This week I got to photograph little Eve who is just two weeks old. The photo shoot took about 4 hours, with a lot of settling time in between photos and prop changes. We got some beautiful photos during our session. Congratulations to Stefany and Davin....she is absolutely adorable.
This is a really tough one, as I met so many amazing families and gorgeous kids during 2014, all my favourites in different ways. But one of my favourite shoots was with the Eckert Family. It was the first time I had the privilege of photographing twins, a boy and a girl and their older sister Jaia. Little Jack was so excited, so I managed to get him to do some great posing by taking turns with him. He would take a photo (with my help), then pose for a photo. This went on for quite some time. It was lots of fun and editing them later was even funnier, seeing the photos that Jack took as I was browsing through. Here is a photo taken of the whole family at Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens.
These days, with the exponential growth of smart phones and iPhones, more people have access to take photos in everyday life. It is great that memories are at the tip of our fingers now. With smart phones boasting 15+ megapixels, many people are wondering whether they need a camera besides their smart phone or even a professional photographer. If I had a dollar for every time I have heard someone comment that they don’t need their camera anymore as their smart phone has so many megapixels…..well…..that’s not quite true and here’s why.
Generally speaking, 12 megapixels is more than adequate for large prints and any more than that may be wasted storage. High megapixel cameras can often produce poor quality images. Phone and camera marketing companies have focused on and benefited a great deal from advertising high megapixel counts and as a result, most people have placed a lot of importance on megapixels.
What is more important than the megapixel count, is the sensor size. Have you ever noticed how big a professional photographer’s camera is? That is mainly due to a large sensor. A camera sensor is responsible for capturing the light to form a digital image. Smart phones are getting slimmer by demand and therefore, they have limited space for an adequately sized sensor. A point and shoot camera has a compact sensor, which is larger than a smart phone sensor but smaller than a digital SLR sensor. Then when you venture into SLR territory, you have cropped sensor SLR’s (larger than point & shoot sensors but smaller than full frame sensors) and full frame sensors in professional grade cameras which are considerably larger sensors than all of the above; but come at a cost (both size/weight and the cost of the camera itself). You will notice that smart phones provide particularly poor results in low light situations and that is mostly due to the sensor size.
In addition to the sensor size, there is a wide range of lenses available from compact smart phone lenses to low grade SLR lenses to professional grade SLR lenses. The importance of a good quality lens can mean the difference between a poor quality photo and an amazing shot. Professional grade lenses provide far better quality results, but are expensive. Then there is the limitation of the on-phone flash; an external flash is a great tool used by photographers even in broad daylight to make portraits pop. To sum up, most professional and reputable photographers make an initial investment in their camera equipment of around $5,000 - $10,000 and then continue to upgrade as necessary.
It is fabulous that now-a-days, people are taking so many more photos. Having a camera readily accessible for when your child has cake smeared all over their face, or when your newborn baby smiles for the first time (AKA wind)! The ability to share those images on social media is great fun. Those are special memories that you would not have been ready for without a smart phone camera handy. But it is important to understand the limitations of a smart phone camera and that is where professional photography comes in. The cost of professional equipment is out of reach for most people, as well as expertise in using the equipment as generally the best results are achieved using fully manual settings. But most importantly, people turn to a professional photographer for their artistic flair. So it is nice to splurge from time to time on professional photos.
And don’t throw away your point and shoot camera just yet as it most likely has a larger sensor, better lens and flash than the smart phone in your pocket!
Photos of babies of any age are beautiful, whether awake of asleep. But if you would like those really peaceful sleepy and milk drunk newborn photos, it is best to book your session prior to 2-3 weeks of age (around 2 weeks or before is ideal). It doesn't seem like it when you bring your baby home from hospital and you are sleep deprived and wondering what brilliant person coined the term “sleeps like a baby”, but in the first couple of weeks of life newborn babies spend most of their time asleep…..albeit broken! And usually during the day when they have night and day mixed up! After about 2 weeks of age, babies tend to start spending a bit more time awake and taking in the world around them. Moving them to change outfits or positions after this time tends to stir them out of their deep sleep and it is more difficult to get them back to sleep.
So if you are pregnant, I would suggest booking your session in for those early days if you are up for it!
Michelle Sanchez - Adelaide Photographer