Hi, all! I’m Monica Shulman and I am a photographer in New York City. I also write Ciao, Chessa! — a lifestyle blog focusing on art, photography and travel. Thank you Adorama for inviting me to share on your blog!
I’m a bit obsessed with creating gallery walls and I’ve decided that I need more walls in my home. The wall above the dresser in my daughter’s room was a sad, empty space that taunted me for months. I thought about leaving it blank but one rainy afternoon, while we were lying on the floor reading some of her favorite books, my girl stopped me and staring at her existing gallery wall she started calling out everything and everyone she saw in the photos. Soon this became one of her favorite activities. She walks around our apartment (especially in the kitchen), points at photos and talks about them and the people in them and I tell her the story of the day the photo was taken. I started thinking about the kind of pictures that I wanted to put up on that little wall and soon the stories started to unfold. I use Instagram (A LOT) to capture the moments of my life and with a toddler running around sometimes the iPhone camera is the only practical way to take pictures because I simply don’t have the time or the hands to use my dslr. And so the idea for my newest gallery wall started to form. I had never printed my Instagram photos before but I knew, after years of working with Adoramapix, that the quality would be amazing and would not disappoint.
I used my own gallery wall tutorial as a guide:
(1) get all the necessarily materials (I LOVE painter’s tape)
(2) choose the frames and photos
(3) frame your wall using painter’s tape
(4) choose a layout, and finally
(5) hang the frames
The best part of creating this wall was choosing the images and once I decided that I was going to print pictures from my Instagram feed the fun really began. I love mobile photography because it has allowed me to take photography in general less seriously all the time. For the first time ever, as a photographer at least, I have finally learned to relinquish a bit of control (just a little) and in doing so I’m actually having more fun and have gotten better at capturing quiet, spontaneous moments and the images that I chose for this wall illustrate that. All of the photos are taken from behind or above when my daughter didn’t know that I was there, when she was in her own world, doing something wonderful and fun – jumping in puddles, running fearlessly toward the waves, sleeping peacefully in her beloved crib. I’m always, always there with her, watching her, letting her run and encouraging her to be adventurous and live playfully, even when (perhaps especially when) she doesn’t know I’m right behind her.
I’d highly recommend printing some of your favorite phone photos. If you think about it, these are the times when you feel the least self-conscious about your photo-taking skills because after all, it’s just a phone. The majority of my favorites happen to be Instagram pics but the idea behind mobile phone photos is the same…they are real, seemingly inconsequential but actually quite meaningful moments. I used Adoramapix and the prints look great in the 10×10 and 5×5 size.
I’m curious to know what you think. Do you have any tips for creating gallery walls or favorite apps for your iPhone or android? Share them in the comments!
Newborn photography takes a lot of patience. This is no surprise to the photographers who specialize in newborn photography. Sessions can last anywhere from a half an hour up to four hours. This is one photography specialty where the client is in complete control. For those of you just starting in this category, there are a few things to keep in mind when capturing those tiny clients. Here is our 5 tips on photographing newborns
Newborns are not able to regulate their body temperature. Keeping babies warm helps them stay healthy and comfortable. So with this in mind, you’ll be able to have a successful baby photo shoot. Typically, start with them all bundled up. You might also want to think about warming up your studio or bringing in a space heater to warm up the area. When doing photos of the baby without clothes, start by undressing them and laying them with their diaper on (but unhinged) and resting skin on skin on their mom or dad with a blanket over them. This way when you transfer them from their parent to the set up, you are also transferring that heat with the blanket over them. Let the baby get settled in before taking off the diaper or transferred blanket.
2. Know their Happy Times
Babies have happy times. Typically it’s usually right after they feed or they wake up. Identifying these times will typically lead to a better photo shoot. Newborns rarely have control over their muscles including smiles, so if you or the parent are waiting for the baby to smile, know that it’s rare to get these and in fact a lot of those smiles come in their sleep. The main objective is to make the baby comfortable.
3. Get a Close Up
Those eyelashes, those cheeks and those tiny fingers and toes are so important at this stage. Change your lens out from a portrait to a macro. Focus on all those little details, which will never be this small again. I personally, like the photos that show the scale of their tininess. These detail shots also make for a great addition when you are putting together a photo book for your client. Fill those pages with portraits and details and you’ll have an ecstatic client.
