Thursday, 27 August 2015

Interview With Tiny Posers Photography

You've probably realised that my style is quite colourful ... but that's not to say I don't appreciate calm and neutral too!

When I first saw this image taken by Kristina at Tiny Posers, I fell in love with her work instantly. 
I adore her work with newborns - I love the simplicity and crispness of her images.

I knew I wanted to feature her on my blog, so I asked her to answer my interview questions

Your photographic style is very clean, crisp and natural - how do you choose props to compliment this look?

I want the viewer to see a baby, not a prop. I want my photographs to be ‘quiet’ so one could hear and feel the emotion, the heartbeat of a new life. 

When I am choosing my props I try to make sure that they will not attract the viewer’s eye and that  the baby will still be the most powerful thing in photograph. 

Do you have a favourite colour you look for when choosing props? 

I like neutral and calming tones; whites, greys, browns. I have a few light pink blankets, but they are very ‘mellow’ too. 

Are there any colours you tend to avoid in your sessions? 

I don’t have anything that is bright or colourful. 

Do you prefer one kind of prop over another? 

I love my blankets and wraps. These are the two things that I could not work without. 

I prefer tiebacks over headbands, for me they are quicker to put on and less chance that I will disturb the baby.

I do not use rompers or any other clothing for my newborns. However, I do love them for older babies. 

How many times would you use the same prop before consigning it to the back of your prop stash? 

Over and over again. I use the same props all the time until they are finished. I tend not to keep stuff that I don’t love and if I love, I don’t get bored of it. I am not the best client for prop makers :)

How important is the price of a prop to you? 

If I love something, I’m not usually that bothered about the price. As long as it is sensible of course. 

What do you look for when buying props? 

I look for textures, little details,  always try to find something unique and always minimal.

Can we see some photos of your prop storage area and studio? 

Do you have any tips on using props in photography? 

I always recommend not to over prop in the first place and try to make sure that your chosen props match. Also, make sure props don’t look too big or too small; tuck in props that are too big and pull the small ones.   

How do you decide what props you are going to use in each session? Do you have setups already in place or do you chat with your clients beforehand? 

My clients come to me because of my style, so they all know what to expect from their session. I also ask clients if there are any props and colours that they really want me to use during their session. I spend some time before a session to prepare, to coordinate colours, to find the best matches for textures and to choose all the props that I will use.  I always have set ups ready when clients arrive. (I attached examples of my set ups)

What is your absolute most favourite image in your portfolio and why? 

Good question :) I think I have a few. My most favourites are the ones where baby is simply wrapped up or just curled up and is laying on his or her back . I also love black and whites on a black background. I feel that these images will never date. The are classic, they capture delicate new beings in the purest way.  

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the area of newborn photography? 

Do not spend all your money on props. I think often new photographers buy more than they ever need. I would recommend a large beanbag, 2-3 blankets,  matching wraps, hats and tiebacks. For me this is a very good starting point. It is easy to lose your head and to buy lots and lots, but I don’t think it is necessary at all.

Which photographers influence you? Whose work do you love? 

One of my very very favourite people in this industry is Bruno Aveillan. I love his work, I could spend all day looking at it. I would love to see the world the way he sees it.  He is my biggest inspiration. I also love Annie Leibovitz’s work, her ability to capture a soul. 

There are a lot of good newborn photographers now, anything that is uncluttered with props, white and natural is up my street. 

Thank you so much Kristina, and I have complete studio envy!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

How To Add Bespoke Tabs To Your Facebook Business Page

If you look at my Facebook business page, you will see that I have some tabs I have personalised and added to help make it easier for vistors to find things and navigate.

Vistors can find links to my external websites on the side of my page

Or by clicking the "more" link under my cover photo

In this tutorial, I show you how I made my own generic tabs.

Before we go any further - this is one of the longest tutorials I've written to date, and at first sight you might think "gulp - this looks complicated!"

But it's really not, there are just a lot of steps you have to do and the end result is worth it.


Step 1

Create a free account with Woobox

Once you have registered you should see a dashboard similar to this

Woobox is a great platform for hosting giveaways, competitions and polls legally within Facebook's ever changing policies.  So many times I see a page asking their visitors to like and share an image to be entered into a competition.  Did you know (at the time of writing) that it is against Facebook rules to ask people to share?  Facebook can (and have) shut down business pages with no explanation for not sticking to their rules. So it's worth looking at the features Woobox offers.  

But for now, we're going to go back to Facebook.

Step 2

Search for Woobox in the Facebook search facility - click the Woobox Custom Tab app option

Press the big green button!

Step 3

If this is the first time you have installed a Woobox Page tab, you should be asked which page you want to add it to (yes, I run a few pages!)

If you have already installed a Woobox tab and now want to add a second or third - skip ahead to the instructions for adding more tabs below

Choose your page and then hit the blue button that has been obscured by the pop-up box!  (Install Tab)

Step 4

The app will then take you to the settings part of your page

Let's look at the options

You have two options about what happens when your visitor clicks the tab 

1) It opens up a new window and takes them to a new website (your blog for instance)
2) It displays a web page without leaving facebook

You can also create your own tab image using the pixel dimensions given to you - it's very small so keep the design simple and clear.

