I get lots of questions from you all about photography. Everything from booking a photographer for a newborn session to what to wear in family photos. Today we are beyond lucky to have a super talented and super sweet photographer who knows her stuff sharing her insight with us. Angela of Angela Lang Photography has shot hundreds of weddings and families and her work has been featured in numerous publications including the Pottery Barn Kids catalog as well as her own her internationally published book, Vintage Knits for Modern Babies (Random House). I asked Angela the following questions and she created the perfect road map in finding, booking and dressing for those photoshoots. I know you will love this and I am thrilled to say that Angela will be popping in once a month to share her expertise with us! Thank you Angela!
A great place for parents to begin their search for a professional photographer is with those who specialize in children and families. Child photographers have many tricks to get their little clients to do what is needed for great photos while still making the session fun and interesting. Most important are the creative talent and technical skills of the photographer, but a close second is patience and flexibility. When you find a photographer whose images really speak to you there will be a very good chance that you will love the images that they take of your family. Clients usually come to me because they love how my images are artistic and seem to come alive.Ideally, parents should find a photographer who is a good fit stylistically, financially, and personality-wise. I recommend starting by asking friends and coworkers if they have a good portrait photographer to recommend, and to view a few or several websites. Pricing and packaging varies widely, so be sure to ask the important questions of what is included and separate. To get a feel for a photographer’s personality I recommend calling them to inquire (versus email), becoming a fan on their Facebook business page, reading their Yelp reviews and their photo blog. A website can be likened to a handshake, whereas a blog is a person’s voice, and it’s also a way to see their most recent work.If parents are looking for a photographer who can grow with their family, they should choose a photographer who can capture various ages. I have clients who have been coming to me for over a decade because I offer photography for all their children. For example, last year I did the senior portraits of a girl whom I photographed when she was six. It is these kinds of long-term relationships that make me love portrait photography.
Newborn photography is very specialized and should be chosen carefully because it takes incredible patience and preparation. Look for creative images that show the beauty and tiny features of a newborn, and the love and marvel that parents are feeling. Ideally, the session should be booked sometime during one’s third trimester to be sure the get the date that works best with the baby’s due date. The quintessential age for newborn photos is 6-12 days old because they are heavier sleepers and can be moved into different positions easily, and most do not get baby acne until week three. However, if you miss the ideal time frame, do not let that stop you from having your newborn photographed. It’s truly a treasured and fleeting time that should be captured. You will want to remember your baby at this stage because they change so quickly!
There are two kinds of portrait photography: studio and lifestyle. My studio is in a controlled setting where I have everything I need for a session. I have two heaters, an air purifier, several vintage props, backdrops, blankets, over 100 hats, headbands, and a couch where parents can relax. Studio sessions are great if you do not want to think too much about the session or your house being a backdrop. A lifestyle session is when a photographer goes to a client’s home or another location for the session. Images are more environmental and will incorporate the background of one’s home, as well as using furniture as props. Pets usually find their way into the photos as well. I prefer home sessions to have good ambient light in at least one room.
For newborn sessions, parents can expect at least 1.5 half hours or more of photography in a very warm room so they should dress accordingly. Newborn safety is of prime importance and should always be on the mind of the parents and the photographer. A baby should never be left unattended. I always have my camera on the strap around my neck, as well as using ten-pound sandbags to secure everything from the heaters, to the backdrop, and props.
Once you have booked your session, ask the photographer if they have any suggestions for attire. I suggest to my clients that they dress themselves in solids to avoid conflicting patterns (soft patterns are okay), and for the moms to wear their regular make up but to avoid dark red or brown lipstick, big shiny jewelry, and natural nails are best. For the child, I recommend tops without logos – Janie and Jack can be a good store for this. For outdoor sessions, I recommend that parents bring their child’s favorite book, toy, and stuffed animal, as well as a ball, bubbles, and mess-free snacks such as grapes, bananas, and fish crackers. Familiar toys and snacks can help a child to feel more comfortable and can provide a distraction so that a photographer can get more natural, candid looking images.
Angela Lang has photographed more than 700 families in the greater San Francisco Bay Area since opening her portrait studio in 2000, She holds a B.A. in Photojournalism and brings her training and love of candid photography to her portraiture.
Angela was a featured photographer in Professional Photographer Magazine for her child photography in 2010, and her internationally published book, Vintage Knits for Modern Babies (Random House). Her work has appeared in various publications including Pottery Barn Kids catalog.
Angela Lang Photography
Website | www.angelalang.com
Blog | http://angelalang.com/blog
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A big thanks to Angela for lending her expertise – stay tuned for next months installment!