When looking for a newborn photographer, checking out whether or not they have the experience to back it up is absolutely crucial and should be a major deciding point for you on whether you would like to hire them or not. You should go for someone who has been there and done that. The reason behind this is because of the fact that Calgary newborn photography requires so much more patience and understanding than the other legs of photography out there. Babies are unpredictable and they may have the tendency to pee, poop, or barf during the newborn photography session. You will want to go with someone who knows what to expect and who knows exactly what he is getting into and someone who will not go queasy on you in the process.
Is the newborn photographer a parent already?
Although this is not exactly a requirement, going with someone who is a parent himself will tremendously help in smoothing over the transition in between takes. It helps a lot if you have someone who knows how to manage babies and who knows how to get all of the angles and how to pacify them as well in the event that they wake up or end up crying at some point. And when it all comes down to it, parenthood is intricate and has a lot of layers and this is something that needs to be experienced in order for it to be understood.
You will want someone who has photography gear that is top of the line. If you are paying good money for this kind of service to begin with, you might as well make sure that you are getting the best value out of it through the quality of the photos that you are getting. A decent newborn photographer will usually have a standard DSLR camera and all of the other basics such as an assortment of lenses, a tripod, and perhaps even a box of newborn photography props to go along with them that may prove useful in the photo shoot.
You are looking for a minimum of 2-3 hours to begin with. It takes time to set the area and it also takes time to make sure that the baby is positioned properly in order to get the best looking photos out there as much as possible. You also need to make sure that the newborn photographer allots enough time in between for when the baby wakes up and starts crying and needs comforting or pacifying.
You have to decide well ahead of time what kind of photography style you would like to go with. Do you want the more staged studio photos or would you rather go for something that is more natural and candid? You may even arrange for a little of both if that is what you would like to go for. The point is, you need to know what you are looking for well ahead of time so that you can set this up with the newborn photographer during the hiring process.
Invest in all of the right kind of cameras and lenses.
If you want to be in the same league as with the other skilled wedding photographers out there, you should start off with really great gear and lenses. You need at least three cameras to start off with. The first two cameras should be your main ones. And you will need two basic lenses to mount them on. If you use them interchangeably, it will be so much easier and much faster as well as opposed to mounting the camera on and off. This is something that can prove t be really practical. Weddings in general are fast paced and you need to be as efficient with it as possible swinging back and forth between two cameras will really do it for you. The third camera will serve as your spare one and will save the day for you for when something happens to your main ones.
Practice day in and day out and get as much experience as you possibly can.
Take the inspiration out of the little things out there and bring your camera with you every day. Read up on the blogs of the wedding photographers like wedding photographer york who inspire you and whose works you admire. It is really important to always keep the creativity pumping at some point. You should also check out the venue of the wedding several days ahead of time and try to see if you can bring in the couple so you can do your practice shots. You can even treat it or consider it like what an engagement shoot would be. Practice will get you to the kind of skill level that the veteran wedding photographers are already in.
Film in RAW, not JPEG
Wedding photographers should always film their images in RAW format and not in JPEG. Images captured in RAW format tend to be clearer and have better resolution than JPEG. JPEG also has that notorious tendency to just auto edit the photos initially upon capturing them so they can end up looking grainy or washed out at times and that is never a good look especially if you are looking into producing pictures that clients are paying for. Sure, RAW pictures may take up a little more space and a little more time than usual but it is usually a down side that is worth taking.
Be careful with the amount of natural light that you are using.
Natural light is great but you have to understand that too much of anything, even natural light, may be a bad thing. Be careful about having too much of it. This is usually a blunder that most wedding photographers take.
Learn how to talk to people
Wedding photographers should learn how to talk to people in public either when they are addressing crowds or when they are referring to people individually. Weddings are events filled with people and the wedding photographers are usually caught up smack right in the center of those human whirlwinds. You need to learn how to talk to them and manage them during the events.
