Looking Back- becoming a Baby Photographer
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: