Every year for the past six years I go to the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) convention, which is one of the biggest portrait photography associations and conventions in the world. I spend the first day or two of the week-long convention watching the international portrait competition judging. Some of the best photographers in the field form a panel of six judges and critique thousands of the most beautiful photographs submitted from around the world. The critique that takes place in those rooms is quite brutal and I always found it to be one of the best educational resources. Every year I would sit there and take notes on what to do and what not to do, while judges would take apart someones beautiful photograph and critique on things that weren’t even visible to my eye at the time. Then I would review those notes while looking through my portfolio and I would critique my own work. This helped me recognize the things I needed to work on in order to improve my craft.
Even though I love watching the judging, I never had a real urge to submit my work. That is until this year, when I made new friends at the convention who enter almost every prestigious competition to collect awards. And, of course, they talked me into submitting.
I am very excited to announce, that I am now an international award winning portrait photographer. It is very gratifying to be able to say that. All four of my photographs got awarded. Three of those are newborn portraits and the forth one is a maternity photograph. It is very satisfying to know that my artwork meets the highest standards of international professional portrait photography.
I have to say, however, that at the end of the day, what matters most, is that mom and dad really love the photos I capture of their little one. That’s where I get the biggest joy for what I do. I feel so proud when parents get emotional seeing their baby’s photographs for the first time, when I see their excitement and how in love they are with the results. That’s what gives me the biggest validation for my work!
Photographing newborns with their older siblings who are only couple of years old themselves, can sometimes be a challenge. We all know how active toddlers are and how gentle we need to be with an infant. When I go to a newborn session and they have an older sibling I am very curios to see how the older child is around the new baby. It is such a big change for a little toddler, the first baby, who is used to being in the center of attention. Sometimes I see a lot of love and affection, and I feel more comfortable moving on with photographing the little ones together. And, of course, sometimes there is a little jealousy and resentment; it’s not easy to share mommy and daddy with this tiny stranger who takes up a lot of their time and attention…
Two sisters, a bond that will last a lifetime. Newborn and a toddler 🙂
Usually it is very important for the parents to try and have a portrait of their children together, and I work with them to find the best and safest way to do that. One of the safest poses to photograph a toddler with the new baby is by having them lay next to each other on the propped-up and cushioned floor. To make the toddler even more comfortable, often I have one of the parents right next to them.
That’s what we did here with Zea and Zoe. Zoe is only 2-years-old, and it took a few attempts to convince her lye down on the floor, but she did a great job staying there for a few minutes, even though she didn’t really want to put her arms around the baby LOL. What makes this image really work for me, is that you can see Zoe’s personality in it. Her playing with the rug, the silly smirk while biting her lip, the little fire in her eyes, it’s adorable! I can’t expect a two-year-old to pose for me with a newborn baby in her arm, I can only expect her to be who she is, a little toddler, and capture exactly that, as beautifully and safely as possible. Mission accomplished!
I got some more images of them together that you can see below. Those are also very safe for this age. I love the one of Zoe kissing the baby, I think it’s such a sweet little moment to remember.
This session went very well, but of course there have been cases, when it didn’t work out. Some toddlers are more active then others, and if they are between one and two years old, they don’t understand a lot of things yet, and we can’t expect them to be careful around the baby. I have had a few sessions when the parents and I decided that it’s best to just photograph the infant alone. If this happened to you, please don’t be sad! You will have more chances to have a portrait of them together, when it would be safer and won’t make your heart stop for a moment 🙂
Little Baby Zea getting a kiss from her big sister.
Being a big sister and guarding the baby 🙂
Shusssssh… The baby is sleeping.
I may be a little girl, but I am now a big sister.
This adorable little lady is Miss. Layla. She is a 20-month-old very active toddler. I think you might know what that means LOL – lots of running around in a garden with a camera in my hands. The weeks when I have a baby photography session with little ones this age, I can afford to skip a workout 🙂
The funny thing is, that the session with toddlers can be so hectic sometimes, that at the end of it parents are a little disappointed, thinking that their kiddo didn’t sit still for a second for me to capture a good portrait. And I love how surprised they are when they see the images. The thing is, the best images aren’t usually captured when they are sitting still, but when they are doing what they are always doing, running around, being curious, and making funny faces. And it might take a little time with all the running around and trying to figure out their personality, but then it only takes a fraction of a second to capture the portrait that I’m looking for.
Photographing babies that are around one year old can be both fun and crazy at the same time. They just recently started walking, and they have this new found freedom to explore the world on their own two feet, so they want to be everywhere and touch everything LOL. Baby Jackson had just turned one when we had his session. Of course, I had to chase him around a little, but he was such a trooper for the entire session, always happy with an adorable smile on his face. And, of course, he just loved getting messy with his birthday cake for the cake smash portraits 🙂
I was looking back at some of the family photography sessions I had in the past couple of months. It’s been so hectic, especially during the holidays, that I didn’t get a chance to post and share a lot of them with you. This is one of those sessions.
