Maternity and Infant Portraiture

Up the River With a Paddle(board)

17MondaySep 2012

The first time I spoke to Lisa, I was standing in a winery  in Prince Edward County feeling rather excited about trying out a particular sparkling wine. When the voice at the other end of the phone asked if I’d ever been to (a particular winery) and it turned out to be the one that I was standing in, I should’ve known that things were going to work well between us.

Lisa’s proposal for a maternity shoot was an interesting one: she and her husband wanted to be on the river. On a paddleboard. Right. I was immediately excited and nervous all at the same time. As it turns out, I should have left the nerves behind.

I showed up with my bathing suit and wetsuit ready to go, and got ready to drop myself – and hopefully NOT my brand-spanking-new camera – in the river. First, though, we did a bit of dry land practise to see if some of our poses were feasible if a) you’re pregnant (they were) and b) you’re on a paddleboard (we were willing to give it a shot). Within seconds of touching the surface of the water, we learned a rather crucial lesson: paddleboards are VERY rocky!

There were a lot of laughs during this session; the unsteadiness of the board (those people you’ve seen doing yoga on the board deserve awards!), a decent current, a new paddleboarder (oh, did I forget to mention that Lisa had never actually been paddleboarding before this session?), the imminent threat of being plunged into the rather frigid water – they all combined to make a rather entertaining (if incredibly unpredictable) session that produced rewards equal to the risks that these two were willing to take with me that day.

While we ended up opting to leave the yoga-on-the-board poses out, these two managed to pack a lot into an hour and a half and I left feeling incredibly excited about what took place. Lisa is due in a few short weeks and I’m already looking forward to the fun we’re going to have with their new addition. :)

These shots, done right near the end of our session, are some of my personal favourites to date. Lisa did a fantastic job of highlighting the natural beauty of the expectant mother.

 

Out Standing in A Field – Julie and Ian (Maternity)

10FridayAug 2012

≈ 2 Comments

As I eagerly await news of their baby’s arrival, I took a chance to go back through Julie’s maternity session shots and pick out a few favourites.

This exceptional couple were so much fun to work with; they were naturals in front of the camera. I still cannot believe that Julie was 36 weeks pregnant when we took these shots! Pregnant women everywhere, take note – you, too, could aim to have a pregnancy that leaves you glowing like this. Julie had a great attitude towards the whole session (so did Ian – maternity shoots can sometimes get tedious for the guys!) and her sense of daring in the studio was admirable – so much so that we ran way way waaaaaaaaaaaaay over on our time, but I think the results have set a new benchmark for my maternity shoots.ImageImageImageImage

A Whole Lot of Baby Talk – Ginny and Heather

02 Jul 2012

I had two ‘secret’ visitors to the studio in late May. Ginny and Heather arrived under a cloak of secrecy because Ginny’s dad was going to be receiving a great Father’s Day gift: a series of photos of Mom and baby. As I mentioned on my Facebook page, Ginny has got to hold some sort of record for the most talkative baby. Almost 2 hours of non-stop, laugh-inducing chatter – it was hilarious!

As you can imagine, working with such a contented little girl makes my job a breeze, so we had a great time in the studio. Here are a few of the final results:

 —

Maddie and Family – Family Portraits

17 May 2012

≈ 1 Comment

I spent Mother’s Day photographing an absolutely lovely family. Maddie was a superstar and put up with being outside in the sun and in the studio. The strong midday sun made for a few challenges, but I’m please with the results! Here are a few favourites (click on each to see in larger format)…

 —

The Many Faces of Little Man O (Cornwall Baby Portraiture)

26 Apr 2012

Last weekend, I got to spend the day with several little people who made my day.  Since I’m done processing the first of the shoots, I thought I’d share eight particular images (more can be seen in the Recent Projects album on myFacebook page).

This little man is, at 5 months of age, FULL of character and is just plain awesome. To make things even better, on the day of this shoot, he set a personal best for number of seconds spent sitting upright, which worked in everyone’s favour. He was also just plain full of facial expressions, which is why the shoot was a reminder as to why I take multiple shots of children in any particular setting. Hard to believe that these eight shots were taken within a matter of seconds… He changes looks so quickly!Whether you’re getting shots done professionally or taking photos around the home, it’s always worth taking extra shots of children (especially in the digital age – there’s no excuse!). Their faces are like rubber; one minute they’re smiling, the next they blink and that turns into an accidental – and very cute – wink, then they’re examining their toes with the kind of rapt attention normally reserved for teenage girls looking at glossy magazines. Equally likely to happen is that in one frame they blink, the next one they shriek like a banshee and the third you finally get a smile.

