This is the most personal blog post I have, and probably will have, ever written. I’m nervous but also excited. Here we go…
So now I not only have award winning photographs but also an award winning website! Agata Photography has just won Gold and Silver Lovie Awards, for Personal Website and Best Design!!
Thank you to the fantastic eDesign team for helping me make my internet home so beautiful, it truly feels like my space and reflects who I am and what my works stands for.
Overtaking the Italian Vogue in “the best in originality and creativity” competition is no mean feat and I’m in a mood to celebrate in style. In addition to cracking a champagne bottle open I also have a special offer:
FIRST TEN FAMILIES WHO BOOK A DOCUMENTARY PHOTO SESSION IN OCTOBER, AND CHOOSE ONE OF MY COLLECTIONS, WILL RECEIVE A COMPLEMENTARY 6” FINE ART ALBUM!
A perfect present for grandparents. (There, your birthday present conundrum solved.)
It doesn’t matter when your session actually happens, as long as you make the booking in October you are in.
To find out more about my documentary family sessions please CLICK HERE.
To organise an informal chat about your session and the offer or make a booking HEAD HERE.
To begin with – please make sure you do it! Even if you are tired, busy and your biggest dream is to catch up on sleep. Your newborn will not stay this tiny for long. (I know it’s a cliché but so true!) Soon, holding your energetic, smiling infant, you won’t believe how small he/she once was and you will be glad to have the photographs to remind you. And by photographs I don’t mean iPhone snaps or selfies. They are great on the go but you also want more special, considered pictures of your little new person.
So here are my top ten tips on taking great photographs of your newborn baby:
2. Always make sure that baby is safe – don’t place them on furniture, book or towel stacks or other object which they may fall from. Newborns have a very strong startle reflex – you would be amazed how far they can travel when startled. Placing baby in the middle of the bed or on a large armchair, with someone else close by for added safety is the way to go.
3. Instead of using a lot of props which can be quite overwhelming concentrate on your baby’s face and all those fleeting newborn details – eyelashes, tiny ears, hands and feet or that cute little tuft of hair on top of their head.
4. Your partner or baby’s grandparents could make good props too! Photographs of newborns cradled in grown-ups’ arms really show how tiny and vulnerable they are. Plus new babies are much happier while held and you would capture a beautiful, loving connection. (For this reason make sure you get in some of the pictures too!)
5. Make sure you have good light – it will take your photo form a nice snap to an artistic image. Place baby close to a window, with light falling at about 45 degree angle, from the top of baby’s head downwards. We are used to seeing faces lit from above by the sun so it looks natural to us. Having the light falling at an angle rather than flat onto baby’ s face, on the other hand, will create interesting shadows and help to make the image look three-dimensional.
6. Photograph when the baby has been fed and winded and is content and sleepy.
7. When you are trying to get baby into that sleepy state for photos wait about 20 minutes after they have fallen asleep. This is roughly how long it takes for them to fall into a deep sleep when they are easier to move and less likely to be disturbed and awaken. (When I was a new mum this tip saved my sanity ad bedtime!)
8. Don’t photograph your baby naked, unless you are happy to clean up the mess that will inevitably be created. The professional images of cute, naked, scrunched up babies, would have been taken in professional studio environments which are set up to handle the mess in an efficient and hygienic way.
9. But if you do photograph your baby naked or wearing just a nappy, make sure the room is warm enough. Your newborn is used to being in a very warm environment and needs the room much hotter than grown-ups to feel comfortable. Around 26 degrees should be ok for your little one (although you will be sweating!)
10. Remember – your baby is in charge and should dictate the pace. Take breaks for feeding, changing and cuddles, as necessary, and always stop if your baby becomes a bit grumpy, signalling she/he has had enough.
I hope you find these tips helpful. Please feel free to share them on social media – you never know which of your friends may find them helpful!
