- Tamara Duffy
And the award goes to...
There are many joys to the time and effort in my artistry and receiving awards is one of them.
Although, did you ever wonder what it takes to actually win an award in photography?
It's not as easy as it looks.
Every now and then, I capture the perfect shot and when my own inner critic (my worse critic) approves, I'll submit it to the International Baby Photo Award Contest as well RISE Awards International. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don't.
The reason why I submit my work is similar to a report card. It keeps me on my toes and striving to be a better photographer.
Before I even consider submitting a portrait, there are many components to catching that perfect shot.
- Safety first! When Baby is kept warm and comfortable, they settle into a deep sleep and the limbs go limp. That is when I can pose their hands, arms and head position and capture all those sweet poses.
- Sharp Focus. This is one of the reasons why I have the camera that I have. It's focus capabilities are one of the sharpest on the market today. Not always do I catch a sharp focus though, sadly no. Sometimes the baby moves, or my nervous hands get the better of me. That's why I take so many shots of one pose. Just because I caught one shot, doesn't mean that it will turn out. I take about 3 and in post production I can choose which shot is best.
- Details, details, details! It's very easy to get caught up in the details and I know I fall into this trap too many times. Is the headband on straight? is the Bonnet even all around? Is the wrap messy or tidy? Is the backdrop smooth? Wrinkly backdrops are a HUGE "no-no" in award submissions unless the wrinkles have purpose to what is being posed. Plus there are many other things I have to think about in camera. Composition, exposure and lighting just to name a few.
All this information I'm sure will make your head spin, but I love it. It can be overwhelming at times, yes. But when you have a sleeping baby in a prop, there is no time to sit back and rethink it all. You have to keep at it until you get that shot, or unless baby wakes up as they have only so much time to stay asleep. My goal - I have to get it right in camera. What takes 2 seconds to fix on set or else it will cost me 30 minutes to fix in Photoshop. Honestly, not all prop setups work - it happens! So I always have a backup prop set when things go foul.
Remember the scouts motto? Be Prepared!
So what's next?
In post production, I can see the potential of each photo and know exactly how to create the vision that brings out the best in the baby. That skill set my friends is another ball of wax. When I achieve the look I desire, that's when I can sit back and be happy with the magic I created. Then I send off an image or two for critique and pray to the gods that the judges go easy on me. Keep in mind, my images are judged by other well known expert photographers who have years of not decades of experience - no pressure right?
Somehow I manage to sleep at night :)
When the awards keep coming, that means I'm still learning, creating and always striving to be better at what I create.