Every year, I set an objective for my photography business. Be it branding, or revamping the website, or collecting portfolios. So this year, I decided it’s time for me to attend a photography workshop. I’ve been all this time a self-taught photographer. Learning everything I know by trial & error, lots of practices, and with several guidance from some close photographer friends. I’ve only attended a basic photography class by Andy Lim, and during that time, it was meant to polish up my skills or to refresh what I already know.
So anyway, I started to search about the web for a photography workshop which is related to what I’m specializing. I realized there was no workshop in Malaysia which fits my requirement list or able to offer more than what I already know when it comes to baby/children related photography. I started looking outside of Malaysia. This was initially a tough decision for me. Cos outside of Malaysia means two things. It’ll cost me a LOT of money for the travel, as well as the exchange rates in countries like U.S or Australia which are not really in favor to our Malaysia Ringgit. This also means I’ve to travel away from my family, from my little girl. I’ve never left my girl for more than 24 hours in her entire life. She sleeps next to me 98% of our nights together. So oh yeah… it was really tough for me to decide.
But in the end, I took up the courage and signed up for a Baby Posing Workshop by Lana Bell in Australia. Well, I’ve heard of several famous baby related photography workshops based in the U.S but after going through Lana’s website, I decided to give it a try since it’s nearer & cheaper for me than if I were to go to U.S. And I’m glad I did, cos I learn quite a bit from the workshop. 🙂
Although there are several differences in terms of culture & business applications between Australia & Malaysia, I’m glad I get to see these differences. It opens my eyes to a lot of perspectives. I get too see the pros & cons from each differences & hope to make something positive out of each for my business application. Some major differences I realized are:
Well… I went to Australia during the start of their winter time, so it’s colder there than it is in Malaysia. So when it comes to photographing babies, more preparations are needed to ensure baby’s comfort & warmth.
Most mothers in Australia are either fulltime mothers (with no helper or maids as commonly found in Malaysia) or if working fulltime, then they depend a lot on schools & childcare centres which are very professionally set-up throughout the country. So when it comes to after delivering a new baby, a mother there usually gets help from the husband, occasionally from family members but the term “confinement period” is not a norm. Mother & baby starts their new life together just like any other normal people. They eat whatever healthy food they can get, they go out whenever they want, no restrictions whatsoever unless it’s medically decided by doctors in cases of some post-delivery complications.
3. Photography Studio
Most baby photographers have a home-based studio, and newborn photography sessions are conducted here. Clients go to the photographers, bringing their new little bubs for their photographs to be taken. And this is pretty normal for them, bringing they days old baby out (we’re talking about less than 10 days old) without a fuss on “getting wind into the body” or “baby’s too young to be out in public” kinda thing. Unlike here in Malaysia, where photographers like me had to do on-location sessions cos it’s a common thing for mothers & babies to be in confinement period, hence, generally they’re not allowed to leave the house in the first month period.
Since it’s the photographer’s studio, the photographer has more control in terms of lighting, setup & location. So consistency is a lot easier to achieve here. 🙂
4. Photography Charges
Clients are charged a “booking” fee for the studio space as well as the photographer’s time. After the session is done, photos will be chosen & edited by the photographer and then clients will be invited into their studio again to view them & make orders for digital files or prints. Sometimes they do it online, but generally face-to-face interaction is much more preferred. Bulk digital purchases are available but they cost a lot lot more usually. Common practice will be for clients to order images for prints such as canvas prints or albums or photo quality prints. Here in Malaysia, generally clients get digital files (high resolution files) in a disc, sometimes with additional offers of prints. I must say, clients in Malaysia are getting a lot more for what they pay for as compared to Australians. 😉
Anyway… this is going to be another looooooong post with lots of photos to share. So hope you enjoy some of the behind-the-scene shots as well as images of baby Asher who came with her lovely mother into Lana’s nautral light studio for us to photograph. All poses & setup were done by Lana herself and I’m very thankful for her mentoring us that day. She opens up so much of her trade secrets for us, from how to conduct a session, to how to edit the photos and lastly on discussing about the business part of things with us. We even had a lovely full-course dinner at one of Lana’s favorite restaurant. Good food, good wine, great company. It was indeed an experience. I’m thankful for the new friends I’ve made during the workshop, especially Jessica & Beck. They made me feel a lot more comfortable & welcome with all the things they’ve shared with me. 🙂
We “ran out” of good lights as the day went by so Lana decided to bring baby Asher outside for some more portraits. Being that it’s winter, she had baby Asher wrapped up nicely before we headed outside to her lawn area.
And here are a few with Asher’s beautiful mommy. You wouldn’t have guessed that she just delivered a baby 8 days ago!
And my all time favorite from the workshop…
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