This wonderful couple had to go trough a lot of challenges to have little Jacob, and this was their first official family portrait session. I hope you enjoy their beautiful slideshow and images.
This newborn photography session was for precious 12 day old baby Charlotte. She is the second baby-girl in this beautiful family, and I had the pleasure of capturing newborn portraits of both their little girls. I met Charlotte’s sister Nicolette for the first time 2 year ago for her own newborn photography session. Now she had the big responsibility of holding her brand new sister safely in her little arms, for me to photograph them together for the first time. And she did a wonderful job!
As for little Charlotte, she was fighting her sleep in the beginning of the session. I think she wanted to show me who the boss is 🙂 But once she did fall asleep, I captured these sweet peaceful images of her. I think she’s going to rule the world.
Such a beautiful, kind, and fun family! This session started up by being a one year and a cake smash baby photography session for Giana’s first birthday. But since Zuzana is expecting, we decided to do a family session and in the meantime capture this beautiful milestone in their lives. At that time, their family and friends didn’t know that they are expecting a baby-boy. I was one of the first to find out, and I was so excited, that I designed a little announcement card for them to post on their Facebook page. It said “It’s a boy.” Cute! Don’t you think? 🙂 You can see the card in the images below.
Can’t wait till their newborn photography session. When I meet the family while they are expecting, meeting and photographing their newborn is very special to me.
This is little Hiba. She just had her first birthday, and she had a one year baby photography session with me to capture that special milestone. I met this little princess couple of months ago. She had a mini session with me then (the fist set of images are from that session.) But for her one year portraits she got to dress up in these beautiful traditional Pakistani outfits that her family sent her. And she wore them very well 🙂 Such a happy little model!
The first stage is of course infancy. Newborn photography is very big, yet some parents avoid having photographed their newborn babies, thinking that they are too tiny and always asleep, so there isn’t much to photograph. However, those are the things that make this milestone so special. Think about it, the most adorable and precious pictures you have ever seen of babies were mostly of newborns. This is the shortest stage in our life, the very first moments of existence, it only lasts a few days, how would you not want to have beautiful professional images of it? This is the time when you should have close-up detail images of their feet, hands, eyelashes… and those adorable sleeping images of them in different curled-up poses.These poses can only be done with newborn babies of up to 10 days old. Why so early? Because only at this time they feel comfortable in those poses. They are also less sensitive to touch and sound, so they stay asleep longer and the photographer can model them into those adorable poses and capture some beautiful images. In about two weeks after birth baby’s physiology starts changing. They are not as flexible anymore and don’t feel comfortable in infant poses. They start sleeping less and become more sensitive to touch and sound. And may start getting colicky. These factors make a portrait session very challenging for both baby and photographer. Therefor, newborn photography sessions need to be done before the baby is 10 days old, or at most 2 weeks old. Some parent’s prefer to wait till the baby is three-four month old, but in my opinion, it’s not even necessary to have a professional session at that age. The babies are in transition for about six months after birth. During that time the portraits that can be captured of them are lying on their back, or on stomach pulling themselves up. It’s a good idea to have a mini session to capture them in that age, but a full session is not necessary.
The next stage is between six to seven months old, when the baby just starts sitting. Imagine this, all they can do is sit there, smile, and make all the cute and adorable faces they make around this age, and they can’t go anywhere! How great is that!!! This is when you can have a lot of fun. You can dress them up in different outfits, you can have shots indoor and outdoor, and have different fun setups. It’s also very easy to get their attention, they can’t crawl away to something that looks more interesting yet. This is the time to capture the baby giggling and clapping and doing cute and funny faces. This is also a great time to capture some adorable portraits of the baby in his or her beautifully decorated nursery. Sessions at this age can get very fun and creative.
3. One Year Celebration
Than you can skip a couple of months again to the one year session, when the baby is already crawling and standing, and you can have a very dynamic and fun birthday celebration session with a yummy cake. Babies are very active at this age, they want to explore, they are very fast and they are now standing! These pictures are all about catching the right moment!
You can have some creative indoor or outdoor shots and than let the baby go crazy and messy with a birthday cake. If you are having a party the same day you are doing the photoshoot, than you will probably have a nice fancy cake.
Of course you should include it in the pictures but remember to buy a back up cake for the fun images, because you don’t want to ruin the real cake and you must have the cake-face pictures. The back up cake can be small, and because it’s just for the baby, try getting something the baby will like the taste of, you want him or her to really dig into it!
