I have loved getting to know this family recently, first at their maternity session, and then more recently at their newborn session to capture their newest family member, Adriana. I’d say about 95% of my newborn sessions include family shots, as I feel they should. Welcoming a new baby is a family affair, and I love it when all immediate family members are eager to participate in the session. Even Butters the retriever made an appearance in a couple of the shots. Big Brother Charlie was one of the most well-behaved 2 year-olds that I have had the pleasure of working with, and I am sure he will be a wonderful big brother to his new baby sister. Thank you J & M for entrusting me to capture these special milestones in your family’s lives. It has been a pleasure!
I had the pleasure of working with this wonderful family back in May, who were referred to me by one of my past newborn clients. I absolutely love referrals, and am so appreciative when clients come to me based upon hearing about someone else’s positive experience. Baby Thomas came to be photographed at 10 days new. He and his Big Sister were so well-behaved, and I’m sure they will be the best of friends as they grow up together. I’m looking forward seeing how much little Thomas grows and changes over the next few months, as I will be photographing him again around his 6-month mark!
It doesn’t seem like that long ago I was photographing this little guy as a newborn, and last month I had the opportunity to photograph him again for his 6 1/2 month Baby Milestone session. These sessions are popular amongst parents who would like to document the “sitting” stage, and they are a favourite of mine to photograph. Babies are often full of facial expressions at this age and are thrilled to show off their sitting skills, taking in the world from a whole new perspective. The milestone sessions last approximately 30-minutes, which I find is the perfect amount of time to keep baby’s interest while capturing several different set-ups. Here are a few favourites from Ben’s session…
Digital files. We live in a digital world and it seems that the majority of my inquiries are interested in digital image collections. Although I do offer digital collections, I always have an uneasy feeling about how the images will look when printed through a regular consumer lab. Today my feelings were 100% validated.
I have seen this experiment done before, but wanted to try it out for myself. Although I knew that there would likely be some variation amongst the different labs, the results were astounding! As a photographer, my job is to produce quality imagery for my clients. I also want my clients to have high-quality products that are truly representative of the time and work that I put into every single image that I deliver. When I edit my photographs, I do so on a calibrated monitor to ensure that what I see will closely match the printed version that can be obtained through my professional printing lab. I have done a great deal of research and testing through various labs in order to find vendors that provide quality products and prints that I am proud to present to my clients.
Currently my business model is set up in a way that allows my clients to choose to order prints through me, or they may opt to purchase digital collections and print their photographs at the lab of their choice. I do have some clients though, that purchase digital collections but also order prints and products through me. It’s a win-win situation When a client walks away from their session with professionally printed products, I genuinely feel like I have done my job well, and am proud to standby my work that will be shared and displayed in those client’s homes.
When clients do opt to print their images through my studio, I look over every single print that comes from my lab to ensure that it meets my expectations and is a close match to the original file. If for any reason something doesn’t meet my standards, I contact my lab and the issue is corrected and the product is re-ordered. Unfortunately when I hand off a USB to my clients and they choose to print at a consumer lab, I don’t have the opportunity to provide that same quality-control.
What most people aren’t aware of is that when photographs are printed through consumer labs, the printers often run on default settings. These default settings spit out prints that have set levels for adjustments such as exposure, contrast, saturation, and sharpening. When your photographer’s images are printed at these labs, basically all of the time and effort that they put into editing that image is undone…or messed with, at the very least. Obviously this results in images that look entirely different than what was created for you by your photographer. At first glance, many clients may not even be aware of the difference, unless of course they do a side-by-side comparison of their photograph with the original image on their screen. Read on and you will be wowed by the various outcomes that are possible for a single image.
For my little experiment, I chose three different images to print. There really is no rhyme or reason as to why I selected these images specifically, though I did want to ensure that one of them at least had some solid, bold colour to it, just to see how that printed across the different labs. I printed each image four times, at four different labs: a pro lab, Walmart, Blacks, and Costco. I then scanned the printed images in groupings so that they could easily be compared . This step slightly altered the appearance of the images, but you can still get the general idea of the drastic differences between the labs. Aside from scanning the photographs, no adjustments were made by me. Below you will find each grouping along with the original edited digital file — the image that depicts how I intended the photograph to appear.
As you can see, there is a noticeable colour difference between the four images.
Pro Lab — It’s a very close match to the original file. I’m happy with it, and I’m sure my client would be too!
Black’s — This image is very saturated and has a lot of contrast to it. Baby’s skin is looking very red, the highlights are over-exposed and in person there is a noticeable pink shadow to the left of the bench.
Costco — Saturation, contrast and exposure was definitely messed with here. Baby’s skin also has an orange tinge to it.
Walmart — This version of the image is heavily saturated, and the whites are looking more blue-green. Baby’s skin is also quite orange.
Wowzers. All four images are noticeably different and seeing how some of these could possibly be displayed in client’s homes makes my heart sink.
Pro Lab — Although this is the best out of the four in my opinion, I would have been happier with a bump in the exposure to brighten up babe’s skin and the pink rug. If this was for a client, I probably would have made some adjustments and re-ordered.
Black’s — This looks so bad. The fur is a completely different shade of pink than it is in actuality. Overall the image is darker and more saturated than intended.
Costco — Yikes. The image is yellow, and way over-exposed. It looks washed out, and well…yuck. What more is there to say?!
Walmart — Probably the closest to the pro lab in terms of colour, but still heavily saturated and more red than the original file.
