Last week I asked my Instagram followers (Follow me at: amytongphotography if you don’t already. I’d love to connect with you!) to let me know any questions they have for me – whether it be baby photography related or business related. Thank you to everyone who took the time to get in touch! I got some fabulous questions that I thought I’d answer in a blog so that they can help lots more people
Q: How did you first get started in photography? What made you want to specialise in baby photography?
I first got started in photography as a hobby waaaay back in 2008. At that time I was working with my husband in his business looking after his marketing. Some of you may remember that 2008 was the year of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Being in the finance industry – that year was probably the most stressful year I can remember for us as a couple. Dealing with all that stress and anxiety – I really wanted to find a bit of an outlet… something else to focus on other than the stresses going on at work. I’d always wanted to learn how to take good photos so I signed up to a weekly night time course at my local community college. The rest as they say is history!
Initially I took photos of anything and everything. Lots of streetscapes, landscapes, portraits of my nearest and dearest (thank you dear hubby for being my guinea pig!). I was getting up at 4am to capture dawn photos. You name it, I photographed it! I hadn’t settled on any specialty at that time though. It wasn’t until the birth of my daughter in 2011 that I stumbled upon baby photography and became fascinated at how these perfect little people could be posed and photographed so perfectly. To be honest – I initially started specialising in baby photography because it suited my life at the time. I was a new Mum was a baby of my own. I took so many photos of my little girl. Branching out into taking photos of other peoples’ babies was just a natural progression. It also fit in well with my time as a Mum – I could set aside one day each week where a nanny would care for my baby girl – and I could take photos of babies. Over time I came to fall in love with the genre of newborn and baby photography. At that time in Australia it certainly wasn’t the huge industry it is now. It’s amazing to think it’s now almost 8 years since that time and here I am still photographing beautiful babies. How lucky am I?
Q: What sort of lighting equipment and lenses do you use?
For lighting – I use a continuous light with a PLM softbox. Initially I was a natural light photographer. Then I moved to strobe. I’ve now found my happy place with continuous lighting. I have another blog here all about my lighting and why I made the switch (and can’t ever see myself changing!)
As far as lenses go – I think I’ve tried them all! My current “go-to” lens is the Sigma Art 35mm f/1.4. I use this lens for probably 99% of all of my work (as well as all my personal family images as well). It’s a great focal length to allow you to be close to baby, but not needing to be too close, as well as being able to shoot families and overhead shots without needing to switch lenses. I used to always be worried about lens distortion. Honestly it’s really not all that noticeable. Plus – just click profile correction in Lightroom and voila anyhow!
Q: Are you a Nikon or a Canon girl? And why?
I’m a Nikon girl through and through. I’d love to give you some sophisticated reason as to why. Honestly? My husband had a Nikon that I borrowed (nabbed!) when I was first starting out so that’s just what I started with. I’m so comfortable with the layout on Nikons now I really don’t think I could switch over to Canon (I think that the dials are reversed on Canons which would completely mess with my brain!). I think both brands are as good as each other though. It’s more about the photographer than the equipment anyhow!
Have more questions? Comment below and I’ll be sure to do another post soon with some more answers.