This post first appeared on The Baby Show blog. I will be exhibiting there in October so if you are planning to go please stop by stand 36G and say hi!
And if you haven’t purchased your tickets yet please email me ([email protected]) and I will send you a discount code
A little while ago I met a fantastic young professional family in North West London for a family photography session.
I met Anna, James and their five month-old baby Darcy at their home in St John’s Wood for a family documentary photography shoot. Anna and James chose documentary photography to capture their family memories in the most natural and relaxed way. We spent a couple of leisurely hours in their flat and then headed out to one of the local parks where they often run and cycle or just play with Darcy. Anna and James are both super sporty and take little Darcy outdoors as often as possible to get her used to enjoying active play outdoors.
The little girl was a dream to photograph – happy and curious about the camera – even though she wasn’t feeling on top of her form because of a cold and teething. Luckily, with the reportage approach to family photography it is all about the real, genuine interactions between parents and children. Which meant that nose wiping and applying Bonjela to sore little gums were not distractions or obstacles during the session but real moments of love and care worth capturing just as cuddles and play.
Anna and James loved their pictures and agreed to share them online, together with their family story. To get to know them better and see the images we created on the day please CLICK HERE.
If there is anyone up there listening, in my next life I would like to be a ballet dancer please.
Or maybe not – it is probably a lot of work. Can I just look like one? And have that grace which makes my every move look like an incredibly elegant dance sequence. Can I be that kind of person who sits, eats, walks and even wipes her nose elegantly?
And, on top of that, If I can have an incredibly sharp and curious mind, one that can dream of becoming and astrophysicist, that would just be fantastic.
Thinking of it, maybe it’s not a dancer thing. Maybe it’s just Sophie.
Please watch the photo film below to see some beautiful images Sophie and I created together recently.
So, while my husband is away for work I get to hang out with this handsome man. And even get a few cuddles and a kiss!
What’s there not to love about my job?
I have recently received an email from a friend I hadn’t seen for a while.
“Sorry for the long silence. Life has been busy. And brilliant.”
And this is exactly how things have been for me.
I am photographing more than I have time to blog. I’m feeling inspired and loving what I do.
I really wanted to share with you one of my recent shoots. I’m not going to say much, other than I love it.
Brilliant and beautiful young woman, with the most soulful look I have seen. And such pleasure to work with.
Here is a short video with the images we created together. (For the best experience please turn the volume up, go full screen and choose the highest possible video quality by clicking on HD)
So here it is, another New Year, perfect opportunity to warm-up last year’s resolutions and fail yet again to realise them.
Lose baby weight (well, by now it’s not baby weight anymore, it’s just fat).
Start exercising (sitting on the sofa with a book is brain exercise, right?).
Quit chocolate (except milk chocolate).
Stop this, start that, better myself and change my life.
The New Year, the New Me.
Blah, blah, blah…
Well, I decided this year would be different. More about appreciating what I have and less about wanting more or different things. Loving and accepting rather than striving and changing.
So on January 1st I made the first step towards acceptance and did an honest post-baby wardrobe review.
I have to admit, I am a little bit in love with the new Pirelli calendar shot by Annie Leibowitz. It pushes so many important buttons for me.
Celebrating women for who they are, in whatever stage in life they happen to be.
Showing their personalities, celebrating achievements, telling stories of lives lived to the full, interesting and inspiring.
To me these photographs are striking and real.
They have not been created with the aim of exciting male audience, to display a collection of pretty bodies – perfect, sexy, and boringly interchangeable. These are images of remarkable people photographed in an empowering and sensitive way.
When there is nudity, it is there for a reason. And it is real, not digitally altered to perfection.
Having a baby changes a lot in the way you see and feel things. But it is not going to be a post about all this.
It is going to be about just one big thing that has changed for me: how I see my photography and what I want from it. It is different to what I thought it would be.
To cut a long story short, I want it to reflect my life. Because, messy and chaotic as it sometimes is, it is cool. I like it.