Thursday, 13 August 2015

Interview with Maddy Rogers Photography

I have been friends with Maddy for what feels like forever as Maddy's photography was some of the earliest work I discovered when I was considering what kind of photography I wanted to pursue.

As well as running her successful photography studio, Maddy also works alongside fellow newborn photographer Shellie Wall providing training workshops up and down the country (visit website)

Maddy is a regular buyer of my props and I always know she will make anything she buys look exactly how I had imagined it when I was sat in my workroom making them.  And like me, she embraces colour and is not afraid to use vibrant and bold colours in some of her work.

Do you have a favourite colour you look for when choosing props? 
Not really. l tend to either have a prop l want to match something with, or realise l dont have a certain colour when trying a set up in a session. As it turns out, l do have favourite colours, but l only know this by looking at what l’ve bought on a whim over the years. l love lilacs and purples, yellow, and l’m known for my bright colours generally. My favourite is green though.

Are there any colours you tend to avoid in your sessions?
lt depends on the baby. A jaundiced baby looks terrible on yellow, so l wouldn’t use anything in that colour range. lt's the same if baby is very pink…..l’d avoid all pinks. On the flip side to that, l would use colours that are opposite on the spectrum to counter those skin tones. l find blue/greens are fab for pretty much any skin.

Do you prefer one kind of prop over another?
l think that changes a lot, according to styles and trends. We all love a cute bonnet, and l do love rompers at the moment, but perhaps a good wrap is up there with its versatility.

Bonnet by me

How many times would you use the same prop before consigning it to the back of your prop stash?
That depends on how much l like it and how well l photograph it. l have one headband l have had since l started, but most are used a lot when l get them, and then when l get new ones, THEY become flavour of the month.

Tieback by me

Quilt by me

How important is the price of a prop to you?
Very…but….l have spent silly money on items l really liked. l have an idea in my head regarding what l consider reasonable for an item. So for a headband l’d not go over around £8, unless it was something special. £30 for a good romper is about my limit…or around £10 for a hat.

Crowns by me

What do you look for when buying props?
Golden rule for me is that it must be photographed in use, and used well. That shows that the maker has access to a good photographer, which for me means they’ve got an inside track on what will work, and its been used by someone who knows props. Headbands and hats are different…seeing them displayed nicely is ok, but if baby wears an item, like a romper or pants set, l want to see it fits a baby properly.

What has been your best bargain?
l think my favourite was from you (me : yay!). A pink romper with lace front. l use it a lot. lt's because the fabric and style is similar to others l’d seen that l felt were dreadfully over priced, but that l loved. Then yours appeared and l was one happy lady.

Quilt, romper and tieback by me

And what prop did you spend the most money on?
l look at a US seller of wooden props and once a year do a bulk buy if l like anything and l can’t get it here. That works out very expensive, but l do a joint order with someone else which helps on shipping. l’ve spent £60 on a romper set once….but l just fell in love with it.

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

Do you have any tips on using props in photography?
The photo is the baby. The prop is just that, so l don't think it should dominate the image. Think about how it looks when baby is wearing it in a certain position too. l often see hats that don’t fit properly when baby is laying down, or its too big when baby’s head is upright, like head on wrists, for example. And please put headbands on properly. l think it looks sloppy when they’re just rested on baby, or not on straight.

Hats by me

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?
Usually it's simply based on what l have that's new and l’m itching to use. So a new hat will dictate the colours l use. l have basics of around 6 set ups ready for a session, but that often changes when l either see baby’s skin tone, or they’re too big for something l have, or half way through a session l don't think it's safe for that baby to be placed in a container perhaps. Sometimes l don't use fiddly props l planned to use if baby is a bit jumpy or not sleepy enough too. l always ask the parents if they like the colours l’ve chosen, and if there's any favourites they have in mind, so that can change things too.

What is your absolute most favourite image in your portfolio and why?
Oh thats SO hard!! My favourites change all the time, based on so many things. l have two from this year that spring to mind. The black and white one is just because l love the simplicity, and the light. Baby is so squishy, and l’m pleased with how it works. 

The purple one is just because it all works for me. But then l’ll do another session that just works, and l’ll have new favourite images. l always raise the bar with myself too, so when l know l’ve done something l couldn’t have done a year ago, l’m over the moon, and so that session represents that milestone.

As a newborn trainer, what advice would you give to someone just starting out in the area of newborn photography
Training. Good training will teach you what you need, and what you dont. But in the meantime, you need a good, wide beanbag. You need a simple but good quality boy set and girl set, but the absolute best thing to do is concentrate on building confidence with the baby. Don’t think that its cute props that make you good. lt's not. They enhance, and can define your style, but what makes you good is confidence in soothing and handling, and quality simple posing. Master those areas first, then add props. l see people slap all sorts of poor quality props on a badly posed baby thinking its ok. lt's really not. When you know you’re good at the basics, you will shop more cleverly for props that enhance your work, not drown it.

Tiebacks and bonnet by me

Which photographers influence you? Whose work do you love?
l used to be able to name just a couple, but there are so many now. l love Trina at Honeypie Photography for her rustic tones, natural feel, and her colours. Captured by Claudia for her colours too. Erin Tole for her posing and creaminess. Shellie Wall for her use of props and her crisp images and Rob Mank for his lighting skills.

Thank you Maddy, and here's to being able carry on sending you many more props!

To see more of Maddy's work, visit her website here, her facebook page here and her  and Shellie's workshop information can be found here

No comments:

Post a Comment