Monday, October 17, 2011

A little boy named Fabian

Photography is a bit like a big playground. Some like to hop on the swing, while others may prefer the see-saw. But you will never know until you have tried 'em all.  When i first picked up a DSLR, i thought landscape photography was my thing.  But i've soon changed my mind.   I have been trying a bit of everything since, from couple shoot to macro, from chinese wedding to random travel photography.  One thing i have always wanted to try is photographing babies.  Anne Geddes makes it look easy, but i knew it is anything but easy.

Finally, i have found a willing model.  On 7th October 2011, my colleague Daniela and Rupert have become proud parents once again when their little boy Fabian was born.  Very handsome little man, good size too at over 4kg.

I got all my gears ready in my bag. Right after lunch, i realised my car battery was flat.  "What bad timing", i yelled to myself.  But thanks to the guys from AA road rescue, my battery got fixed within 30 mins.

After arriving at the house and having a quick look around the living room, i knew the hardest thing would be getting the right light for the kind of exposure I wanted for the photos.  At less than 10 days old, the baby was too young to be brought outdoor.  So i had to work with whatever light that came through the windows and that was not ideal due to the shadows from the window beams and the inconsistent strength of the afternoon sunlight.  Rupert had a set of 500W spotlight but the tone of those lights was a bit on the warm side.  It was a challenge to get the white balance right when I had a combination of natural light and artificial light.  In the end, i bounced the spotlight off the ceiling and white curtains and put a big homemade diffuser against the window to soften the sunlight.

But of course, our young model was not always a willing subject. There was a fair bit of crying.  But there was no crying baby too hard for an awesome mum like Daniela.

Lesson learnt from this photo shoot:

1) Babies have minds of their own. They don't follow your timetable or plan. Be flexible with time.
2) If you are a pure natural light photographer, you may have problem getting the light your need because most baby-shoots will be indoor.  A large reflector is a minimum i think.
3) Always have the mum or dad around. Lets face it, nobody can calm a crying baby down like how a parent can.
4) Bring a macro lens for the detail shots of those cute toes and fingers.
5) A black fabric as backdrop is always a good idea to provide contrast (this will not apply for darker skinned babies).


  1. Thanks Kiat. Having a good-looking baby helped.

  2. Good one! Very nice photos. I am impressed.
    Only slight problem, picture 3. You can see his thing hanging out. May need to photoshop that..

  3. Haha. You are very observant Cheng Hiang. Never mind, let it hang out so people know he is a boy:)

  4. Might have a job for you after feb :)

  5. Hey Su Lynn. Sure. I will be delighted to be at your service, no charge of course. Congratulation by the way.