April 7, 2012

boudoir photography

Baby portraiture is an unexpectedly difficult branch of portrait photography. You have to work around the baby’s schedule, and then there is the added challenge of making a baby which doesn’t move much, an interesting subject. It’s not like this little kiddo is going to hop, skip & jump around. With that, everyone can use some advice and guidance to get an edge on the baby, and take some pressure off as the photographer.

First of all, I have to mention that I have a slight bias here – the author, Mimika Cooney is also originally from South Africa. So there is some pride in someone “local” doing great and becoming successful … and write an (excellent) book.

book review: boutique baby photography, by Mimika Cooney

The book takes a wide approach to the topic, including maternity photography, newborn portraits and portraits of toddlers and kids. If you think about it, baby photography isn’t an isolated subject. As a photographer and business person, it should be obvious immediately, that there is a long-term relationship that can and should be developed with your client.

Therefore Mimika doesn’t just cover the expected photography related stuff like lighting and posing. The book covers the wider sphere, as shown by the chapter headings:
– building your business
– marketing 101
– maximizing your website
– marketing that works
– the operational process
– building your Love brand

So even if you only have a cursory interest in photographing babies and toddlers, this 156 page book is a treasure trove of info that is useful for any serious photographer. The author’s tone throughout the book is conversational, which makes it an engaging read – something that is often difficult for a technical and business topic. It also helps when the author is also an excellent photographer, and the book contains ample good examples!

There is much advice here that will benefit you as a photographer. Just dipping into some of it:

  • Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should – a discussion of the necessity to outsource your editing work and retouching work when you become busy. The hours that you spend in front of the computer, should be spent developing your business. Just because you have the skills to do something, doesn’t mean doing it yourself makes financial sense. Or alternately, if your business is still starting up, it is essential that you do charge for your time spent retouching images. This needs to be built into the cost of your sales.
  • There’s a discussion about “above the line”, “below the line” and “through the line” advertising – and we need to analyze this in order to tailor our advertising techniques.
  • 8 things to avoid when designing a website
  • 9 tips for better search-engine positioning
  • In this important chapter, The Operation Process, Mimika walks you through her 5-step process in dealing with a client. This will prevent any issues down the line regarding expectations and price. It is just as essential that you educate yourself about your client’s needs.
  • easy steps for flawless make-up for your client for her maternity photo session.

My final summary – this is an easy book to recommend, especially if you have a specific interest in baby and maternity portraits.

further reading:
best photography books
recommended photography books
- reviews of photography books on Tangents

 

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