As photographers we've all been told we need to find our "niche". I've been trying very hard to find that "niche" for quite some time now.
For a while I thought it was food, then I went through what I call my "puppy phase". (I wrote a couple of articles on that, here on the Dreamstime blog) That was a certainly a fun and profitable adventure.
Then three months ago, I was asked to photograph a three month old boy. I'll be honest and say I really wasn't prepared. The technical aspects of the resulting pictures were good but I really had no clue as to how pose a baby of that age. Now, I've certainly photographed babies before, besides my own, and had some beginners luck a with a very sleepy content baby a couple of years ago.
But I've never really taken the time to research the best ways to handle, soothe, pose or photograph babies. I kind of figured it would be just like photographing puppies, and thought that having raised three of my own was plenty of experience. Boy I was wrong about that. After that frustrating session I started researching the art of photographing babies and became determined to get it right the next time.
Last month I once again had a three month old in my studio. This time I was prepared, beanbag, boppi, hats, blankets, heaters, white noise and more. To my own surprise I had more fun than I could have possibly imagined. Mom, baby and I spent a wonderful morning on the floor in my studio fussing over baby and taking pictures.
I loved every second of it. I even managed to get the little guy asleep (using my very own secret trick) even though mom said it absolutely wouldn't be possible. The resulting pictures turned out great and I couldn't wait to get my hands on the next baby, specifically a newborn.
Since then I've offered to do my first three newborn sessions for free with a signed model release form, in order to help build my baby portfolio. I've redecorated my studio and stocked up on newborn hats, blankets and loads of other goodies. I've read everything I could possibly find on the art of newborn photography, I've studied the poses, I think I'm as ready as can be which is important because my first two newborn sessions are scheduled for this week. I'm excited, eager and a little nervous. I'm also confident.