^ Original File ^
Black’s — So for starters, the backdrop appears to be a completely different colour all together. It is looking more grey, rather than taupe. Baby’s skin is very red and saturated, and the wrap is dark and contrasty.
Walmart — This image is quite yellow, which can be seen when comparing the colour of the backdrop and baby’s skin. It is dark, contrasty and also appears to be over-sharpened.
Pro-Lab — I’m quite happy with the results here.
Costco — The highlights are noticeably brighter, there is a red tinge to the entire photograph, and no doubt that saturation and contrast were altered.
In addition to the exposure, contrast and colour differences, there is a big difference in how the photographs feel as well. The pro lab images are printed on high-quality photo paper, and also include a lustre coating that protects the photograph. The consumer lab papers feel very thin, flimsy, and cheap. The worst one in my opinion is from the Walmart lab. I’ve had the images for a day and already the edges are curling up.
So, now that you have seen the results for yourself, you are probably asking where should you have your images printed? Well, I suppose it depends on how important the images are to you, and perhaps what the intended use for them will be. Custom photography is an investment. When you hire a photographer, you are investing in their experience and talent…and in the end you should have beautiful prints that are a true representation of the art that your photographer created for you!
When my clients purchase digital collections, it is recommended that any enlargements or wall art printed through the studio. The reason for this is clearly outlined in the results of this experiment. I want my clients to proudly display imagery that is representative of what the original work looks like…and when someone asks my clients who their photographer is, I would like to be proud of, and fully standby the final printed product too
The outcomes in example #2 specifically – yikes. I would feel horrible to see results 2,3 or 4 enlarged and up on someone’s wall.
This little project definitely has me thinking about some possible options and changes that I may make within my business to ensure that all of my clients have at the very least, a tangible reference to compare their own consumer lab prints to.
Another round of ‘Just Baby’ mini sessions are open for booking! This will be the final baby milestone mini event until the fall/winter months. These sessions are ideal for babies between 6-12 months of age. Set-ups will be simple and timeless so that we can focus on baby and capturing beautiful images of his/her features and personality. Some simple props and accessories (ie. knit baby pants, rompers, headbands/tiebacks) will be available to incorporate into some of the shots. Email email@example.com or call 519-824-1459 to secure your time slot.
I was so excited when this mama contacted me in the Fall to let me know that she was expecting, and wanted me to photograph her new addition in the spring. Becky and I met in 2007 when I started working as an Instructor Therapist for KidsAbility in Guelph. Although each of us has since taken different paths in terms of our careers, we have kept in touch via social media and often bumped into one another at various extra-curricular activities that our kids were involved in. I had the pleasure of photographing big brother Ben, back when he was just a baby himself, and it was wonderful to be able to photograph their newest addition, Blake at 16 days new. This handsome babe did not want to miss a thing and gave us plenty of wide-eyed shots and cute facial expressions…but eventually we tired him out and were able to get some posed, sleepy shots too. B + C – Thank you so much for choosing me to capture this special time in your lives! You have created a beautiful family and I am sure that as parents of two little boys, your future will be filled with much fun, adventures and wonderful memories!
It may sound redundant, but I just love watching my client’s families continue to grow. Twenty-one months ago I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing this family at their first son’s newborn session. I was thrilled to hear from them again recently as they were awaiting the arrival of their second baby boy…Baby Jordan. He looked identical to how his older brother looked as a newborn, and had the most perfect lashes and beautiful head of dark hair! M & I — Thank you so much for entrusting me to capture these special milestones in your lives. You have such a beautiful family, and I thoroughly enjoyed our time together!
Without further ado, meet Jordan, at 12 days new…
I love photographing all stages of childhood, but I especially love capturing babies within their first year. This time is such a fleeting one, filled with tremendous growth, emerging personalities, and learning some independent skills, such as sitting. Little babes at this stage are so happy, and often look at the world with such innocence, curiosity, and wonder…and I just adore capturing that through my lens! Toothless smiles, eyes full of wonder, finding their toes, and that squishy baby chub — the joy in watching a babe at this developmental stage never gets old for me! I thoroughly enjoyed photographing little Vivian at my in-home studio here in Guelph, just one week shy of her 7 month milestone. Isn’t she darling?!
Baby Milestone Sessions are offered as part of the Baby’s First Year Package, and are available to book separately to take place anytime between 3-12 months of age as well. A few occasions during the year “Just Baby” mini sessions are offered also. There are a few spaces remaining for this event taking place on March 10th (for babies between 6-12 months). Connect for more details by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 519-824-1459
I am pleased to announce another one-day event for babies between 6-12 months of age who are independent sitters. This is such a fun and special milestone that occurs in baby’s first year, so why not document it with a portrait session?
During our session together we will capture baby’s natural beauty, those adorable, squishy features and babe’s emerging personality! The sets will remain quite simple so that the focus remains on baby, though simple props and accessories will be provided. Although I do offer Baby Milestone sessions as part of the regular menu offerings at Defining Moments Photography, this event offers considerable savings over the regular session price. This is a one-day only event, and spaces are limited!
Your session package includes:
- a 20-minute in-studio session,
- five (5) of your favourite images to print as you wish, and
- one (1) 8×10 enlargement of your choice
Cost: $125 +hst (due at the time of booking to secure your time slot)
*Package upgrades (ie. additional images and/or session album) are available at a reduced rate.
Email email@example.com or call 519.824.1459 to book your session!