As you see all these stages are different and worth having a professional session. When you think about it, it’s only three milestones in one year, but very important ones. The problem is, that babies grow up so fast, and being a parent takes up so much time, that many parents miss these milestone when they should have a professional session done. It makes me sad when a parents ask me “When is the best time to photograph my baby?” and they have already missed that time. Sometimes they have such a disappointed look on their face, it breaks my heart.
If you are working with a professional photographer, he or she must have a baby package that includes all those milestone, and you can just purchase that package and he/she should take care of everything, so you don’t miss out on documenting any important events of your babies life. Just make sure to take care of this before the baby arrives, so you don’t miss out on anything. Contact me if you are interested in my baby portrait plan and I will tell you all about it.If you have any questions, feel free to email me or post a comment. I will be happy to help you out. To see more posts and images please go to the recent posts. Explore my website to learn more about my Newborn Photography as well as Baby Child Family and Maternity photography services.
This is my adorable little niece (my cousin’s baby) little princess Eva. We had a one year old cake smash portrait session for her. I think this photography session was very appropriate for little Eva because her favorite words are “Nyam-Nyam” LOL and she pronounces it so sweet and loud, that you just want to keep feeding her 🙂 I love this little marshmallow!!!
At first she was a little shy about touching the cake. Then she got really into it, and pretty soon she was done with being the celebrity for the day, and so I captured her last shot which I call “no more pictures please” LOL
And a few shots from baby’s one year old cake table:
Having an outdoor family photography session, or a baby photography session, with kids that are about one and a half years old is usually a lot of fun. They just love to explore things, and so that’s how my favorite portrait of baby Flynn happened, with her hugging the bench and sticking her thong out LOL I just love that image 🙂 And the one of her giggling in mom and dad’s arms, is just precious.
Family portrait is like a time capsule. And I am so happy to have captured these beautiful moments for this wonderful family.
Please meet this baby portrait session‘s little happy and fashionable star – baby girl Hayden. I got so much energy from her giggling, clapping, and dancing, that I wanted to keep her for myself 🙂 She is like a little happy energizer bunny radiating love and joy! And she looks so much like her beautiful mommy Vanessa, who had a maternity photography session with me when she was expecting Hayden. You can see her maternity portraits by clicking HERE.
Now I hope you enjoy Hayden’s images. Be careful her smile is contagious! 🙂
Photographing children is always fun and unpredictable. Sometimes I may have a little plan in my head on how the portrait session will go, but I have enough experience to know that I should not count on it 🙂 and more importantly push it to happen. I know that if I do so, I will most definitely miss out on a better portrait than I could ever plan. A portrait that shows the kiddos real personality and expression. They will make it happen, I just need to be ready to capture it!
In these portraits are little brother and sister Ellia and Anthony. Ellia is almost 2 and Anthony is almost 4 years old. And as adorable as they are, they did make me sweat 🙂 and even had my heart skip a bit couple of times 🙂
This year we had a one day in studio event of Mini Holiday Sessions for Family and Children portraits. It was very hectic but was a lot of fun! There was even a newborn baby-boy who made his first trip out of home just so that I could take some adorable portraits of him. I did a lot of shopping to decorate the holiday portrait set and I think it turned out very elegant. I might just make this an annual tradition, so mark your calendars to book a spot for holiday portrait sessions in 2014! 🙂
And finally the third and last winner of the “Cutest Kid Contest.” Please meet Diana. At 18-months-old she is quite a character and a little tomboy. She isn’t the first kid that I photographed by a pond who tried to pet the fish, but she is the first one who decided to just go ahead and soak her feet in it 🙂
It was a real pleasure spending time with this adorable little man and his wonderful parents! I love it when it’s a beautiful day, and I’m outside at some great location, with some wonderful people, getting to know them and doing what I love to do – photographing!
Thank you Liz, Chris, and William for the great time!
Meet Lori, a one-year-old pinkalicious bundle of joy. She was so behaved in the beginning of the session, that I was worried I wouldn’t get any caught in the moment, precious images with her. But than she loosened up and gave me the cutest silly faces to photograph. Enjoy a look at Lori…
Sophia was really fun to be around. She had cute little mood swings and like any other one year old, loved being entertained. We had a blast watching her pull hats and bows write off her head with an adorable confused look on her face. Her mommy Karen, prepared very beautiful accessories for the photo session, but Sophia had something else on her mind… she wanted to be herself.
Children always amaze me and surprise me and I love it, because I prefer capturing real moments. It’s a fun challenge discovering their personality and adapting my strategies to their character so we can get beautiful images.
Read what Sophia’s mommy has to say about their baby photography experience with A.T. Studios.