It’s easy for me to look back on past work and be very critical of myself. In terms of knowing how to use my lights, pose a baby to look natural-but-really-we-know-it-wasn’t-natural, fix those little skin imperfections, polish the entire image, I have worked hard to improve those skills. I have several photos from the beginning of my official photography career that I wish I could “do-over”, Where the baby looks awkward because of my posing, Where the lighting is too bright or too dim…. BUT- then today I came across a few images from BEFORE I actually decided to start a photography business, when it was just me and my camera and a close friend or a cousin’s baby girl in front of a window; BEFORE I put pressure on myself to meet a certain standard; BEFORE I was trying to get specific poses; BEFORE I was comparing myself to other photographers; in short, BEFORE I was overthinking this whole thing, and I was simply taking photographs for the pure enjoyment of it all.
Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoy it. I still REALLY enjoy photography, baby photography in particular, but I look back at these images and realize that maybe I don’t need to be so self critical, maybe I just need to relax and enjoy the process. I don’t know if it’s obvious to the viewer, but there is something simple, spontaneous, uncomplicated and natural about these photos. My “middle” body of work lacks this simplicity- and now with more experience I am trying to step back to that simplicity- although with a bit more technical experience and skill to ensure that I get the images consistently.
I could fuss about slightly imperfect skin (which is actually a much discussed topic among photogs I follow recently… if a newborn isn’t perfect enough, then who is???) I could fuss that the lighting could be better, but REALLY, I just want to enjoy babies SIMPLY. NATURALLY. PEACEFULLY. Keeping that simplicity in mind, here is one of my favourite recent images:
This week I had the opportunity to work with a friend and very talented jewelry designer, Lily MonsterMeat ( www.LilyMonsterMeat.com ). For those more conservative of my friends, don’t let the scary name throw you, she’s actually a total sweetheart, with a crazy awesome creative spirit. She set up the photoshoot at Bon Eco Designs in the quaint village of Tamworth, Ontario, where they specialize in gorgeous upcycled items- both artistic and functional. Most of the items in the background of the shoot are designed by the owners, Hans and Carolyn and are available in their shop,. They are very supportive of the community and local artists- so if you’re in the Kingston area, it’s worth the short drive North. The belts in this shoot are designed by Jake S Baer.
Special thanks to fellow Photogs on site, Cathy Burrell at lights edge, Los Tha Don LTD Photography & Design, & Bic E Dee Holly J. Also, Thanks to Jo Plumridge, Make Up Artist, and our awesome models, Arielle, Kelsea and Tiffany. It’s amazing what a small group of local artists can accomplish when we work together!
This dividing wall was made entirely from tires:
My personal favourite piece, an upcycled Mac, made into a hanging lamp.
Another fabulous belt by Jake Baer. Unique Stone Pendant necklace by Lily MonsterMeat.
An amazing piece of art created entirely out of used tires:
A portrait against the tire wall:
They’ve even created some funky clothing out of tires:
While I had my camera out practicing some off-camera flash techniques with still life subjects, my pets were curious, and so they became my practice subjects. This is my sweet dog, an almost-four- year-old Golden Retriever-German Shepherd cross.
These images are straight out of camera, taken with a cluttery background in my kitchen, just using the flash to overpower the normal household lighting. (in the last image I darkened the blacks slightly using levels, just in one corner). I love how creative I can get with lighting!