4. Lights, Sound and Action
Babies are very sensitive to noises and light. So with this in mind, you’ll want to be prepared. Try diffused light when photographing babies. In other words, try window light. If you must use strobe, then I would find the biggest softbox you can find to diffuse the light as much as possible. The main thing is to not keep flashing a strobe in a baby’s face. Choose your shots carefully. As far as noise, they love constant soothing noise. There are free apps out there that can provide you with white noise. Remember, it was very noisy in the womb for babies and they tend to like muffled white noise to comfort them.
5. Get the Siblings and Parents Involved
This is such a special time for the whole family. Now is the time to get them involved. Have a sibling kiss the baby’s forehead. Have the parents kiss the toes or fingers. It’s fun to see how proportional the baby is to the rest of the family. Remember, from this day on, this is the tiniest the baby will ever be again.
There is one other tip that was not included but it’s probably the most important, patience. Newborn photographers have the patience to wait for the baby. Babies have a way of not doing what you want them to do, so relax and be patient. This is the baby’s shoot and he or she is running it. You just need to know what the baby needs and make sure they are comforted at all times. This will ensure a happy baby, happy parents and a happy photographer.
Special thank you to Milwaukee newborn photographer, Christine Plamann of Christine Plamann Photography for supplying us with the adorable photos. You can check out more of her work on her website or blog.
Whether you worked on a 365 day project or your family adventures for 2014, now is the time to organize your memories from the last year. From photo books, to calendars to gallery walls we have you covered.
A. Photo Books
1. 365 / 52 Projects
Congratulations – you did it! You took a picture every day in the year 2014 with Project 365. You were determined, you were motivated, you were disciplined with your craft. Whew — you’re done. What? No! Now it’s time to preserve your memories with an AdoramaPix photo book. Yes, we do have a template that would be perfect for your project. Within our PixPublisher, you will find a lot of different themes. The best theme to suit this project is a 76 page Collage. The theme is perfect because it can host all of your images from your project. It has different sizes and orientations to suit whatever subjects you covered last year. All of that hard work and discipline can be showcased for future generations.
2. Year in Review
Put your holiday memories or 2014 milestones into a stunning photo book you can look back on in years to come. Whether it’s your family’s high-lights or watching your little ones grow, don’t let those images sit on your hard drive or phone – give them a home in 2015. Creating a year in review photo book may be a bit daunting but there are some easy steps to keep focused. Start with the right photo book; make sure to pick one that will handle a year of images. Next, pick a vision or a road map for your book. Want to do month by month or just hi-light the seasons? Whatever road you take, make sure to keep consistent with your idea throughout the book.
B. Calendar Ideas
Back in the day, you’d be happy just receiving your free calendar from the local grocery store. My how times have changed. Now, you can be just as crafty and passionate about the design, color and images as a photo book.
We have a few ideas to help you make the best of your 2014 memories into 2015 calendars.
1. Children Through the Seasons
Most of us have captured our children throughout the year. Now is the time to get those images off the phone and computer to put into a beautiful calendar. It’s ok, if you don’t have every season captured to match the month. It’s more about seeing their world from their eyes in 2014. In 2015, try capturing your children in each month as a portrait. There are some things as parents that we do, take the kids on vacation, take the kids to the pumpkin patch etc. Why not take 5 minutes out of each these adventures to set up a quick portrait? It doesn’t have to be perfect but it should be representative of the month. Once you make a practice of it, you’ll find it easy to make a calendar each year.
Did you know you can directly upload your images from your Instagram account? You can! What an easy way to make a calendar! Upload your Instagram images and choose your favorites to showcase throughout the year. This will keep you inspired throughout 2015 and it documents your art from 2014!
C. Gallery Walls
Take a collection of your photos and turn them into pieces of art. Throughout the year, we have shown you ideas on how to group images together for the most impact. If you have a big space to fill, instead of doing one larger images, consider making a gallery of like photos. It can be just as effective and dramatic. Plus, if you don’t want to bother with the framing, remember our metal, acrylic and canvas prints come ready to hang.
We hope these ideas will inspire you to get serious about not letting your memories stay as jpegs. Give them a life and a home in 2015. #longliveprints