Either way, the extra frames are worthwhile because you’ve either got 3 images to smile at or you stuck with it long enough to get the shot you were looking for. And hey – no one says you have to keep all of them. But better to have and not want, than want and not have…

Special Delivery – Cornwall Infant Photography

11 Apr 2012

I had the absolute pleasure of working with two-week old Xavier last week. His mother was a fantastic maternity model when she was in, so it was no surprise that Xavier did so well throughout his shoot. Here are a few of the results:

He Might Be Small, But He’s Big News – Cornwall Newborn Photography

10 Mar 2012

≈ 2 Comments

With a smile like this, it's impossible not to love him!Those who know me or have followed the maternity blog posts, are probably aware that I was expecting the arrival of my nephew, ‘Cletus’ (the Fetus), in early March. Well, the appearance of his tiny little form made big waves in the family a little earlier than expected, which means that he got to star in his first photo shoot this week.

Cletus (known to the rest of the family as Shane, but I’m not telling him that) was 9 days old on his trip to the studio and did a stellar job of making sure we moved at his pace. :)

Here are some shots of my latest model…

Image

ImageMy hope is that blog posts like these will make you stop to think about the value you place on photographs. Think about getting professional photos done. They’re only little once. Do it. Your photographer will make sure the images are worth every single penny.

Big Girl, You Are Beautiful

25 Feb 2012

≈ 2 Comments

Okay, maybe Mika wasn’t talking about pregnant women when he wrote that song and the women I’m thinking of certainly aren’t ‘big’ in the sense he sang about, but the song sprang to mind this week as I ploughed through the edits for a couple of maternity sessions.

There’s something about maternity photo shoots that makes me smile in a way that is different from any other type of shoot that I do. As someone who has no plans to have children of her own, it’s certainly not “belly envy”, but perhaps it’s “belly admiration”. I have a great deal of appreciation for the women who come to see me, having made the decision to celebrate their temporary curves.

As I touched upon in an earlier post, a maternity shoot is about celebrating the mom-to-be, not the baby. It’s one of the few things that expectant women get to do that allows them an hour or two to feel completely and utterly gorgeous because the focus of the session is entirely on making that woman look her absolute best for that period of time – and then capturing it for the sake of memory. It’s a chance for her to think about what she loves most about her body right now, what she wants to highlight, how she can have fun with her figure as it is right now. It’s not about how adorable the baby is, how well he/she is sleeping/feeding/progressing. It’s just her. And maybe her partner. Perhaps that sounds a little selfish, but I don’t think so. Motherhood is about sacrificing, so why not indulge a little first?

Here are some shots from a couple of February shoots. I’ve been tempted to re-name the gallery “Hot Mamas” as a way of celebrating how incredible they look, but I’ll leave it to you to comment and make them feel great about themselves. :)

ImageImage

Forget ‘Bingo’… Happines is Lying Down – Cornwall Baby Photographer

03 Feb 2012

Back in October, I blogged about the challenges and triumphs of baby portraiture, which included several shots of a little darling by the name of Milaat the ripe old age of 10 days.

Earlier this week, Mila made a return visit to the studio, a day short of turning four months old. Mila was an absolute doll to photograph when she was a newborn – she came, she slept, she posed so well it warmed my heart for weeks (and yes, she may have been the source of inspiration for that other blog’s title, but that’s life with naked babies!) – so I was very excited to welcome her back.

We had a little bit of a rocky start, but once we realised that Mila had decided she was going to take this all in while lying on her back, she was full of smiles for her mom and I.

The tutu and headbands were made by Ann Symington from Little Miss Headbands.

Here’s a selection of shots from our session:

One of my personal favourites

It Takes THREE, Baby!

16 Jan 2012

Over the weekend, I got to do a rather special maternity shoot, since my sister and brother-in-law are expecting their first child in about 8 weeks’ time. Here are a few of the shots from their time in the studio. Bonus points to them for breaking in a couple of the wedding prop box items!

Have Crane, Will Photograph: In-studio adventures with an almost two year-old

13 Dec 2011

≈ Leave a Comment

This past weekend, I welcomed two families into the studio for a mini-session as part of a spontaneous Christmas project. With about an hour’s notice, we made plans so that everyone had time to shower, change and get to the studio for some family portraits and shots with cousins.

Family A arrived first – Dad, Daughter and Son came downstairs, checked things out, briefly discussed a couple of options and then got to work on their newfound modelling careers. Kids are in their teens and seem like genuinely awesome human beings, so the job was pretty darn simple.

