will have a serious advantage over those who want everything done instantly.

Samaira’s Surprise

Samaira’s SurpriseChildren Photography Delhi Gurgaon Noida India

Samaira loved everything about her grandmother’s generation: the cars, the fashions, the foods, the music, the literature, and the dances. Each Saturday, Samaira and her grandmother would sing songs her grandmother recalled from her youth. They pored over recipes Samaira’s grandmother used to cook with HER grandmother.

Grandma taught Samaira the waltz, the foxtrot, and polka. Samaira’s favourite thing was playing dress up with the wonderful, old dresses that had belonged to her grandmother when she was a girl. She loved it when her grandfather told her she looked just like the girl he had fallen in love with fifty years before. Samaira’s grandparents were celebrating their fiftieth anniversary.

Samaira and her parents had a great surprise for them. A limousine picked them up and brought them to the surprise party. The recipes Samaira and her grandmother had studied were served. The music included the songs Grandma had taught.

Just before the cake was served, the song that had been played at grandma and grandpa’s wedding began to play. Samaira and her dad swung onto the dance floor in the wedding clothes her grandparents had worn. They waltzed around the floor and then Samaira asked her grandfather to dance while her dad twirled his mother onto the dance floor.

The final surprise came when the family rolled their gift onto the ballroom floor. It was Grandpa’s old car in which he had courted his wife. Samaira’s dad and a friend had reconditioned the antique so it was just like new. As the car came into view, perched atop the fender was their granddaughter in her Grandma’s going away outfit. Cameras flashed as Samaira struck a pose.

There were tears in her grandparents’ eyes as they stared at their piece of history come to life.