Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Caught on tape

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Photographing Vrishti for this blog and otherwise is one of my favorite things to do. But its not very easy though. Setting the props, light, getting her dressed, setting the table....takes a lot of time. And every new mom knows time is not the one commodity that comes easy. 
Baby photography is a very out-of-your-hands task. Its not like you have a set studio with background and lights and camera set on a tripod all the time in your nursery. The diaper changing table is my make shift studio. Any solid color blanket (i have used black, white and orange so far) is the background and surgeon like steady hands is the tripod. ( Image stabilizing is a plus if you have that on your camera) 
An alert baby will never stay still. They move around a lot and are easily excited by a camera over their head. V would keep knocking down props and pushing everything. Its either the sock or a shoe or a mitt or the cap or her dress lifted up or she wants to touch the camera or she just wants to suck her thumb! 
A sleeping baby poses far less challenges but that is against the one gianormic risk of waking her up. And everybody who has ever had a baby in their house knows that it is a criminal sin to wake up a sleeping baby. Its like unleashing the screamer within them. So you have to be absolutely sure they are deep in sleep and careful while placing them on the set so as to not wake them up. 
Many a times, I was not able to do all that was planned. Like for fashionista I wanted to add more bling using ear rings and beads. For Bollywood twin, I wanted to tie a scarf/handkerchief around her neck and plant a bidi (not a real one) near by. But the mustache would to tickle her nose and make her sneeze so had to drop the rest of the ideas. Rice lights were supposed to be used on Alien Abduction. An 'Alice in Wonderland' idea never even made it to the camera. I have tried it so many times that I grew tired and gave it up. 
And safety is of course the most important thing to keep in mind. Use clean and safe props and do the after shoot clean up as promptly as possible. 
Postprocessing the pics will add great value to it. Using photoshop would be great, but since I dont own it or know how to use it, its out of question. But I do use iPhoto to do some basic simple stuff like adding soft focus, glow effect, Black and white, sepia etc.

Taking videos is definitely easier but the only problem with V was that she would stop doing whatever it was that she was doing (laughing, cooing, smiling, playing) and start staring at the red blinking lights on the camera (that goes on when recording is underway).

Well, finally here she is .... Caught on Tape




Pic Taken : Dec 21 2010


What you could do:
I used a tiny camera (which did not have image stabilization) because there was no room for a bulky one on the changing table. But go for a good one if you can. I am planning on getting the big one out soon. 
We had only one light source in baby's room on the diagonally opposite side of the changing table. So she and any 3-D props would drop shadows. Black was the background of choice for most pics because of the shadow issue. 
Get help. I was trying to keep this whole thing a secret as I wanted to surprise my family with the pics. So it was a covert, behind the doors, single handed operation. But trust me, an extra pair of hands will get you better pics in lesser time.
Start clicking with minimal props first. The longer you take to set up, the worse your chances get. And having a minimal pic is better than having none at all.

1 comment:

Srivatsan said...

tchu tchu... paavam paapa! :s