It’s 2022! Happy New Year everyone! I hope you have all had a restful Christmas and NYE. I’ve been a little quiet this month as I’ve taken some much needed time with my family. With this new year though brings an exciting milestone for my business. It marks 10 YEARS specialising in newborn and baby photography. I can’t quite believe it. All these years photographing little babies and newborns has been such an amazing experience and journey. Here are some things I’ve learned from my crazy DECADE as a baby photographer:
Decade Lesson #1: Trends Come and Go
Over the past 10 years, I’ve seen so many baby photography trends come and go. The bright bobble-coloured blankets, the crowns on newborns, lots of editing styles that used to look so amazing but now look a bit meh. Flowers everywhere, babies in lolly jars. You name it, I’ve seen it! When I first started photographing babies I totally stalked other photographers’ work. Back then there was no Instagram so I’m talking WEBSITES and Facebook Pages. If a photographer I admired was using a particular prop, I’d hunt it down and need one too. In the last 5 or so year though, as I’ve built confidence in my own work, I pay much less attention to these trends. I seem to have settled into my style. I really enjoy being a bit of a minimalist and have a flow for my editing that doesn’t really change much. I guess that’s all part of growing into the photographer you are!
Trends come and go in baby photography but minimalist cuteness never goes out of fashion!
Decade Lesson #1: Photographer Celebs Burnout
Something interesting that I’ve noticed about our industry is the photographer “celebrity”. You know the ones! They’re always on social media. They post all the time and have no problem being in front of the camera – usually with their perfectly groomed hair and made up face. They always wear beautiful clothes and seem from the outside to be living the dream life. They have a huge social media following and are seemingly incredibly successful in their business. I used to feel really inferior to these people. I used to look at their images and think – they’re really good – but why are they getting so much more attention than another photographer whose images are just as good? What is it about these “celebrity” types? I’ve witnessed my fair share of drama. Turf wars, social media bans, and lashings of really bad behaviour and ego all thrown in to the mix. I have never been one for drama or competitiveness so it’s not in my nature to get involved in these situations.
I’ve noticed that these “celebrities” tend to enjoy their time in popularity – usually for 2 or 3 years – and then for whatever reason they fade into obscurity. I’m not sure whether they get burned out from working too much, or if their work just falls out of what’s on “trend”. The most successful photographers in this industry are the ones that aren’t in the centre of the spotlight. They’re the ones who do their utmost for their clients every day and don’t let their egos get in the way. At the end of the day it’s our clients who choose us…. not other photographers who we need to impress. My advice? Keep on keeping on and leave out the drama.
Decade Lesson #3: You Never Stop Learning
When I first started in baby photography, I looked up to so many amazing photographers. Baby as Art, Kelly Brown, Erin Elizabeth, and Lana Bell from Little Posers just to name a few. I had the crazy idea that when I reached their level of expertise that I would feel accomplished and completely confident in my work. After 10 years I’ve come to realise that it’s not a destination you ever really reach. If you’re doing this job right, you’ll understand that you never stop learning. There’s always room to improve and to better yourself. For as long as I have a camera in my hand I’ll always be striving to be better and do better for my clients.
Decade Lesson #4: We Have the Best Job
I’ve lost count how many babies and newborns I’ve photographed over the past 10 years. The idea that those very first newborns are now 10 years old just boggles my mind. It also makes me even more sure that this is the right job for me. That time with out precious little ones is so fleeting. The idea that my photographs grace the walls of thousands of homes in Sydney, if not Australia, is so humbling to me. This job truly is the best. Thank you all for sharing in my journey over the past 10 years. I couldn’t have done it without you. Here’s to another 10 years (if my poor 50 year old body will let me!).