Lara is a NZIPP Accredited Professional Photographer based in the Auckland region of New Zealand’s North Island.
Hi Lara, can you please tell us a bit about yourself…
I am a wife to an amazing husband of 17 years and a mum to three beautiful and unique children. I love spending time with my family enjoying and exploring what New Zealand has to offer. I grew up in a small town in South Africa with my two younger brothers. 7 years ago I immigrated to New Zealand with my very young family and we live in Auckland.
What has been your career path? How did you get to being an aspiring photographer to actually doing it full time?
My Photography started as a hobby 12 years ago, after my eldest daughter was born. I got my first SLR camera to document my new journey as a mum. I loved it and found myself wanting to learn everything I could about my camera and how I can use light to create better images. I am self-taught but I have invested a lot of time in bettering my skills. I love babies and immediately knew I needed to specialize in newborn photography. Working with newborns takes a lot of patience and you need to be aware of all the safety precautions one needs, to work with these tiny humans. I started my business part time while my children were young but with the support of my husband, and as my children have grown, so has my business. I love that this is now my full-time job.
What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer to you?
I love newborns, so I love meeting my families with their tiny new babies. I love that I can document this time in their lives. I also enjoy all my other genres of photography. The milestone and cake smash sessions are so much fun as I get to see those cute little personalities and beautiful gummy smiles, especially when my newborns come back to visit me and I get to see how much they have grown. Maternity sessions are where I can play dress up with my moms to be. The best part is watching how these beautiful women just glow and celebrate this wonderful part of womanhood.
What do you feel is the most challenging thing about newborn photography?
Photographing newborns takes a lot of patience. You need to work around the needs and personality of each newborn and you need to go with the flow. Sometimes you really want to get that one particular shot for the parents but baby may be having a cluster feeding day, so managing my new parents’ expectations can be difficult sometimes. In the end though they always love their gallery as they love their baby.
Among your works, which one is your favourite? Why?
I love all my work as I love meeting all my clients. But I am super proud of my image that received a silver award at the Iris Awards. This was the first year I decided to enter and I was so stoked to get a Silver award. It’s the Dad and newborn image.
How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?
I have done a lot of in-person as well as online workshops, with newborn photographers from around the world. I also belong to online newborn photography groups. I enjoy attending in-person workshops as I feel this is the best way to learn about how to handle a newborn baby safely. I belong to online newborn communities/workshops that are inspiring and good for learning. It’s a field of photography that I will always be learning and I love that.
What is in your camera bag?
Canon Mark III, Canon 6D, Canon EF 24-70mm F/2.8L II USM Lens, Tamron SP 90MM F/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD lens, Tamron SP 70-200ml F/2.8 Di VC USD lens
Do you have a funny story you would like to share from a photoshoot?
Working with newborns and removing their nappies is always interesting, as you never know when they are going to decide to go to the toilet. They seem to love to wait until we are doing the parent images and I have had many explosive “poops” that shoot across the room and all over Mum or Dad.
Any words of wisdom for the up and comers?
Before working with newborns or deciding to do newborn photography, you need to be very well educated on newborn safety. These little babies are precious cargo and you need to be very aware of that.
Thanks a lot Lara and congratulations on your recent success of becoming NZIPP accredited. Can you please tell us why you joined NZIPP?
I had always wanted to join NZIPP and push and apply myself to become accredited. I wanted this as I am self-taught and wanted to be recognized by a professional organisation for all the hard work I have done to educate myself. After I attended the Infocus conference in 2018, I joined the NZIPP. I really enjoyed the conference and loved being part of a community of creatives.