01 January 2014

The Nursery Photographer


Well it's a New Year and I hope it's a Happy 2014 because I can honestly say 2013 wasn't the greatest.  Onwards and upwards!  Hoping to bring you some more cliff hanging blogs this year.


I love photographs, all kinds of photographs interest me, but since learning more about photography over the past few years I’ve developed a picky eye for things that are wrong, in my opinion.  Maybe it’s spoilt my enjoyment to a degree.  Now I’m not claiming to be a brilliant photographer.  I don’t consider myself one, unless I’m shopping in Mothercare and I’m being approached by the well known chain that operate there.  Then and only then I believe I’m more a photographer than they are.  I still have lots to learn but I see photography as my life long hobby.

The American’s have a phrase called Mommy Goggles, it pretty much means, that you love all pictures of your kids regardless of how crap the picture is.  In the age of mobile phones and cheaper consumer market DSLR cameras, everyone takes pictures.  We take good and bad pictures, some people take more good and some people take more bad and there’s the crowd that take hundreds and hundreds, in the hope of having a handful of good ones.  I’m just getting to the point now where I can accept certain pictures for what they are, like school photos for example.  I think these pictures are a record of what your child looks like at the time.  They are not high fashion or editorial photos so they are never going to have a wow factor, unless you are suffering from that "mommy goggles” condition!

I also understand for a lot of people, school photos are maybe the only chance to get photographs of their family.  In the town where I live they do this competition in the local paper every year called “Happy Tots” and it’s a chance to get portraits of your children relatively cheap in the hope of scooping the 1K prize money and that, is my only reason for entering Daisy.  Again though, I’m faced with the dilemma of buying or not buying the photos.  I always buy them but as I think I take better pictures myself, they end up in a cupboard somewhere.  Photography like anything else is down to personal taste.  If you think something is important you will find the money to have it, within reason.  For me photos are important.  I want to look back in years to come and reminisce.  I remember if someone was with me other than Daisy, I remember what we were doing prior and also the struggles to get a particular shot.  Photographs are memories frozen in time.

It’s not always important to go with the most expensive photographer, although the reason some photographers are really expensive is because they are in demand.  The reason people are in demand is because people like what they do.  Another reason someone can be in demand is because they are cheap.  Now cheap may appeal to a lot of people, but ask yourself why someone is cheap.  Have you compared the photography of the cheap photographer with the photography of the expensive one?  Do you see a difference?  If the answer is yes, you understand what I’m saying.  If you don’t, go with the cheap one.

There’s always a flipside though because cheap doesn’t always mean bad and expensive doesn’t always mean good.   All you have to do is look at Daisy’s new nursery photos.  I almost choked when I saw them on my screen, yes I bought them, I always do.  Now nursery photographers make a decent amount of money, just like the photographer that has the happy tots contract.  Even though the photos are relatively cheap, lots of kids and sessions lasting less than five minute equals lots of cash.  The photographers worth their salt will put as much effort into the mass produced nursery photographs as they would at longer sessions in their own studio.  Some don’t.

I've just put a black line around the photographs so you can see what I got on my disk.  I was disappointed to see some off centre or Daisy way down in a corner.  Some will argue this thing called rule of thirds, I think it's a poor show.