Sunday, January 22, 2012

Just Get The Pictures

When my kids were babies, I knew that I wanted professional pictures of them in super cute poses, but it was just not in the budget. I left my job to stay home with them full-time, so sometimes food wasn't in the budget. lol :) I trolled the Internet during that magic time when they were asleep, in between feeding them - this was after we had a system down of feeding the babies all at once by ourselves, and we were treated to about 45 minutes of free time in between bottles, ha!). :) This was when I became familiar with modern photography studios and that there was something else out there other than JC Penneys.

I fell in love with the natural light (no extra light, just light coming from windows), modern, clean-lined look of all the newborn sessions I was seeing and I thought, what am I losing by trying to recreate what I am seeing with my camera? So, with my trusty little point-and-shoot camera - a little Canon Power Shot - I started doing little monthly photo shoots with them at 2 months old.

If you are at all interested in taking pictures - and who the heck isn't? - or else we all wouldn't have cameras and cell phones with cameras embedded in them - a Google Image search for the subject you want to capture is a great way to find inspiration. Now, just to say it - there is a fine line between emulating someone's work and recreating your own angle of their idea to springboard from - and downright copying things and claiming them as your own, but really - getting pose ideas from other photographers is a great way to start looking at things in ways you might not have seen for yourself.

Many people look to professionals for things they think they cannot do for themselves, but never end up getting anything done due to schedule or money constraints. Even if we had the money when the triplets were born, I am sure as heck that we didn't have the presence of mind to get pictures done. I know it happens, and yes I am jealous! lol - But we weren't even close to that happy place right after we had our guys. :)

So, all I am saying is - if you want the pictures and you can't go out and have someone do them for you - don't be afraid of your own camera! It's something worth trying, because, honestly, even if they don't turn out the way you hoped/imagined - I guarantee they will be some of your favorite pictures - most of all, because they will have gotten done. Getting them done by yourself is getting them done, even if they aren't as good as a pro. Trust me on this one! It's also a fun/funny memory for you in the future, remembering all you go through to get it done. A hindsight tip for laughs and kicks - videotape yourself doing this, it will be an incredibly funny memory to have.

But also, don't be afraid of getting something different than you imagined. Sometimes you hold on so tightly to that perfect shot that you almost miss something just as good.

Case in point:

I found this photographer's picture of a head shot of twins, one in a green crochet hat and the other in a blue one laying in opposite directions. I wish I could find it to show you, but I looked forever with no success, darn-it! Anyway, it was shot straight down, directly over them, both boys looking clear-eyed into the camera. White onesies, black background. Super cute and modern, no distractions. I looked at that picture every day, longingly, for a week until I got the idea of trying it for myself. I had my little point and shoot camera, and all the ingredients, so I thought - what the heck? The kids were just shy of 6 months old, needing their next monthly picture and I was feeling brave.

So, one bright morning, I dressed them all in whatever white onesies I could find, positioned them by the biggest window we have, on the floor - on my black t-shirt - all opposite heads with Alex in the middle and had the hats to the ready. I stood back and realized they all looked so cute just like that, so I took a few of them and was excited that I'd have bonus shots. :)

Well, what I didn't know at the time was that babies tend to get sensory overload very easily, and a textured hat on their usually bare head was something that sent them all over the edge immediately. I put them on fast, and before I had the 3rd one on, the 1st was screaming bloody murder. Ack! I tried to settle them, but to no avail... gave up after a few minutes of torturing them, lol, and decided to snap this picture anyway, for posterity:

Imagine my relief afterwards, when I realized that even though it wasn't what I imagined or wanted so badly, I still had something I would treasure forever - plus! - I had the shot I had just taken moments earlier. This turned out to be one of my favorite pictures ever of the kids (same shot as above, I just rotated it because I thought it had more effect):

Oh, sure - looking at it now with photographer goggles, I think about the fact that it isn't completely sharp, that their baby acne, scratches and eczema are prominent, that their heads may not be perfectly in line... but looking at it as their mommy... I don't care a fig about those things at all. I love it, period.

So, take it from a professional photographer, who also happens to be a perfectionist, if you can't do something with a pro, you are the next best thing - so, be adventurous! Use your little camera and your black t-shirt. :) Turn off your flash and hold your hand steady - lean against something if you have to. Start with your inspiration images, but go with the flow. And I promise you will love them - not just because something is always better than nothing (which it definitely is!), but because it's all about making and preserving a memory of your own kids that you will never regret having, blurry or not.

1 comment:

mima said...

One of my absolute fab pics. first works for you and lifetime of memories for me

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