Baby week 2014 is here- We're celebrating the release of Design Aglow's all-new, irresistible baby product line. Don't miss tips and tricks from the industry's most inspiring baby photographers each day on the blog. Follow-up by posting your most creative images on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using hashtag #BabyWeek2014. The three photographers that inspire us the most will win one of three shopping sprees valued at $300, $200 and $100. To kick-off the celebration, we hope you glean inspiration from our first interview featuring the ever-evolving, Melbourne photographer Kristen Cook.
Let’s give a big, warm welcome to Kristen Cook, our first featured photographer to kick-off Design Aglow’s Baby Week!
Hi Kristen, thank you for joining us!
Will you tell us a little about yourself and how you got started?
I live in Melbourne, Australia and my business is run from my beautiful home studio specializing in newborn, babies and weddings. Unlike others, I never sought out to be a photographer – photography found me. I was a lawyer in my previous career but after having my baby girl seven years ago, I became enamored with the idea of documenting every moment that I could once she was born. I knew very little about photography then, but the drive and determination to learn, and get better and better, to be able to give these sweet moments justice grew stronger day by day.
I had moved from an environment that was constantly buzzing, constantly on the move, always busy – to this gentle, quiet, soul nourishing time that pushed my ability to simply sit still. I wanted to remember how she played, how she would grab her toes, how she would smile at me – I knew those moments would pass. I knew I would forget. I had fought too hard to have her to let that happen. And so, I studied. I read. I practiced. I felt a renewed fire. Soon, friends were asking me to photograph their loves. Then, friends of friends. The business grew exponentially in such a very short period of time that I still to this day, don't quite know how it all happened so fast. All I knew was that I was waking up every day truly loving life and what it was made of. Since then the business has continued to evolve with me and it excites me to think of what the next year will have in store.
How do you describe your style?Evolving. Always.
As each session transpires, so does my style in a considered and gentle way. I want sessions to remain beautiful and honest memories for my clients that evoke genuine and real feelings of what they felt like to be in those moments at that time. That will always remain fluid with every session... and it's something I cherish.
What or who really inspires you?
As cliché as this sounds, it's the same answer I always give: it's my babies that inspire me. Each and every single baby that comes to visit me has their own story to be told, and their beautiful parents take part in that storytelling journey also. They are truly the champions of their own children and will often tell you everything that you need to be inspired by that baby without even realizing it. There is so much greatness to be found in the honesty of those moments.
What are your top 3 tips for photographing babies?Embrace imperfection. Allow yourself to explore and discover, there's no 'one' way to do it all.
Know your light. It's often the difference between an image that is 'nice' and one that makes you want to dive into it.
Seek connection. This skill, above any other photography skill is paramount when photographing babies. Focus on this more than anything and it will show in your images.
Want more inspiration from Kristen Cook? Visit her site here: http://www.kristencook.com.au/
When I was in college, I had a friend who was a professional photographer. The first time I went to her home, I walked in to find stunning photographs of her children on the walls.
There was a huge canvas in their living room and a creative photo display in the main hallway. I remember being so moved by the beauty of those images, thinking to myself, “I want to create images like this!” I bought myself a DSLR as a graduation present, learned photography from online courses and started my photography business about a year later.