You may be curious about your photographer’s process and the equipment and props they will use, especially when you’ve invited them into your home.
My clientele can expect me to show up with my camera bag containing about three or four of my favourite lenses and my trusted Canon 5D Mk II. That’s right, I have not upgraded to the Mark III yet because I’m a firm believer that for the few differences it has it wasn’t worth the expense just yet. So I will wait patiently for the next release. I also consider myself an eco-conscious photographer and truly despise how we always feel we need the latest and greatest to succeed. I love my camera, it produces quality images and I intend to make it last. And as they always say (which is completely true), it ain’t the camera but the photographer who produces the image.
In addition to bringing along those obvious basics, I usually bring some reflector discs. These are to aid with bouncing light into the shadow areas of my subject’s faces. Often times I won’t need these if we’re shooting outside depending on the lighting conditions, but I do find them especially useful when photographing inside people’s homes at times. I’ll use them to reflect window light back onto the subject when the ambient light in the room isn’t quite bright enough.
For children and families I typically tell them that if they want specific props the best ones are personal to them. Sometimes kids will want to hold their favourite blanket or toy to keep them feeling comfortable, and it has the added benefit of distracting them a little so they don’t get too anxious.
Newly-engaged couples will sometimes like to incorporate a prop that states their wedding date or part of their love story for the sake of save-the-date cards. Of course I’ll typically get a photo of the engagement ring as well. Otherwise these shoots are all about the love, and you won’t catch me bringing anything along other than my equipment, an open mind and a sense of humour.
For newborns, I will bring along very basic props for layering and wrapping the baby. Because my style is more loose and organic I do not bring along bowls, baskets, suitcases and the like when I arrive at your home. I’m a firm believer in using items in the images that will be special to that child as they grow older, not items that I’ve brought along that they will never see again. If a client is looking for more posed studio-type newborn shots, we can still accomplish these but with a more natural edge: baby in his/her environment. I bring knit blankets to lay the baby on as well as some delicate wraps to create a cocoon around them. If the parents want little hats & boots in the image I like them to be ones they already own. I will showcase the nursery and the baby’s personal items as part of the overall story. In some cases, these are in fact photographed during the maternity session in preparation for baby’s arrival.
If you have any questions or comments about my process, please let me know below. If there’s something you think I missed… I’d love to know that, too!