So Im going to answer some of the questions from my readers.
Melissa asked: Question- When you schedule photo shoots...what is your favorite time of day? I am struggling with sunlight hitting in the wrong place. :)
Great question Melissa.
So many new photographers struggle w/the concept of light. I did big time!
We consult this great chart.
We also consult our client.
If we are shooting kids or babies, we always ask what is the child's happiest time of day and we usually schedule it for that time and we work w/the light that we have during that time.
As far as what light to stay away from...
You need to look at the ground basically for the shadows that are being cast by trees/buildings/etc.
You'll want to stay away from areas where the sun is casting shadows onto the subject so you'll want to be "in" the shadow fully. No direct sunlight on the clients face/body.
It will cause your client to squint and the lighting will be sooo harsh. We love backlighting our clients. The family photo we just posted are an example of backlighting. The sun was setting behind us. You can get stellar solar flares that way and the subject is nice and warm.
We love shooting in the late afternoon though b/c the sun is lower in the sky and we can get those solar flares and the light is beautifully golden.
So Melissa, start studying and playing w/natural light. Study the sun's position in the sky during the time of day and use it properly by finding a fully shaded area if you are shooting mid-day when the sun is at it's highest. We sometimes use a reflector or 4x6 foamboard to shade our subjects if we are in direct light and don't have a shaded area to shoot so we create our own shaded enviroment so we get the best results no matter the suns position.
I hope that answers your question. If you have any more questions regarding this, ask away!
Jessica asked: I have a Q about your newborn shoots. You always have such beautiful knitted hats and blankets. Do you have a stash and bring them along to the photo shoots, or do you look through each baby's clothes and help the parents pick out accessories? I know you make those adorable flower headband for your baby girls...Also, do you have any special tips/tricks for photographing newborns? ALL your nb pics always turn out sooo beautiful!
I get all my knitted newborn props from Heather at Joco Couture!
She makes the most beautiful things!
Also, her friend at Le Petit Chapeau ~ Posh
make the most beautiful props!
They are amazing!
So I have a stash of my own and I also consult mom and dad and use what they might as too.
As far as techniques for photographing newborns.
We ask that mom be finishing up a full feeding upon our arrival.
We ask that the house be about 75 degrees or so.
We also bring along a sound machine, a space heater, a large very full beanbag, and all of our blankets for seamless backgrounds, a boppy, baskets, & all of our props.
I have studied newborn photography a lot. Everything from baby posing to the environment.
Natural light is best. We set up by a large window in the clients home and use all the natural light we have. No overhead light or anything. Just natural light. We do have lighting for backup if we have no large windows or a rainy day, but we try our best to just use natural light.
My clients have called me "the baby whisper". You have to have a lot of practice and confidence when handling newborns and if you don't have that, the newborn can sense it and will not be comfortable w/you handling them. They are very in tune to your emotions.
Patience is key as well. One of our sessions, the lil girl did not settle until 1.5 hrs into the session and she only slept for 15 mins and was not up for posing so I just read what she would let me do and did only that to keep her happy and comfy. We got some great shots w/what she would allow me to do. Every newborn is different. A lil boy we had recently slept the whole 2 hrs and let me do all kinds of new poses w/him. Never woke up. Then that lil girl I mentioned only slept 15 mins and cried the rest of the time mostly. So we kept her comfy w/mom and mom fed her some more and kept her comfy and once she started to fall asleep, we discovered that she was most comfy on her tummy w/her feet under her. You can see this lil ones sneak peek over on the Ulmer Studios Blog. So as you can see... even though she fought it for 1.5 hours, I was just paitent and let her get full and comfy w/mom and once she was out, she lets us great 15 mins of great shots!
Reading the newborns body language is sooo essential. You can tell a lot of what they will let you do by just reading them and what their lil bodies naturally do and how they are comfortable.
I hope that helps!
Thanks for the questions!
I am struggling a lil bit about this blog.
So I'd like to hear from you.
What would you like to see from me?
Photography related posts...
Im going to be moving the blog this month and Im just trying to find out what YOU want to read from me.
Im debating stopping the blog and only posting to our Ulmer Studios Blog so that is why I want to hear from you about what you want to hear from me.
If the interest isn't there, I'll strictly post to our Ulmer Studios blog.
So please share w/me what you want to read/learn from me!