Portraits

Why Babies are your Best Portrait Clients by Jordan Hefler

Why Babies are your Best Portrait Clients | Jordan Hefler

I love to photograph people. But in all honesty- I have to be in the right mood some days (which isn’t always convenient when you do this for a living.) The attitude and cooperation of your client can completely dictate the direction of your shoot, and being able to steer that and take control is part of why being a photographer is so difficult. It’s never really the taking the photos that’s hard for us- It’s the directing the human part and learning how to create work that you’re proud of that also pleases the client that is consistently the challenge.

ENTER BABIES. Babies can’t talk back. Babies can’t do crazy poses. Babies don’t care if they have 1 chin or 8 chins. Babies are tiny- so they don’t need elaborate sets or exotic locations to look adorable. Babies look adorable all the time.

For someone who doesn’t particularly embody the natural qualities of maternal instinct, I really freaking love to photograph babies. Getting down on my knees and up in a baby’s face as they stare wide-eyed into my lens is really intimate- and it’s great because they don’t care! Sure, babies have their challenges… like throwing temper tantrums, scrunching up their faces, and being distracted by literally everything else around them, but at the end of the day they are by far my favorite clients!

One of my really great friends from high school had a baby about a year ago, so it was time to do Aspyn’s 1 year portraits. The odds were kind of stacked up against us because it was supposed to storm that day at the ideal time for lighting, and since she has a rigorous nap schedule we were forced to shoot at noon (which is literally the worst time of day to shoot ever.) HOWEVER, Aspyn was cooperative and the overcast sky held out for us and provided some great shaded lighting! We also shot in Aspyn’s nursery which she was obviously more comfortable in (and I loved those photos even more anyways because I am a sucker for window light.)

Some of y’all might be thinking that you have to plan this orchestrated, giant event to have portraits taken of your babies, but I’m here to assure you that this can be done in a low-key setting that will be a win-win for both you and your little one. You don’t need fancy lighting, you don’t need 10,000 family members there, and you definitely don’t need to do anything that makes your baby feel uncomfortable. Give me a window, a blanket, and your kid’s favorite toy and we will be in business.

Contact me to book your lifestyle family session here!

Why Babies are your Best Portrait Clients | Jordan Hefler

Using a Styled Shoot to Cultivate Self Confidence | Motel Shoot with Toni by Jordan Hefler

Using a Styled Shoot to Cultivate Self Confidence | Motel Shoot with Toni | Jordan Hefler

You may have seen some images I've been taking of my GORGEOUS friend and hairstylist, Toni Terry over the past few months. She approached me about doing a retro style shoot at a motel, and obviously I jumped on the opportunity. Toni really just gets it- which makes working with her so fun and creatively stimulating.

Using a Styled Shoot to Cultivate Self Confidence | Jordan Hefler

The majority of the idea for the shoot came from Toni:

"I remember I messaged you about this shoot after I had been talking with a client and started following a curvy Instagrammer Helen Anderson. She was so gorgeous and didn’t care if she wasn’t the skinniest girl around. It kind of inspired me and the next couple photos I took of myself I edited them (thanks to your courses I knew what i was doing) and started really playing with the photos I was taking of myself and posting. I felt really good about myself and was like I want to give people something stylized, like all these editorial shoots I drool over, to look at but with a new face. I wanted people to see an imperfect body, in a photo. My imperfect body can still be sexy, serious, or beautiful even. I also wanted to have photos of me, that I felt good about. Something that made me feel beautiful and cool, because we're usually harder on ourselves than others. Self confidence to me is your best weapon, and to me the most beautiful people are confident in their skin!" -Toni Kay Terry

Using a Styled Shoot to Cultivate Self Confidence | Motel Shoot with Toni | Jordan Hefler

Toni's mindset was in such a great place with this shoot, and it was a very exciting and freeing one to do (even though I would not recommend hanging around Motel 6 for any other reason because it got real sketch real quick lol.) We basically booked a room (and didn't sleep there) but just showed up in the morning before a late checkout and shot. The room had orange walls which immediately inspired me. I also built a little mirror pyramid to shoot through that gave a kaleidoscope effect- more details on that process in this blog post here.

Using a Styled Shoot to Cultivate Self Confidence | Motel Shoot with Toni | Jordan Hefler
Using a Styled Shoot to Cultivate Self Confidence | Motel Shoot with Toni | Jordan Hefler

Toni's idea and motivation for this shoot got me thinking- why don't more people book photos for themselves? A lot of times people book me for portraits because they are graduating, they just had a baby, they are engaged, they're having a birthday party, they just started a business, etc... but hardly EVER do I get an inquiry from someone who is just straight up feelin themselves.

Using a Styled Shoot to Cultivate Self Confidence | Motel Shoot with Toni | Jordan Hefler

So many of us are ashamed to post selfies, or to book a photographer for any reason at all. That's why I loved where Toni was coming from with this shoot, because she simply was feeling great and wanted to document this time in her life in a fun way. You know what she was doing? SHE WAS DOING WHAT SHE WANTED (hey that sounds familiar!)

I urge any of you who might be feeling self conscious or who struggles with body positivity to take a leap of faith and book a fun, styled shoot to help cultivate that confidence.

 Pro tip: use a  cross screen lens filter  to get this starburst effect whenever you're shooting something shiny or with harsh light! Make sure you get the right mm size for your lens!

Pro tip: use a cross screen lens filter to get this starburst effect whenever you're shooting something shiny or with harsh light! Make sure you get the right mm size for your lens!

I am super happy with the way these images came out and appreciate Toni's bravery and confidence, which really made this shoot happen in the first place.

All images are edited with presets from my My Chromatic Presets pack, available to download here!

Using a Styled Shoot to Cultivate Self Confidence | Jordan Hefler