Over the years my style of photography has changed dramatically and it continues to change on a daily basis. When I started out I was obsessed with “nailing the pose”. I thought that newborn photography was about creating images from a checklist of authorised poses. That some guru photographers somewhere had dreamed every possible position and now my job was to recreate those positions as accurately as possible. These gurus held the power to say if I had failed it or nailed it. I remember a session with clients when I had a brain block whilst posing a baby and found myself turning to my assistant in dismay and asking her “was it right over left, or left over right”. To this day I still don’t know which way it “is meant to be” but what ever it is I didn’t achieved it and I went to the viewing appointment filled with dread and disappointment about my failed shot. In hindsight I can’t believe I ever worried. The picture was beautiful, the light was delicious, the whole gallery sang with the love. And the parents? Did they tut and say “if only you had got that right foot over the left like it’s meant to be!” Of course not. They cried! They gazed from the screen to their baby and back again, they held each other and they cried.
And I cried, because in that moment I realised that this is what my job is all about. This is why I squat for hours in a sweaty hot room, covered in poo! It’s not for the powers that be in the high hills of photography land to critique my work and tell me that I was close, but no cigar. I do this because I believe in the timeless power of Authentic Newborn Photography. I believe that trends will come and go and props and accessories will go in and out of style, but babies who come to me will be honestly and lovingly photographed and I will produce genuine and authentic works of art of them that their parents will treasure for ever.
Just to be clear - I love posed images!
I smile when I see them. Some of my all time favourite photographers belong to that group of gurus in the high hills and I’ve even attended incredible workshops held by them. I think it’s a wonderful expression of art, it’s just that it’s not the art that I want to create. It’s not the art that my heart is full of or the expression of passion that my soul is spilling over with.
I also don’t reject the “rules” of photography. Quite the contrary - I’m a stickler for lighting and portrait rules, but these are the same rules of portraiture that all photographers should follow, no matter what their subject. These rules help us create aesthetically beautiful images in a high impact way. Once I realised this, the joy I felt in creating galleries for clients and the success I experienced increased tenfold! I felt free to express myself in my art and my clients felt the power of that authenticity. It’s essential that artists, no matter what their chosen specialisation or craft, find that niche that they genuinely adore. Only then can they produce truly sincere art and feel the full delight that comes with the liberty to create!