Have confidence in what you do, regardless of the amount of experience you have. Confidence is everything and can really help a lot especially during the times when you feel as if you are swimming in uncharted territory. If experience is something that you do not have on your side, there are still a lot of things that you can do to help you gain experience at some point. You can witch video tutorials. You can read about self-help articles, you can even get some classes so that you are able to get the most basic of trainings, at least. Arm yourself with enough knowledge and skills and you won’t ever have to worry about not knowing what to do. You can become the best newborn photographer you can ever wish to be.
Discuss all of the photo shoot details with your clients and listen to what they have to say. A newborn photographer should always discuss all of the details with his client. Find out if there are any poses or props in particular that they would like to use for the photo shoot. Discuss all of the little details down to a T until you are sure that everything is pretty much covered and accounted for. Make sure that you are able to manage the expectations of your clients. That should be a pretty surefire way in ensuring that satisfaction is always guaranteed.
Blankets and Bean bags
The kind of blankets and bean bags you use will greatly improve your chances of getting great looking photos. If you are going to invest in them (and they do not always come cheap, by the way), you might as well make sure that it is something that you get to do right. Go for blankets that are soft to the touch. Texture is quality is everything especially if you are using it for props for when you are taking photos of babies. Go for those that are thick and soft. And of course, make sure that you always work on keeping them clean and washed after every single use. Babies might pee or barf on them so go for something that is easily washable and for something that dries fast too.
Lighting is everything to a newborn photographer and should be something that you should pay a good amount of attention to. Babies do not like harsh lighting. A photo studio is also something that is usually enclosed so lighting is quite limited. What you can do is to position the area of the shoot somewhere that a lot of natural light can stream in so you can use it for your photos. You can try somewhere like a window or a door or something like that.
Keep the baby comfortable at all times. Babies should always be kept warm and snug and if they are not very comfortable, you will end up waking them up at some point and that is something that you would have to avoid doing especially if you are still barely halfway through your shoot at some point.
A wedding photographer will sometimes find himself in a situation where he would need to film in a place that has no abundant amount of natural light. This is not as easy as it sounds. The downside to this is the fact that a camera auto adjusts itself to be able to still shoot images that are not completely drowned out in the dark. This results to the some involuntary vibrations and shake coming from the camera. Filming the images by hand will not help at all and as a matter of fact will even magnify the camera shake. Bring a tripod along and mounting the camera on it will really get to minimize the camera shake and that means that you get better looking pictures in the process.
Tripods have several uses aside from just holding the camera up and a wise wedding photographer will understand that that is an investment worth taking by any means. A tripod can be used to hold up things that are so much more than just your camera. They can be used as light fixtures for photo studio sessions. They can hold up reflectors. They can hold up camcorders. They can even hold up umbrellas for the cameras during outdoor shoots. The thing is, if used appropriately, they can hold anything and everything up and should be maximized by all means.
Long or extended sessions
Tripods are awesome for those long or extended sessions of image taking. Holding up high end cameras that are fairly heavy is not exactly the best way to go about with it if it will take you hours and hours on end. Weddings in general take a lot of time and can sometimes last longer than they normally should. Recruiting the help of a trusty tripod will really get to make your life so much easier than usual.
A wedding photographer also goes through the challenge having to keep up with people moving around in the wedding. People in motion always run the risk of blurring out the photos he is taking. Having a tripod will stabilize your camera in such a way that you will be able to step back and pretty much get things in perspective. It gives you so much more to think about the kind of approach that you are taking and so much more room for creative and artistic ideas to pull off.
Telephoto lens use
As a wedding photographer, you will also be using your telephoto lens a lot. You need to be able to find a way to position yourself from afar and to steer clear of other people’s paths while you do your close up shots. This takes away the issue of you having to hold up your camera for extended periods of time. You will also be able to better ground your camera and really keep the framing upright and steady.
Overall, a tripod is a really nifty device and something that a wedding photographer should not forego in any way whatsoever. It is great value for your money.