Family B arrived mid-way through – Mom, Daughter and Son, who are relatives of mine and also genuinely awesome human beings. We knew that we were trying to get some shots of the four cousins together, so off we went. Well, off most of us went. Son B had some different ideas about how he was going to spend his morning and, with his crane in tow, gave me a fantastic reminder of how busy toddlers can be!

Lucky for everyone, he was in good humour and is too cute for words, so patience was never a problem for anyone – including those two awesome teenagers who handled the morning like a couple of pros. Here’s a few shots from their shoot together.

This photo still makes me laugh every time I see it
Could have some fun in a caption contest with this one...
Won't be long before he doesn't need a stool to help him 'tackle' his sister!

Excuse me, ma’am, but your child just peed on my blanket…

27 Oct 2011

≈ 1 Comment

There aren’t many people who would normally be allowed into my studio with the understanding that it’s highly possible that they will go to the bathroom on my props. And yet, I regularly welcome these particular clients back. That’s because photographing these clients – newborns and infants – is such a rewarding part of my job that the sorts of challenges they present are easy to forget about. Here are a few of my top challenges and joys of working with children.

The Challenges

Anyone who says that there aren’t challenges to working with children is lying. But when you know what to expect, then you can be prepared and take it all in stride. Here are a few examples of situations that require me to switch over to Plan B.

Working with wide-awake babies. When they are awake, babies are exploring their world and figuring out what’s around them. There are things they want to look at; ten toes they want to wiggle. And when they’re awake, wiggle they do. The biggest challenge here is finding interesting poses that can be held while the baby is awake so that the photos are still just as adorable as if the child was asleep.

We all need to eat. Sometimes, we just get our timings wrong and a lunch break is required. Not by me, of course – by my gorgeous little subject. That’s why I build feedings into my booking time because sometimes, it’s tough to get a newborn onto a feeding schedule or sometimes, they just weren’t hungry enough the first time you fed them. I get it, don’t worry.

We all need to, well, relieve ourselves, too. Take a diaper off a newborn for those beautiful nude shots and you’re almost guaranteed that something is going to get wet. It’s part of the deal. If it doesn’t happen, then that’s a relief, but in the meantime, I’ll keep my paper towels and fabric wash at the ready.

The Joys

I work at a job that allows me to take beautiful photos of the tiniest little people I meet. It’s hard not to feel like I’ve got the coolest job going. Here are a few reasons why I love being behind the camera at an infant shoot.

Working with sleeping babies. Their faces are relaxed; they look like there can’t possibly be an economic crisis going on or poor political decision being made. A sleeping baby also means that I can get interesting shots because they generally hold poses better than a baby who is awake.

Sharing the experience. Parents play an active role in my studio photo shoots, particularly with infants, as they help me manoeuvre and pose their child. Many of the parents I see are new to the role of being ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’ and are unsure of what to expect from both the shoot and their little one. Seeing the expressions of pure love on their faces as Mom and Dad see the shots start to come together is one of the greatest rewards of my job.

Creating. Another one of the most capital-f-u-n aspects of working with newborns is that I get to work at creating shots that are beautiful, memorable, classic, or whatever my clients request. I get to use props and accessories that I can’t use with other clientele (men with wings, anyone?) and go to town trying to create shots that make people’s hearts glow with warmth the moment they see the photo.

Are there challenges to photographing children? Most certainly. But I wouldn’t miss out on them because it would mean missing out on the rest of the package.

Out of the Frying Pan and Into the… Flower Pot? – Cornwall Newborn Photographer

22 Aug 2011

I had a darling little one in the studio last week, which meant that I was able to test out a few new props. I managed to get some crocheted props from Jessica at Emma and Maddie’s Treasures just in time to use them in the shoot, in combination with various baskets and flower pots that I’d picked up along the way.

Working with newborns is such an exciting challenge. Their world is so small at this early stage, making them desperate for the comfort and reassurance that comes from a warm body. It’s important to keep them soothed throughout the session and I’ve learned that alpaca wool is particularly good for this.

If the baby is more than a week old, there are still plenty of options available, especially once they’ve started to be aware of the world around them. Stuck trying to figure out what you’d like in your photographs? Try the ever-popular hands and feet combination

or have a little fun with it and go for just the feet!

If you know of an expecting mother or new parents looking for newborn or infant photos, lead them in the direction of my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Moment.usPhotography) or website (www.momentusstudio.com), where they can take a look at what I’m about and get my contact details.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s