Everyone loves ogling at photographs of babies, especially when they’re professionally captured in a wicker basket or swaddled in plush towels or against a charming backdrop. The photos might seem effortless, but newborn/child photography poses a series of challenges to the photographer, and contrary to popular belief, the process of scoring such successful photos of a sleeping baby or a grinning child can be rather time-consuming. This requires plenty of patience and creativity, which are key elements behind Vincent Lee’s stunning photographs.
Vincent took up an interest in photography back in the day when film cameras were main mode of capturing moments. As a foreign student in Canada, he would document his adventures and encounters through pictures, and it was then that he discovered his knack for photographing children because he loved their natural, pure expressions.
His photographs of newborns and children speak volumes of his creativity, so we asked him to share some of his photography tips with us.
KAODIM: What inspired you to start taking newborn/child photos and how did you learn?
I’ve always loved taking portraits of babies and children of places I’ve backpacked to. Kids have the most natural expressions in front of the camera, and most of the time it’s us adults that are being taught via their emotions and expressions that life shouldn’t be so complicated. What really matters is being happy and having fun.
KAODIM: How long does it take you to capture the perfect expression of newborn babies?
2 hours would be the minimum for one photography session.
KAODIM: What is a major challenge you face while photographing newborn babies and toddlers?
The major challenge is when they are not in the mood to be photographed, especially in front of strangers. As the photographer, I have to respect them and not force them right into photoshoot mode. Instead, I try to talk and play with them to make them feel more comfortable around me.
KAODIM: What types of settings would you suggest for baby photos?
It depends. It can be indoor or studio setting, or at the client’s house. There’s the option of outdoors too. Usually, I prefer something simple yet contemporary, such as a solid blue, white, or wood-paneled background. I’m not a huge fan of over-the-top backgrounds that feature rainbows, Care Bears or cartoons, or even the Eiffel Tower. If I’m shooting outdoors, I’d recommend shooting in a park either early in the morning or later in the evening.
KAODIM: What are some of the must-have equipments/props while photographing newborns?
Blankets, pillows, baskets and baby accessories are some of our must-have equipments.
KAODIM: How do you plan your photography concepts?
I usually have a concept before the shoot of how I want the photos to turn out, but sometimes that concept changes when I meet the clients. So I adjust my idea to suit their preferences. I would rather follow the baby’s mood, so if he wants to sleep, then I’ll photograph him sleeping. You don’t force them to sleep if they don’t want to.
I advise my clients to bring their babies in during their first 3 weeks, because that’s when they sleep the most, so it’s easier to get peaceful-looking shots. From my experience, 1- to 2-month-old babies tend to be more awake, so they’re a little harder to photograph.
KAODIM: You’ve been with Kaodim since the beginning, and we’re very grateful for that. Can you tell us about your favourite Kaodim client?
I had a client from Australia who was looking for a photographer to take some family photographs during their trip here in Malaysia. Before flying back to Australia, they found me via Kaodim and we had a great photo session.
KAODIM: What makes your work unique?
Photographing children and newborns require a lot of patience. I like kids and babies, so when I’m shooting my clients’ kids, I don’t get down or frustrated. I’ve encountered that in other photographers who get frustrated when the child refuses to cooperate. I don’t get turned down by kids who are crying or moody. I’m very patient and I don’t believe in rushing stuff. I also tend to give my clients a lot more photos. I give them all the good photos in the complete package.
For more samples of Vincent’s work, check out his website here. Mermaid skirts, super soft pillows and colourful balloons are just some of the creative factors behind a great child photoshoot. The actual secret behind every stunning masterpiece is the photographer’s ability to ease the child into a relaxed mood and snap the shutter at the right moment. And this often requires lots of practice and patience, which amateur photographers lack.
So if you’re planning a photoshoot for your baby or toddler, don’t hesitate to hire professional photographers on Kaodim who are experienced enough to go with the flow, while making the photoshoot a fun and enjoyable session for you and your baby. When you submit a request on Kaodim, you’ll receive fast, free quotes from experienced photographers so you can measure the parallels between prices and study their portfolios before choosing your preferred professional!
written by Carissa Gan | photos by Vincent Lee Photography