Step 5

Now go back to your page - you may see your new tab name under your cover photo (where I've circled).  If not, click the "more" option

I called my newly created tab "TEST" for this tutorial and you can see it in my drop-down menu.

If you click "Manage Tabs" you can move your tab up or down in order of importance.  I want people to notice my "Order Props" tab first, then the link to my backdrop website, then my blog etc.

Because you are the administrator for both your page and your Woobox account, whenever you click on the tabs, you will be taken to the admin area of the tab, rather than seeing it work like your visitors would.

If I click my "Order Props" tab on my page, I get to see this as the administrator.
Click OK

The tab should then take you to whatever you have set up (either a new website, or your contact form etc)


If you want to change this tab at any point in the future (your prices change, you want to show a different web page, you want to change the tab text etc) click cancel and then click the settings option

This will take you to your Woobox account where all the information for each tab is saved.

You then have the same options from when you first created your tab in the sidebar

You can change the URL destination or change the tab name, icon etc


If you're running a giveaway, you need to delete the tab from your page once the contest is over

From your facebook page, click "more" and "Manage Tabs"

If, like me, you have more than one tab installed, it's not easy to know which Woobox tab it is you need to delete

Click the "Edit settings" option and a pop-up box will show you which tab you have selected.


Search for Woobox in the Facebook search facility - click the Woobox Custom Tab app option

Press the big green button!

Unlike when we installed our first tab, this time it hasn't shown me all of my Facebook pages

Click cancel and you should see this

Yay!  You can now install another 9 tabs to your page if you want!  You just have to click cancel each time it asks which page you want to install to.  (No, I don't know why!)

Just follow the exact same steps for when you installed your first tab.

I hope you find this tutorial useful (if not a bit long!) and would love to see how you apply your own tabs to your page - leave a comment below with a link to your page!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Interview With Bebe Love Photography

I always love receiving Erikka's images she sends to me whenever she uses any of my props as I know she will make them look perfect.

Erikka embraces using props in her work so I asked her to answer some of my prop-related questions

Do you have a favourite colour you look for when choosing props? 

I tend to go for creams and pastel colours as they just go so well with everything. I really like the "dreamy" look so I don't tend to use a lot of very bold and vivid colours.

Are there any colours you tend to avoid in your sessions?

Really strong, bold colours. I'm sure it's a personal preference, but I can't get on with red, really dark purple, orange and fuschia pink. I like my colours to stay in the background and enhance the subject - not take over them.

Do you prefer one kind of prop over another? 

I absolutely love rompers and tiny lace dresses/outfits for newborns. I don't think I'll ever get tired of them. I am currently addicted to little bear hats with tiny ears too for boys and woodland/floral type headbands or tiebacks for baby girls. 

How important to you is it that your props are one of a kind? 

Having a one of a kind prop is very important to me, I love the thought of being able to provide something special, something unique and exclusive to my clients. There are a lot of newborn props that I love - but when it starts to get too popular and almost everyone has got it, I must admit I then don't purchase it.

How many times would you use the same prop before consigning it to the back of your prop stash? 

I only use hats, newborn outfits, rompers and headbands once because I re-use other items like wraps, blankets, fabric backdrops and props so I like to have something new and different for each baby. 

How important is the price of a prop to you?

It really depends on the prop - how unique it is, how many times I could make good use of it, and how popular it would be with my clients. For items that I am only going to use once, I tend to set-up a budget and try to stick with it. But I guess I tend to look more at the quality of the item, there will always be cheaper versions but I would rather spend a little bit more money for a great quality prop than a cheaper version.

What do you look for when buying props? 

Quality and value for money. 

What has been your best bargain? 

It has got to be my vintage numbered industrial bucket that I got from another photographer who was de-stashing. Almost all my clients choose that prop and it only cost me £14

And what prop did you spend the most money on? 

My baby blue freestanding clawfoot baby bath-tub. It's an actual bath which you can plumb in so it's very heavy (and huge) so I don't get to use it a lot.

Can we see some photos of your prop storage area and studio? 

How do you decide what props you are going to use in each session?

I check with my clients if they have any prop or colour scheme request first and then plan the session and purchase more props like hats, outfits, and headbands if needs be. I'm very erratic when it comes to planning my actual set-ups though. Sometimes I do, but sometimes I wait for my clients to see what props I have available in the studio and ask them to pick their favourites. I then tend to think about the set-up while I am doing the beanbag poses or while baby is with parents during feeds. 

What age do you prefer using props on?

Newborns and Sitters. I also love using halos, crowns or a woodl/floral tieback on children when doing styled outdoor baby/child photography.

The white floor in this image is one of my backdrops

What is your absolute most favourite image in your portfolio and why? 

It changes all the time - but currently this. Because it's my first play on colours and I really love the result. (Me : yay - it's one of my tiebacks!)

Tieback by me

Which photographers influence you? Whose work do you love? 

Erin Tole, Rachel Vanoven, DNA Photography, Kelly Brown and M&K Slowinski are my top five faves - people whose work I aspire for my own to be like one day. I love the matte and dreamy look on their images. 

To see more of Erikka's work, please visit her website