If you have been a reader of my blog for any length of time, you will know that I love to take photos as a way of documenting life and recording memories. I have loved photography since well before Ruby was born, but having my very own baby to take photos of? That was such an exciting prospect for me in pregnancy. I could not wait to take photos of my newborn baby in all of her loveliness, but the reality was that I took very few photos of her in the first couple of weeks. This was mostly to do with us not getting out of bed until midday, couple with having a Winter baby. This meant that by the time we got up and I thought about taking photos, it was practically dark, which makes for awful lighting. If we have another baby in the Winter, I think I will be more deliberate in paying someone to come and capture our family in those early days.
Since those first few weeks and months, I have been far more consistent in taking photos of Ruby. However, I often feel a little stuck in a rut in terms of the style and composition of my photos. So, when I saw an invitation on Facebook to participate in a free workshop, run by Misty, a local, talented Mama, I jumped at the opportunity to go along and learn how to improve my photography.
The workshop was a balance of tips on how to take good photographs of our babies and practical application of the principles we were learning about. One of the great things about the workshop was that the tips Misty gave us are applicable regardless of what kind of camera you have - it is perfectly possible to take wonderful photos of babies with a Smartphone (Pink Ronnie's blog is a wonderful example of this). One of the main tips I came away with that I hope will influence the way I take photos of Ruby, is the importance and value of context in composition: We want our photos to tell a story, and while photos that focus on detail are lovely, sometimes they don't tell as much of a story as a photo that includes the surrounding environment does. I realise that the photos I have shared here don't reflect a practical application of this lesson, but as the workshop was taking place in a yoga studio with other Mum's and babies, I decided to concentrate on taking photos from different angles and reflecting the finer features of Ruby and her friends.
Another brilliant aspect of the workshop was that Misty gave us four very detailed information sheets, covering all of the elements that we had explored together as a group, as well as more technical information on aperture, ISO's, use of props and white balance. These information sheets are even more useful to me in light of the short term memory loss that having a baby has rendered me with! If you are local to Bristol and have a baby, keep a look out on Misty's Makey Mamas Facebook page for more workshops (not just photography) in the near future!