Quick Tip Roundup
Using objects in the foreground can be a great way to hide things (like clutter or other people) that you don't want in your frame. Plus, depending on the object, it can add the story you're telling. Although I generally shoot quite documentary style, I will still move objects around if I need to so that my composition can be stronger.
If you're shooting a maternity session and mom is looking down at her bump, make sure she is not looking directly down at it or she'll end up with multiple chins! I always tell my mamas to find a point on the ground to look at it IN FRONT of their bump so their gaze is just over the tummy elongating the neck
What do I bring to a newborn session? I bring a solid step stool, a few swaddles (rarely are used, but just in case), plain diapers without cartoon characters, hand sanitizer and I always make sure I have my phone with a white noise app. If there are older sibling I'll also sometimes toss in a few small treats in case we need to bribe.
Take the shot, then take another one and make it better than the first. While I'm shooting I constantly have this running through my head. "Make it better, make it better." It's not to say the first one is bad, but how can you improve upon it? Maybe it's moving an inch to the left, maybe it's taking a step back, maybe it's increasing your shutter speed to make sure there's no blur, maybe it's decreasing your shutter speed so that it's properly exposed. Challenge yourself with EACH AND EVERY FRAME to tell a better story and to get it better in camera. Sometimes taking a breath, moving a few steps and trying again can make the world of difference and can completely change your narrative.
Don't chimp and delete! I definitely chimp when I shoot as I like to check my exposure and composition and make sure the vision I have in my head is coming across in my camera, BUT I try not to delete any images until AFTER I see them on my computer...even the missed focus, blurry, bad composition and exposure ones. It's not always the case, but sometimes those technically imperfect flawed images end up being my favourites.
Upselling: Whatever pricing model you use, whether you're all inclusive, session fee and collections, or straight collections, do you have the opportunity to upsell??? You don't want to put a cap on your earnings when there is the potential to earn more! I use a session fee and collection model, where I can upsell to a better collection as well as a la carte products, including albums and prints. I also upsell on adding mini sessions to my newborn clients, including maternity and/or breast and bottle feeding sessions. I'm able to upsell a la carte products because I only offer products I believe in and love, AND I don't offer an extensive list of things or everything under the sun. I also always show them to my clients for them to hold, feel and fall in love with for themselves.
Put on the MUSIC. Especially when you’re doing self portraits! Music can be so incredibly relaxing, and even if you don’t realize it, it can help you focus on something other than your breathing and your eyes. 🎶🎶🎶 I always recommend during sessions that clients have music on in their house as it’s much easier to worry about me when you can hum along to a song instead of wonder what I’m doing next. So, get that Spotify or Apple Music playlist cued up and TURN IT UP. If you missed it, we’re answering self portrait questions in our stories today and they’re also saved to the highlights (along with newborn and editing questions!). Have a self portrait from this week? Make sure to tag us so we can see!
Whether it's currently summer where you live or you're leaving the polar vortex in search of warmer temps, a quick beach tip is to keep your eye out for reflections! I love to capture them in the wet sand and very shallow water. And BONUS, you can find them no matter what time you're at the beach. They are there with the early morning light, the midday sun (perfect if you're enjoying the beach with your young family!) and are still around with the evening golden hour.
Feeling like you're stuck in a rut? 😫 Then it's time to wait until night 🌚 and play around with alternate light sources! It's SO easy to just work with natural light and to shy away from pulling our cameras out once the sun goes down, but working with artificial light that's easily available in your house can spark creativity in ways that outdoor or window light just can't. ✨ Fridge light, flashlights, candles, Christmas lights, bedside lamps, laptop or iPad light, glow sticks, and desk lamps can all make really great directional and moody light. Have fun with it, embrace the shadows and see what comes up your experimenting.
One of my favourite ways to get a large family all in one frame is to have them all snuggle on the bed as close as possible. I always say, "squish together like you reeeallllllly love each other", which usually gets the kids wiggling their bums to get in closer. Then, once they are all there and I'm ready, I ask one of the parents which kid is most ticklish. Usually, the parent doesn't even have to start tickling before they all start giggling, but sometimes just a small tickle can get the movement and genuine emotion you're looking for.
Have a smart watch that holds photos? Use it to your advantage and help you with your photography! Take a photo of your reminders to yourself - back up, watch your shutter speed, don't forget your iso, get the details, etc - or your session cues, session flow or poses you want to capture. Use those photos as your lock screen on your watch. All you have to do while shooting is look at your wrist for your reminders and prompts and no will be the wiser!
Today let's talk about COLOUR! Often times when we think of newborn images we think of natural tones that are classic and will never go out of style. BUT, what about your client's personality? Isn't that important too? The beauty of shooting in a client's home is that you can incorporate what's important to them, and sometimes that means bringing in beautiful, colorful blankets from travels in far-away lands. 💚🧡💙💛❤️ If it's important to them, my bet is that they'll never think it's out of style and will appreciate you incorporating it.
Always be ready. That might sound obvious, but sometimes during a newborn session it’s really easy to get in your head and be busy checking off the shots you want and you’re so busy thinking that you forget to just look. Look for the quiet moments, the in-betweens, the moments when Dad crouches down beside the dog just because the pup is sitting there looking so pretty. These are the moments that give real life to your newborn gallery. They are also the happy surprises because the parents didn’t even know you captured them. So, ALWAYS be ready. Don’t put that camera down until you are sitting in your car and driving off
Sometimes less is more. It's all too easy to get caught up in the latest trends, trying to keep up with what others are doing, or trying to better ourselves. But we need to remember that sometimes less is more. You don't have to be hanging upside down on a mountain top shooting through a ring a fire with a prism at sunset while adding in cloud overlays and coloured light leaks to make a great image. Sure it's fun to try and experiment with new things and to push ourselves creatively. And bonus, you may also create amazing images while doing so! BUT don't get so caught up in them that you miss a moment or miss what's happening right in front of you, because sometimes less is more!