This newborn session is special because Kirsten and Mike had Jasper about 8 weeks early. It was an emotional, crazy time for both of them, especially for Kirsten, who is a midwife which is perhaps both a good and bad thing.
I decided that this session should be on-site, lifestyle, just to first and foremost lessen the stress that newborn sessions often carry if we do the whole portrait thing with a beanbag and blankets (something I’m trying to move away from because it’s so overdone). Secondly, Kirsten and Mike are both more comfortable in front of the camera than they think. They are natural, connect so well, are not self-conscious. This is how I approach most of my sessions, just talking on the phone first, getting a feel of how I think the family photographs. Most of the time, my priority is just for them to be comfortable in front of the camera. Connection and emotion is my “style”, if you’d like to call it that, so comfort is key.
Comfort is also my connection with the couple and family. I am easy going and work great on-the-fly with objects and scenes around me without having to traverse a lot of ground. This is of course also after a lot of prep (scouting for a location, making sure it’s safe for kids, high heel shoes haha). I always ask the mom (or the person who cares) which side is their better side.
For me, lifestyle sessions have to be thought out in a story before the shoot. I see each frame as it unfolds in a storyboard, which enables me to sell my books, collages better. While you can always make portraits in the midst of a lifestyle session, the reverse is not possible, so I always approach each session with a direction, asking my clients what they like to do as a family or a couple. Doesnt have to be complicated, can be as innocuous as making dinner, having a bottle of wine by the beach. When they have an activity to focus on, they find it easier to forget me.
I do “direct” my subjects, literally, as in telling them where to look. I also sing a little lol. I have some games I have them play to break the ice, stay connected, make them laugh. Just simple tricks I’ve developed over the years :)
I shoot with two 5dMarkiis, 35mm f1.4, 70-200mm f2.8 IS, 50mm f1.4, 24-70mm f2.8 L, 100mm f2.8.
I also shoot film: Contax 645 with 80mm f2.0, Canon 1v and Canon A1.
Jennifer Tia Photo Artistry