Monday, October 31, 2011

Cute babies and their costumes at Bitsy Baby Photography

AND happy babies I might add!!!
Happy Halloween =)

baby photography costumes laughing3

baby photography costumes laughing2

baby photography costumes newborn2

baby photography costumes sitting2

baby photography costumes laughing4

Professional Photography: Shooting in Raw or Jpg

This is a description on the differences of these two file formats (JPG and RAW) and what I prefer to shoot in...and why. You can decide for yourself what you prefer and need. Each photographer has their own workflows and needs can vary.
Disclosure: "JPG" and "RAW" are mentioned nearly 2 dozen times in this post =)

When your camera is set to JPG shooting your images are compressed and processed in the camera, immediately after snapping your shot; this is known as JPG compression. This processing in other words sets the color, white balance, tint, and exposure of the image dependent on what your camera settings are. Now many DSLR cameras have the option to shoot in RAW mode, meaning the image is not compressed at all and all processing must be done afterwards on the computer.

A key fact to note with an uncompressed RAW image is since all the processing is done on the computer you have a large amount of control over the white-balance, tint, hue, and exposure even after your image is taken. This can be monumental if you need to correct or fine tune any of these details on your images. With a JPG compressed image this processing begins in the camera and the image is compressed before you ever touch it in your processing software.

If you are a beginner and you are just learning what you prefer for white balance and exposure or a brand newbie and have no idea what you are doing with the technical camera side, I would say it's best to shoot in RAW. This way if you must correct something you have more control and image detail to work with. With a JPG compressed image you have much less control on correcting issues you might not have noticed during your shoot.

Now if you are a seasoned pro and you are very familiar with your exposure and white-balance while shooting then it may not be such an important decision whether to shoot in JPG or RAW; you likely will not be doing a lot of correcting maybe just some fine-tuning. However, I do prefer to shoot in RAW for most of my work. One reason being a typical client prints a 20x30 canvas of their baby's photo and I want that image to have the most detail as possible. I have also noticed a great difference when tweaking my white-balance in Lightroom 3. For instance if I I decide the Kelvin I shot at wasn't what I preferred after all I can just type in the Kelvin temperature number with a RAW image whereas with a JPG image I do not have this level of control. I do edit each of my images individually and I love making each one a fine piece of art.

Also, because JPG images are compressed they are much smaller files than a RAW file. It makes sense that a RAW file contains more details then as it is 2-3 times larger in size than the JPG. You will need larger memory cards and likely more storage space on your computer when shooting in RAW. I recommend to just use an external drive and backup RAW images off your computer's hard drive to save the space. I actually just delete the RAW versions of images after I've proofed the session down to the keepers and made my own JPG compressions. I do not take hundreds of images for each session though so I don't find the size of RAW images a problem. Once I got the shot I move on to the next one.

**The details on all my informational & tip blog posts are bits and pieces of information I've learned along the way through my journey of photography either through reading books or old fashioned trial & error. I have been photographing for 25 years as a hobby with the last 7 as a professional business. I offer photography workshops for photographers wishing to build or grow their "Baby's First Year" business. Thanks for reading =)

Tips on DIY holiday photos & Photography Workshop Giveaway

So that time of year has come!! You either call around and find a professional photographer to take your family's photos or you get out your tripod and get ready for some DIY holiday family photos =)

If you are like me you are about to google family photographers in your area (and hope someone has availability) but if you are like my husband you will continue reading so you can be a little more prepared for your DIY family photo session!

Tips for family photography:
Don't try to pose everyone, create a scene instead! Maybe it's time to have a tea party or even set out the cookies for Santa, these make great activities for children to enjoy while you are photographing them. The best images are those with real expressions with families connecting and enjoying each other (just my opinion now!).

Look for great light! You certainly do not want everyone to be sitting in direct sunlight but you probably already know this. =) If you want to take your photos outdoors I recommend working in the earlier morning hours or later evening hours when the sun is not overhead and harsh. If you are indoors turn off your lights and try to find an area that gets natural ambient light from a large window or patio door. Try to place your family where the light is coming from the side or slightly in front of them but full on frontal light is not always necessary. Leaving some shadows is good and creates definition and interest.

Usa a Tripod and jump in the photos yourself! One of the biggest downfalls of DIY family photography is that someone may need to be the "photographer". I suggest to buy a tripod like this one here or a heavier duty one like this one here Then learn to use your camera's auto-timer either by googling the camera type and using the self timer (for example "use self timer on Canon Xsi" or by reading the chapter in your camera's manual (if you can find it =) that covers the self timer.

This was my DIY holiday photo from a couple years ago =)
self portrait ~ our winter pic
I'd loooove to see yours, please post it to our Bitsy Baby Photography Facebook HERE for a chance to win a seat at an upcoming photography workshop this winter!

Look to a Newborn Photographer for a Baby Shower Gift

Look To a Newborn Photographer for a Baby Shower Gift

Photography Gift Certificate Front

Everyone loves babies. What's not to love right? But they don't stay that small forever, in fact babies grow so fast it seems like it is right before your very eyes. Capturing those memories is important and most new parents do their best. But having the chance to use a newborn photographer is a priceless opportunity.

BABY SHOWER GIFT IDEAS-
When you are invited to a baby shower for a friend or family member your mind immediately begins to wonder what you will get them. You find out they are registered at several stores and that may give you some ideas. The usual choices are clothes, baby soap sets, rattles or pacifiers or other common baby shower gifts.

