You will find here the latest news from our studio, tips for your own family pictures
and best-of images from our baby/children portraiture sessions!
So Christmas is almost here and New Year too. How many of you are still busy looking for last minute gifts, menus, ... (I'm a very last minute kind of person....).
One very important part of the holiday season is, at least for me, the family pictures. It's usually a time to get together, with your family or with your friends, and you want to cherish all these memories. Even more if you have kids, you want to capture the pure joy in their eyes when they open their gifts.
So I prepared just a few tips for you, to make your pictures even more special :-)
1- Take Photographs of all your preparation.
For me and my kids the days leading to Christmas are even more fun than the big day itself. Making the Christmas tree, the decorations, the family cooking together, ... So I certainly don't want to forget to photograph that too.
2- Take Photographs of the details.
You can take a close-up picture of your Christmas tree, of your diner table, of the turkey, the pile of gifts, ...
I like to take a close-up pic of the food. It's not only a fun memory but it does also make great background pictures if you plan to do later a photo album or scrapbook.
3- Take Candid Portraits of your family members/friends
We often look better when we are not posing so try to get more candid portraits.
Photograph people when they are arriving and greeting each other, photograph your kids when they are opening their gifts, ... My girls like to get silly with the Christmas decorations, so it's always a good opportunity for portraits too.
4- Take Black and White pics of people interacting with each others.
In my opinion black and white pictures, because there is no more the distraction of the colors, emphasize the relationships, the feelings, the emotions, ...
5- Avoid using your flash.
Unless you have a fancy external flash and are able to "bounce" it against a wall to avoid direct light on your subject, I would suggest to avoid flash all together. Most of the time you end up with red eyes or yellowish pictures (or both!!!). If you have the option on your camera, boost the ISO when you are shooting inside (800 ISO should do the trick) and you should be fine. And why not doing your group picture outside, there is more space, usually better background and the light is much better. :-)
In any case, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!! :-)
The Real Truth About Newborn Photography smile emoticon
If you are surfing the net on a regular basis, you probably have come across a recent video attacking the newborn photography business. What was suggested in this video is so far from the truth that I feel that I need to point it out.
The whole point of the author of the clip is to suggest that newborn babies are asleep because the photographers "force" them to be asleep by using various unsavory methods.
1) What Was Said: we are said to overfeed the babies....
1) The Truth: Yes, I do ask the moms to feed their babies before I arrive, but not to overfeed them, and it's purely because a well-fed baby is happy, and a happy baby tends to sleep smile emoticon (just my 2 cents, but I think that an overfed baby would have a tummy ache and therefore be a little fussy...)
2) What Was Said: we are said to "over-heat" the babies to make them so drowsy that they sleep...
2) The Truth: Yes, we do heat the room a little (in my case, I simply reduce the A/C here in warmer Singapore), but simply because they are undressed newborn babies, and we don't want them to be cold (like in the hospital when they over-cover your babies).
3) What Was Said: the last suggestion was my personal favorite. It was said that some photographers would give sugar solutions to the babies to make them sleep...
3) The Truth: SUGAR???!!! Well, I never tried sugar on a newborn baby, but I can tell you that sugar does not make my toddlers sleep a bit! smile emoticon
So, of course I can't talk for all the photographers out there. Some are professionals--and some probably less so--but I think most ladies like me who specialise in newborn photography truly love babies, and even though you see online only the final result of a newborn session - adorable sleeping baby pics - we spend sometimes 4 hours with the babies, behind the scenes... because we don't force them to sleep! Sometimes they wake up, sometimes they eat, sometimes they cry, sometimes they even cuddle with their parents.... and the magic trick behind a sleepy baby picture is nothing more than a happy, comfortable newborn baby, and yes, newborn babies tend to sleep quite a lot when they are satisfied!!!
Good Morning! :-)
So like usual, I'm very late in keeping new posts coming on my blog. I always have plenty of excuses (moving to new continents, having a new baby, etc.), and although it's all true, it's really just life and time flying by me too fast. When I finally do take the time to post, I usually think, "oh well, it was so long ago, it does not make any sense to do it now." But this time, it's different. What I want to share with you today is more important than keeping up to date on emails, catching up on chores for work, or chasing after my little ones to make sure they have brushed their teeth. ;-)
Last weekend, I went to Batam, Indonesia.
If you are living outside Southeast Asia, chances are you have never heard of that place. Batam is a little Indonesian island quite close to the coast of Singapore (45-minute boat ride). If you are living in Singapore, you may think of Batam as a place for a weekend retreat and fun on the beach.
I, however, went there for a different and amazing reason: an Orphanage Outreach Day Trip. It was not my first time to visit an orphanage (I have had the chance to visit orphanages in the past in Africa as well), but it is always such a meaningful and overwhelming experience. What is so mind-blowing is the contrast between the life conditions and the genuine happiness of the kids. Although very young, they have already suffered more losses and heartbreak than most of us can imagine, from personal tragedies to the fallout of the recent tsunami. One girl was abandoned by her parents, possibly because she is living with a physical handicap. Another was a little boy who has endeared himself to everyone who visits in spite of mental and physical handicaps after a premature birth. These children still live in precarious conditions, but they know how to recognize happiness. The most striking thing you note when you go to this orphanage is not the poverty—although it's there, too— but rather, you notice the love, both among the children and from the caretakers.
I spent my time there mostly playing with the kids (they thought that my camera was a pretty awesome toy!!), and whatever I may have brought to them, I received so much more in return. I will always remember a little boy sitting on my lap and putting my arms around him for a much-needed cuddle. That was enough to make the trip worth it for me.
I want to share with you their smiles.
Below, you will find the pictures, but also information on how you can help them if you wish to do so.
** Practical Information **
The Orphanage was founded in 2005, and right now counts 42 children and 4 helpers.
A small donation in kind or in cash can be made via volunteers (Sophie Leneveu, firstname.lastname@example.org, organizes an outreach there every 2-3 months), who will use it to purchase basic supplies on the day of the group visit. You could also arrange to visit in person as I did. Larger donations or special projects should be coordinated directly will the Orphanage Fund. The Betesda Orphanage is run by Bishop Zebua of the BAHTERA MISI FOUNDATION (Yayasan Bahtera Misi) in Batam. To liase directly with him, call +62 812 7045. FYI, he uses the app Tango for free calls. You could also email him at email@example.com
Currently, the orphanage is appealing for donations to assist with school fees and its reconstruction project (following a fire last year that destroyed the second floor children’s rooms). They aim to complete the new building by October this year, subject to funding.