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!
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.
Remember baby Sara? I posted her newborn photography session back in November. She turned 7 months last month. That is the age when her sister Nella had her sitting baby portrait session with me, and their mommy wanted to have a very similar session for Sara. Similar down to outfits, props, and even poses. So these are the results 🙂 I combined few of their images for a fun comparison. I guess you can try and find 15 differences 🙂
Baby photography sessions are always fun! I don’t only get to enjoy all the cute faces babies make, along with the clapping and giggles, but there is also a great show behind the camera, as the entire family is cheering for the baby, making funny faces and silly noises LOL Alex’s session was no exception. His mommy, aunt, and grandma were very fun to be around.
And of course to remind you, Alex is the adorable winner of this years Cutest Kid Contest, and this portrait session was his prize. I love how vibrant his portraits turned out. Alex’s mommy did a beautiful job putting together the nursery, and she got some adorable outfits for Alex to wear for the portraits.
Watch the slideshow in the end to see more of his adorable images.
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! 🙂
Please meet adorable lady Scarlett. She was named after Scarlett O’hara and she is a true little princess. Her mommy wanted some portraits to have a vintage reference and she pulled together all these beautiful vintage toys from her childhood as well as from Scarlett’s grandmas, and ordered this beautiful ivory outfit. We added a set of pearls and a few extra staffed animals and got these beautiful portraits. The second idea was to have the color scarlet incorporated into the portrait so I made a cute little tutu for our princess and she played her part sitting on a great throne 🙂
The words below are what her mommy decided to put on Scarlett’s cards, and I thought they were absolutely beautiful and wanted to share them with you.
I am a child of royal birth.
My Father is King of Heaven and earth.
My spirit was born in the courts on high.
A child beloved. A Princess… am I
I love a challenge! So when Jillian said that her almost three year old daughter Alexandra doesn’t like to be photographed, I decided to have a little toy party with her, and we had a play-date instead of a photo session 🙂 Six months old Ashley, however, didn’t need to be tricked at all. She was very generous on smiles and giggles, even though she had a little cold. Children always amaze me with their personalities. Even newborns have a very distinct character. I love getting to know them. And these two little cuties will rule the world one day!!!
This little girl is quite a fighter. She was only nine month old when I photographed her and she already had a life story to tell. It may not be a very happy story from the beginning, as she had some battles to concur, and some of them on her own, but it does have a happy ending. She found a new home, a wonderful family, and two loving and compassionate mommies to whom she means the world. I am very honored to have had the chance to meet this little lady and her wonderful parents, and to capture her adorable face and gorgeous blue eyes.
I am wishing you, baby-doll Isabella, a very bright, healthy, and happy feature! May you always be surrounded by your loving family.
I had so much fun photographing this little pinkalicious princess, she is quite a character!!! She is seven months old, already crawling, and demanding everyone’s attention 🙂 And she has wonderful parents with amazing sense of humor! I have to say I was quite entertained 🙂
Her mommy did a great job decoration her nursery. We took all the pictures there to make it special for Nella. In fact 6 to 8 months is the best time to do a shoot in baby’s nursery, because they are not running around yet, so they don’t need much room.
Read what Nella’s mommy has to say about their baby photography experience with A.T. Studios.
During my phone consultation with Shannon, Ryan’s mommy, I asked her if she had any requests for the session and the images that will be captured. She said she would be happy if we had any good ones, because Ryan isn’t a very calm baby. Shannon, I love Ryan! He is one of the calmest babies I have photographed!!! 🙂 And I am looking forward to our next session!
I got an email early morning one day from Caleb’s grandma Donna. She said she wanted to surprise her daughter, Caleb’s mom, on her birthday with new pictures of her son. Of course I loved the idea. I love surprises, and I’m very happy to be part of a surprise. And I’m very honored to know that my pictures are going to be a birthday gift.
It was a very fun session. The parents of the baby weren’t there, instead he was pampered by his grandma, grandma’s sister, and their friend. These three ladies sang to and played with this little guy for the entire two hours I was there. It was so fun, even I was entertained. Oh… I love my job!
It was a pleasure meeting Donna, she is a wonderful person and grandmother. And it was even a greater pleasure to photograph Caleb. He is such an adorable little boy. He is only seven months old, but in some pictures he looks like he has it all figured out… LOL
A cute baby boy
To cuddle and squeeze,
To pamper and play with
And bounce on your knees…
Meet little Allen – “A cute baby boy.” This is one of my favorite recent sessions! I didn’t only enjoy taking pictures of little Allen, but I also really enjoyed getting to know his fun and sweet parents, and many other members of the family. Allen’s mommy and daddy did the cutest thing for me… they made a little pad to cushion my knees for when I was kneeling to take the pictures. How sweet is that!?!?!? Thank you guys so much for your care! That’s one of those gestures that’s impossible to forget. And thanks for the ice cream, it was perfect on that hot summer day!
Read what Allen’s daddy has to say about their baby photography experience with A.T. Studios.