Baby showers are a great way for the new parents to get the things that they will need for their new baby. Most things like diapers or newborn clothes will be used up or be grown out of fairly quick. Ever wished you could think of something really unique this time? Instead of the same thing everyone else will probably bring.

Unique gifts are something that will be remembered for a long time after the baby shower. And a unique gift means so much more to the expectant parents. New parents will undoubtedly want to have many pictures of their new baby. These first memories of the babies life are both precious and priceless.

Everyone snaps pictures with their cameras but unless they are a professional, the pictures may not capture the memory quite the way they hope.

YOUR GIFT CAN BE UNIQUE-
Instead of conforming to the usual list of baby shower gifts, why not give the expectant parents a gift to remember? Giving them a gift certificate for a newborn photographer photo session will be a gift that no one will expect. It will most likely bring the new mom to tears when she realizes what she has been given.

While everyone can take pictures of their own baby, getting those special pictures by a professional will be priceless. Newborn photographers have the equipment that most people would have no reason to own. They have already put the expense into the best cameras and various props to make each photo session special and unique for the parents.

New parents will feel so pampered when they are able to be a part of a photo session by a professional newborn photographer.

A GIFT THAT WILL LAST A LIFETIME-
As you consider what type of gift you will choose for the new parents, consider something that will last. Long after the clothes have been outgrown and the baby shampoo is gone you could be the one who gives the gift that will last a lifetime.

Photos are things that mean so much to parents long after the child has grown. And being able to have a professional newborn photographer to do the job is even better. Most of the props used by the photographer really highlight and enhance the special moments of baby’s first pictures.

Consider giving this gift that will be remembered forever.

Photography Gift Certificate

What I love for Pregnancy - A Maternity Photographers preferred products

As many of you know I am pregnant with my second child, another girl, we're so over the moon to be having another baby!! I'm now 22 weeks in and have found some awesome products during my pregnancy I can't live without! I thought I'd share these today =) Many of these items can also be used after baby arrives too.

Pure Essence Mother To Be Prenatal Vitamins
I used these prenatals with my first pregnancy and looooved them so I knew immediately they had to be a part of my regimen this time around too. They help keep my energy levels up while I am in a very busy work season as well as closing in on my 2nd trimester =) To Save $5 Use Code: QED286


Young Living Gentle Baby Essential Oil
I also used this with my first pregnancy as well as this current one. I am really into aromatherapy and a soothing smell can really relax me and put my mind at ease. I use this oil diluted in my Aveda lotion and rub it on my tummy after my baths before bed, mmmmm sweet sleep! This is also great to dilute and use as a massage oil for baby once he or she comes =) A bottle last a long time too!

Maternal America Skinny Jeans
I've spent twice this much on maternity jeans and these are still my favorite! The belly band is so comfortable and doesn't get stretched out after a full day of wearing. The jeans have just the right amount of stretch to stay nicely fit for a couple wears for me. Applessed Boutique is a great shop to get these and other awesome maternity clothes =)

Bra-llelujah Spanx Wireless Front Closure Bra
Another 5star find at Appleseed Boutique for me was this bra, WOW, soooooo comfortable. It's not technically a maternity or nursing bra but is so stinkin' comfy I'll have a hard time giving them up when baby comes =) And I think I can always just fold it down to nurse?!

Night Shirt, Under Shirt, Nursing Tank Top
So three years ago I found the greatest nursing tanks at Target with my first baby, they were always a little short to me though. The other day I was looking for some long undershirts to wear under sweaters and found these, they have a lace decor at the neckline too, love! I use them as under shirts and night shirts now, they do give great support at night for my expanded bust line. The best part they'll transition into nursing tops and probably the only thing I'll wear for a few months when this baby is born =)

Low Cut No Panty Line Panties

I'll be the first to admit I'm practically living in leggings and stretchy pants when I'm not in my MA Jeans. This calls for no seam panties....and I will also admit I'm not into thongs so scratch that idea; I'd rather go commando. Anyways, these panties are so comfy, they fit below my expanding belly and are almost invisible beneath my stretchy pants, score! And they actually do come in a thong if you are into that style. I'm sorry I just never got into the thong-tha-thong-thong-thong thang, lol, call me boring but hey I did manage to get pregnant ha =)

Well I'm sure I'll find more awesome products and must-haves but I'll stop here for now and share more in the next "What I love" post =) If you have a "must-have" I'd love to know about it, please drop a note on the Facebook page here =)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lukas Sits {Maryland Baby Photographers}

I had to post a couple beautiful shots of Lukas here sitting up. He is one of my Blooming Babies and I've been photographing since literally in the womb =) As babies grow over the first year of their life their images really show the change taking place especially the milestones they cover so quickly. I think those first few months go by in a blur, when babies are helpless and so dependent on parents for everything. Then comes that happy sitter where they can sit and play with toys and keep contented for a good while. Photographing babies when they are just sitting up is so fun, I haven't met a baby that was unhappy at this age =) Typically it falls somewhere between 5-7 months sometimes older depending on the baby. You know it's time to get out the camera when your baby is just sitting up; in the blink of an eye they will be crawling and it gets a little tricky to keep them in one place to take their portraits once their movin' and shakin' =)
So on to Lukas: serious & smiling and all the while sitting!

baby photography, sitting baby

baby photographer sitting baby

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About This Blog

We specialize in maternity photographs, newborn and baby photography, family photography with babies. Bitsy Baby Photography offers professional photography services in Edgewater, Annapolis, Baltimore, Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia and all the surrounding areas. Please browse through the Blog Archive to the right for photography tips and samples of portrait work. Please also take a look at the website portfolio here:
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Bitsy Baby Photography | Rita Lawrence