Not maintaining the photography equipment properly.
Your gear is your main money making machine so you have to make sure that you treat it right and make sure that you treat it with the right kind of respect and care that it basically deserves. If you make it a habit to really routinely clean out your camera and lenses and everything else that you may be using in your business, you have fewer chances if having them bail out on you during the most crucial of moments. Your gear will only treat you as well as you treat them so take note of this all the time and you should be in a pretty good place.
Not meticulously and methodically backing up the images.
This is far more common than you would normally think. Memory cards are notorious for corrupting the files that you store in them when it is something that is done over an extended period of time. You should make it a constant practice to always clear out your memory cards after every use and back them up in other mediums or other places. You have to remember that you have to treat your file images like gold. A lot of hours and work are put into capturing them.
Not visiting the wedding venue ahead of time to take enough practice shots.
This common misstep is born out of laziness more than anything else. However, a professional wedding photographer knows that this is an extremely crucial step in making sure that the wedding coverage goes on smoothly and without as much as a hitch or awkwardness. A photographer should know the venue inside and out and know it as surely as he knows the back of his hand. This is the only way to make sure that you will know how to pose the people you will be taking photos of. It is usually best if you visit the location the same time of the day that the event takes place to give you the added advantage of knowing how the lights and shadows fall at that particular time of the day.
Not bringing along a high quality bag to bring all of the equipment together.
You need a bag that is reliable and something that is big and roomy enough for all of your gear to fit in. You need to look for something that will provide you a considerable amount of padding without being that heavy or bulky for you to carry around. After all, as a wedding photographer, you will be moving around a lot and will have to constantly be on your feet. You might also be doing a lot of travelling so make sure that the dimensions are standard enough to fit into the overhead cabin of a plan.
Not learning how to professionally editing his own photos.
A professional wedding photographer knows how to professionally edit his own photos and knows how to do it in a time efficient and manner.
1. You need an external flash gun so you can avoid the commonly super exposed photos
Wedding photography can be tricky in such a way wherein it can both be indoors and outdoors and they bring with them a unique set of challenges which you will need to be able to tackle if you are serious about taking this up as a profession. An external flash gun will enable you to use the flash without having the images come out as harsh as they normally would if you use the built in flash that the camera has. This is just an added touch but not an absolute requirement. Still, every little bit helps, don’t you think? It’s a small investment that promises huge returns so it can’t hurt.
2. You need a sturdy and cushioned camera bag that you can bring with you
You need to invest in a high quality bag that can store separate components of your cameras individually without the possible risks of having them break by clashing into each other. Go for a bag that is padded and compartmentalized. You might also want to look out for something that can really last a beating and a great deal of wear and tear. You need to remember that as a wedding photographer, you are at risk of being exposed to the elements as well as prone to a lot of travelling. Go for something that can withstand water, dust, and the occasional bump.
3. You need more than just one high quality camera before you cover a wedding event officially
You need a minimum of two cameras to get your career started, period. There really is no way out of this. Having just one camera can be disastrous in such a way wherein you might end up breaking it in the middle of an event and there’s nothing there to back you up and serve as your saving grace. You will end up losing moments without capturing them in the photos and possibly a very disappointed and dissatisfied client in the end.
4. You are also going to need more than just one lens for your varied wedding photos
Typically, it is usually advised that you first invest in a macro lens and a wide angle lens if you’ve just started out in the world of wedding photography. The macro lens is perfect for your close-ups and for your portraits whereas the wide angle lens will work well for your group photos and for photos wherein you want to capture wide areas of horizons.
5. You need to get your hands on great photo editing software to touch your photos up with
You cannot submit photos that are raw and not touched up whatsoever. It will spell disaster for your professional career. Invest in great photo editing software and learn how to touch up or fix your own photos. It may be a bit tricky at first but you’ll get better at it over time. It’s an acquired skill and something that you should be patient enough in learning.