@michelamagnaniphotography Monza, Italy
As we entered Michela’s apartment studio the first thing that struck me was the warm temperature of the room. In the corner was a fan heater that had obviously been on for some time preparing the perfect temperature for the baby.
Another thing that surprised me was that there were no studio lights or any artificial lighting for that matter. Michela had positioned a large bean bag towards the glass sliding door of the room where a subtle natural light poured through the transparent curtains.
Michela is a baby photography and educator and runs courses teaching aspiring baby photographers the skills of the trade. So joining us was at least 6 photographers of varying ages all with camera in hand and rearing to go. Michela’s assistant gently took our baby Jacques after we undressed him. Though he was naked and covered in a little blanket the room was so warm that I had no concerns of him being cold. Luckily Jacques was asleep and I watched curiously as the assistant began a breathing sound that was so quite soothing. So soothing was this constant sound it almost put me to sleep.
Michela has an incredible eye for poses, positions and props. She gently positioned Jacques on the bean bag with a lovely textured cover on it. As soon as Jacques was in place the camera clicking began. Her students clambered for the perfect position and that perfect, prized shot.
Louise and I sat on a comfy sofa admiring the hanging pictures of past babies, pregnant moms and parents posing with their children. It was fun watching the shoot unfold from the comfort of the sofa but soon we were called to participate. I got a little nervous, thinking ‘Gosh, I hope my hair is in place’. But the atmosphere was so relaxed and calm that I quickly relaxed and actually began to enjoy myself.
There is a skill to this that far exceeds correct equipment and practice. A Baby Photographer must have an eye for seeing that perfect position, finding that perfect moment that seems to encapsulate your baby’s character and fragile beauty.
Michela prefers to photograph newborns that are younger than 2 weeks old. I imagine babies are still so fragile and flexible at this young age creating some amazing opportunities for some of those photographs you see on post cards and calendars. I did see some images of hers of older babies so she seems to be flexible.
Michela is extremely talented and has won multiple Internationalawards for her work. Her students listened to her intently and were so encouraged by her praise of their photographs. As we were finishing up a young pregnant woman arrived and the students began to prepare for their next lesson – a pregnancy shoot.
Feeling so inspired by the day’s photoshoot I returned home feeling quite enthusiastic to try some baby photography of my own. After all I use my camera daily for filming surely it can’t be that hard if one has the right equipment. Well – my first challenge was how to keep baby calm. It could have been the cooler temperature of our apartment or perhaps the lack of Michela’s soothing assistant. But baby Jacques would not settle down. He kept wriggling around like a worm, ruining every pose I put him in. Another major issue I had was the lighting in our room and how settings on my camera could just not create the same soft effect that Michela and her students were able to do. I am not going to lie to you – but I lost hope after 2 hours into my baby photoshoot attempt and realized that this is exactly why people pay good money to join Michela’s classes.
My only regret in the whole experience is that we didn’t take our other babies for a newborn photoshoot.
@joannamoorephoto Orlando, United States
Joanna is another photographer who works a lot with natural light. Her unique style is very warm and natural, perfect for a family or baby photoshoot.
We met Joanna at the stunning Rollins College in Winter Park. Orlando. What a beautiful location for a photographer. As soon as we got started we quickly noticed that this location was no secret and bumped into a few photographers doing their own shoot.
Joanna is a super friendly, laid back photographer who manages to capture perfect moments without you even realizing it. Each time I was surprised when she said ‘o.k, lets move to another spot’, thinking, Oh my Gosh, did she get enough? But looking through her final images one can see that she knew exactly when she got the perfect image that she wanted. Being a mom herself she was so patient with our 1 year old. I guess that comes with the job. Photographing kids you surely need loads of patience. Thinking about it now – thats probably why she works so swiftly. Little ones lose interest and become restless quite quickly. Our entire photoshoot was really quite quick. In fact, I don’t think it lasted more than an hour. In that time Joanna managed to photograph the entire family but focused mostly on our Baby Jean-Philippe, or JP as we call him.
The wonderful thing about Rollins College is there are so many scenic locations on the grounds that are just perfect for photographers. We were there as the sun was going down and so the afternoon colors streaming through the hanging Spanish Moss was really quite brilliant. But this kind of beauty is not foreign to Joanna. Having a chance to chat with her between locations one got a distinct impression that she was passionate about Florida and the magnificent natural beauty the State has to offer. Her passion for Florida and Southern Living can be seen all throughout her work and leaves one with a warm fuzzy feeling that will forever remind me of that perfect Floridian afternoon.
Orlando receives millions of visitors every year with its vast range of attractions. But as any parent who has spent longer than 1 week in Orlando will tell you, you long for a day or two where you can just relax as a family and do something a little more low key. I think a family or baby photoshoot would be an awesome way to spend a few hours and a wonderful way to remember your family vacation.
We were so impressed with the images that Joanna took for us and even more impressed how quickly she got them sent to us after the photoshoot. Since then we love seeing her work on Instagram and seeing some of the locations she photographs at.
Cameras and photography apps are super accessible to everyone nowadays and it takes a few scrolls through Instagram to realize that everyone sees themselves as a budding photographer. But there is so much more to this art than what meets the eye. I don’t know what the secret is but photographers like Michela and Joanna do as they manage to produce images that really capture a child’s character and create an emotion and not just a pretty picture.
One could argue that the more accessible photography becomes to the public the more we will actually need Professional Photographers to show us what the true art of photography really is!