If you’re searching for newborn or maternity photography in the Bay Area, you’re certain to find a wide selection of choices on Google. It seems that there are plenty of new Bay Area newborn photography experts popping up daily, with a wide range of experience and expertise. With the investment of time, money, and energy involved, it’s most certainly important to choose the right fit for a photographer who creates a visual record of these moments that are so special to your family. The process of transformation during the maternity phase as well as the newborn phase of life can be quite magical. These are moments that live on into perpetuity, especially when chronicled well.
Similar to the seemingly plethora of options available to properly document your precious moments; each photographer has a different process when it comes to getting that “perfect shot”. As for me personally, I go to great lengths to provide the most safe, clean, and welcoming environment for documenting these precious milestones of life; lengths of which I will share in more detail in another post on this blog this week.
When you’re searching to hire a professional newborn or maternity photographer in the Bay Area, you’ll probably see that most (if not all) professional photographers refuse to give out or sell raw unedited photos from the session. We get questioned about this practice often so I thought I would spend a little time explaining.
But why don’t I give out raw images? This is a question that I get asked a lot.
The simple answer is this: an unedited photo is like an unfinished canvas. It’s just not complete. Every time I take a photo, I envision the end in mind. I think of exactly how I need to take the photo and what kind of editing I need to do to achieve the final fine art image. Sometimes that requires taking multiple shots and combining different images in photoshop to achieve that perfect photo.
During this time of their pregnancy, some mothers may forget their beauty and not recognize themselves. Therefore, during these sessions, my main goal is to make the mother feel beautiful, and truly love themselves. In my maternity sessions, you can wear whatever you like! You don’t need to wear an uncomfortable dress or get your makeup professionally done (although if that’s what you like, go for it!), you just have to be you. I use the poses that will make you feel confident and that are playful to capture the true essence of you and your family.
Sometimes, I will need to underexpose an image in camera so I can bring out certain details in post production. To give you some perspective, I usually spend 2-3 times as much time as the photoshoot (Sometimes Much longer) post processing the images form your session. The unedited photos don’t represent my work because they are simply less than half finished. And it’s simply not professional to deliver half finished work.
With baby and newborn photography there are so many things that need to be considered. For example, I may spend up to 20 minutes posing your adorable diaper-less newborn baby in the most perfect way in those cute curly poses, and at the last minute baby decides that she can’t hold it in any longer and has to relieve herself (Something that happens frequently. I have to take the photo and think about cleaning up the background in post production!
During some of my maternity photography sessions and even on the newborn photoshoots, the perfect angle and lighting will result in several unnecessary elements showing up in the photo that need to be removed in post production. Sometimes the backdrop is simply not big enough and has to be built out in photoshop.
Newborn photo sessions are typically scheduled within 2 weeks of the birth of the baby. That means most of the time parents come to me with very little sleep. Eyebags are sometimes an unavoidable reality of the first few weeks after your baby arrives.
Of course this means that during these fine art photography sittings, mom has just given birth and wants the focus to be on her baby. She wants to be in family photos but feels uncomfortable to show off her recovering belly sometimes. Some poses are so adorable but no matter how slim you are, double chins are just another natural occurrence when you look down at your sweet little bundle of joy. So I help out with that when I’m editing these photos that become priceless mementos.
Many baby’s develop acne, redness or jaundice and parents worry that they have to reschedule their newborn sessions. This is very common and it’s not possible to reschedule most of the time because the golden time for capturing your baby’s newborn beauty is a narrow 2 week window that we try our best not to miss. Therefore if your baby develops any of the mentioned skin conditions, i spend a lot of time keeping their skin as natural as possible while eliminating the little imperfections that are highlighted by the lighting and angles.
And finally, fine art photography is simply a matter of artistic style. You know, the voice that the artist perfects over many years of money, sweat, tears, education, practice, and countless attempts of trial and error to create that timeless vibe that makes you smile every time you look at those photos? That kind of artistic style.
This philosophy also ties into my upcoming blog post: In my next post I am going to discuss a little about what makes what I do fine art. It is important to know that there is a difference when it comes to other types of photography and fine art photography. I suppose that, in my mind, fine art means polished, refined, and finished. I mean, after all, you wouldn’t paint a Dega-inspired masterpiece painting and then not seal it in order to finish it. In the same vein, I don’t give out unedited or raw images to my clients.
We will talk more about the process of creating fine art newborn, family, and maternity photos in my next blog post. What is your process like when choosing a local newborn, family, or maternity photographer? I would love to hear your feedback! You can connect with me on social media to share your perspective! I’m on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and will soon be sharing on YouTube as well.