My mother used to let me use her Pentax 35mm camera until I got my own on my 15th birthday. After college I worked for a NY wedding and studio photographer who taught me how to develop and print my own film. It was a moment in the darkroom, printing my first print, when I literally had to catch my breath and I knew I had to make photography part of my life. I continued to work in industries where I was surrounded by photography but I was never behind the camera. It wasn’t until 2007 that I finally bit the bullet and put everything on the line, revamped a (very amateur) website I had at that time and purchased my first REAL website and domain, and Bellini Portraits was born! It’s a love that is hard to explain. It is deeply rooted within me. It fills me up!.
I have never been a fan of portraits that are too posey. I have always preferred lifestyle portraits and that is really where my roots are. I think when you become a fly on the wall, peeking in on your client’s world, it lightens the mood and makes people feel more comfortable. I believe that translates for those viewing your work. Even though I am trending back to lifestyle imagery, where I started originally, I do like creating whimsical scenarios for my young clients for outdoor location sessions. I feel adding props and sometimes even food really keeps them engaged and helps create a connection as well as incredible details shots!.
Honestly it’s my happy clients. I would say 80% of my business is word of mouth and repeat clients. Treat your clients individually and with respect. Make them feel special. Also, I do believe that being creative with your blog posts will generate a loyal readership and the Facebook business page is also great for getting word around about your work..
Soft, ethereal and full of light..
Since I work predominantly with children, I find it’s best to be as silly as possible. If we are shooting indoors, with the parents permission, I will have the kids show me their rooms. We will have some one on one time where I let them direct the shoot. They will show me their favorite toys, I will have them jump on their beds….this always breaks the ice. Once the kids are comfortable the family shots are really easy. Giggling kids are infectious and it always warms up the parents!.
I have always been a Canon girl. Before I went digital I was using a Pentax 35mm camera..
This is always a tough call. The 50mm 1.2L and the 85mm 1.2L are such incredible lenses. The 50mm 1.2 is, more often than not, the lens I shoot with the most. This is because I tend to be a close-shooter. I like to be near my subjects, especially for the detail shots and also when I need to engage my younger clients it’s good to be in an arm’s length from them. That limits my ability to use the 85mm. HOWEVER, when I do use the 85mm, I am reminded just how outstanding that lens is. It imparts such beautiful bokeh and, for me, almost a film like quality that is surpassed by none!.
Read, study, practice….none of us got here overnight. It will take time to find your style. Play with different types of editing and actions but don’t go all over the place with them. Once you find a style you like, stick with it, and you will then have defined YOUR style..
I hope that in 5 years I will have had a few years of in-person workshops under my belt as well as online mentoring. I also see myself doing much more with commercial and editorial work with children’s fashion!.
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