As a baby photographer I have to say that I really do love my home studio. Photographing newborns is a real joy for me and it makes it that much more fun when I have a wonderful environment in which to photograph them.
I am lucky enough to have a wonderful studio space to work from. It is based in my house which I also love because from a time perspective I can set it up prior to shoots easily the day before. It also lends a personal touch for my clients when they visit my home. My studio space has some big beautiful windows that let in natural light and I use this window light regularly in my work, especially when I photograph newborn babies. There is also enough space to set up my own lighting and completely control the light when I want to which I also do regularly especially for family photography.
Being able to control the environment, including light and warmth is of the utmost importance to baby photography. A warm studio is almost just as important as a well lit one when newborn babies are involved. I have a reverse cycle heater and I can set the temperature to the perfect level which ensures that the baby remains comfortable and warm enough when we take shots without wraps or clothing.
Lighting, however is by far the most important element in any type of photography. You certainly do not need natural light to photograph newborn babies as you can get similar results with well set up strobes or continuous light sources. However certainly natural light is beautiful for babies, especially in terms of keeping skin tones looking natural. For most newborn photographers, if they have an awesome natural light source then they will make best use of it.
What I also love about my studio is that my clients say they always enjoy being there. This might be because of the natural light everywhere and the nice feeling this evokes. When it comes to baby photography, I also do most of the settling of the baby which means the parents are able to sit back and relax and have a bit of quiet time. They always tell me that they feel like they have had a little break during our session together.
The results that I get in my studio with baby photography are also fantastic. I am familiar with my studio space and know how to make the most out of it. I know which corners of the studio have the best light at the best time of day and the results that these conditions will lead to. I have specific areas set up for specific reasons.
This didn’t happen overnight, I certainly had to get used to using the space when I first starting working in it.
Prior to having my own studio, my business model was to take all of my photography gear to my clients houses and set up the photography session right there in their home. I worked this way for years. On the one hand it was nice that my clients didn’t have to leave the house, but on the other hand I also used to feel terrible about invading their lounge room with props and light stands and my large newborn posing beanbag! It wasn’t always in their lounge room. There was one occasion when I set my equipment up in a client’s bathroom as it was a big beautiful space with loads of natural light and white walls and I realised I could warm the room up quickly and easily.
From a photography point of view it is safe to say that it was always a challenge working out of my client’s homes. I just never knew what I was walking into in terms of the layout of a house and how to best utilise that environment. Things like very limited space were often a huge challenge, or odd colour casting (for example they might have a red feature wall right where I need to shoot which then reflects a red hue onto my clients faces). Baby photography sessions also went for a longer period of time to allow for set up of not only my gear, but getting the room temperature right (even when I asked my clients to put the heater on before I came, I still always bought my own portable heater). It was often hard to get the room to the right temperature until right at the end of the session. Of course on a warm day, the last thing you want to do is have your house warmed up even more and this is what you need to do for a newborn baby when they are photographed without wraps or clothing.
However I made it work because I had to. I will also admit that a tiny part of me liked the challenge of going into a new environment and having to problem solve as to how to best use the space. But I was more than ready to not have that challenge any longer when the opportunity arose to have my own studio space.
Now that I work out of my home studio, my clients can simply turn up and sit down for a while. It is nice knowing that I haven’t warmed up their house and left them with a task of cooling it down again, especially during summer. My clients now also dont need to worry about someone coming to their house and moving around furniture or worrying about if their bathroom is clean. Of course I used to tell my clients that this didn’t matter however a large majority of people would worry about these things.
I think that is the key – my clients really dont need to think or worry about anything. I will do all the work for them. I have a wide range of different props, blankets and backdrops and always a few different options in terms of the look and feel of shots.
I really enjoy the results that I get in my studio. Being in full control of the environment allows me to get more professionally polished shots and also less retouching for me too.
The photography session that I am showcasing here is a wonderful example of how I use my studio space for baby photography. For the newborn photos of baby Amelia, I used my posing cushion and window light. Amelia was a sleepy and settled baby and we moved through a variety of poses and used minimal props to keep the shots nice and simple as per her parents request. For the family shots, we utilised one of my backdrops and my studio lighting set up.
This is the second time I have had the pleasure of photographing this beautiful family. For their first child, I photographed him as a newborn prior to having my own home studio. I travelled to their house and took some shots (which we were all very happy with). We worked with limited space and I set up my studio lights in their lounge room to do the session.
The photograph above was taken by me in 2015 when I visited this lovely family in their home. If you look at the photos below of his sister taken in late 2017, you will really see the strong family resemblance.
If you saw a pull back, or a behind the scenes shot of me photographing the above scene, you would have seen me squeezed into a tiny corner of their lounge room, I still remember it well. They had a beautiful Edwardian terrace house which I was very envious of, however houses of this era were not known for large rooms and this was no exception.
It was lovely having this family visit me in my studio with their second baby. It is always lovely having returning clients, especially ones as nice as these. I am so happy with the photographs that we were able to achieve for their beautiful little girl and my clients were too. They took the option of receiving all of the images from our session in a beautiful press printed book and also chose some large prints for their wall. You can find more information about my sessions including my prices here.
Being a baby photographer, I love my job and I will admit that I love it just that little bit more thanks to my home studio. Enjoy the shots of gorgeous Amelia.