So why, angela callisto photography? Gotcha. You thought this was going to talk about why you should choose us right? Nope. I am going to go through a series of “why” questions we have been asked.
Why do you select the aperture you do? Do you change it for parent shots?
Primarily I shoot at a 2.0 – and yup for everything! Nope – we don’t change it for parent/family shots. Understanding your aperture and limitations with it – means you can then understand all you CAN do with it – and what you need to do when shooting at a 2.0 to get the desired look you want.
For example – this image. Still 2.0 – even with 5 people. Although I won’t give away tricks of the trade. You can see – 2.0 does just fine 😉
Why did you get rid of your black and white floor? Lol – yes people were quite upset about this. If it was YOUR floor – you would understand why we ditched it 😉 DO I really need to go into more? The painting of the walls was enough for a while. But that floor. Well – it eventually was going to go. Don’t worry – we saved a square.
Why do you only shoot newborn sessions in your studio?
Well – the answer to this question goes back over three years ago…. When we first started we agreed to go to people’s homes. They were home with a brand new baby. Surely they didn’t want to leave. Easier for them if we go there. We did this exactly three times. And all three times posed the same but different complications. Dogs barking, kids running and banging, visitors showing up, heat not adequate, light an issue, moving their furniture. But mostly. Stress for the new moms. We have a dedicated studio where we can prep and get the heat right and we know our light and have all of our items there, props and posers and wood floors, all the elements we put together for each newborn there at our disposal. No wishing we had brought this or that. No worrying about blankets being soiled and not having enough. Those are things WE worry about.
But you know what I love hearing from our clients the most? “It was such an amazing, enjoyable, relaxing experience.” New moms and dads come to our dedicated studio, complete with a family room set up, a cozy couch, pillows and blankets. Chairs to comfortably breast feed in. No signage on our space for privacy. A changing table for baby. A Keurig to brew fresh coffee and plenty of bottled water for them. All supplied by us. Come in. Kick back. Relax. We’ve got this. No worrying about straightening their home or making us coffee. We make it for them. We have had many a parent curl up and nap while we take the time to pose and photograph their baby. In our warm, dedicated, smoke free, pet free space. For you and your baby to come and relax and enjoy this experience.
We understand – you are coming in (most of the time) to strangers and handing over your most prized possession – your new baby – for us to mold and pose. We take the stresses of having a new baby away for just a few hours. Your baby is in safe hands. And we want you to have a relaxing, enjoyable experience.
Why do you primarily use neutral tones? Why not HOT PINK or YELLOW?
This answer is simple and long term for us. One. It’s what we like. We have tried a few brighter tones and well, they just don’t suit “dna”. And two – we feel neutral is more timeless. If you are anything like us you want to repaint the rooms in your homes every year or so. Change up your style. Use different accents. You move and the home is now completely different. The one thing we want to ALWAYS go – are the images of your baby. Or if your kids are like ours – and you have their images hanging in their rooms. Well – when my almost 6 year old suddenly decided she no longer likes mauve and cream and wants a blue room. I know the images I have of her will go. White. Earth tones. Pops of neutral matte tones.
These don’t just reflect angela’s style ~ we want them to reflect your style – forever. We do “use” color. Just in angela’s way…..
Why do you love your 35 so much?
Oh let me count the ways.
#1. 50’s and Nikon’s do not seem to play nice in the sandbox. We both started out using our crop sensor Nikon cameras and sprung the $180 on the 50 mm 1.8 plastic Nikon lens. Once we had upgraded our cameras to the Nikon d700’s I thought, I’m going to spring for the good glass. Go for the 50mm 1.4. Honestly – I think the 1.8 was better. Even after calibrating over and over the 50 just didn’t always hit the mark. It is now a paperweight on my desk.
#2. I’m short – I have short arms as well. So being able to just stand on my 5’2″ frame and take an above shot of a sweet babe in a basket and NOT have to do some sort of magical stretch on a stool leaned over the baby – well, that’s just self-explanatory.
See the difference?
And #3 – NO MISSING FOCUS! Well – every lens and camera (and dare I say operator of them) misses focus from time to time. But the clarity with the Sigma 35 1.4 is hands down – AH-MAZING! I mean – look at that flakey skin! 35 – not a macro!
Why do you only book newborn to one and only families for mini sessions? Why not offer your photography for kids and families of all ages all year?
Well – this is a two part answer. We love photographing. Everyone. Families. Kids. But – we specialize. It’s no secret that when we began our dna journey we started it because we loved taking photos of our own kiddos and craved to learn more and to be better at it. Plain and simple. We loved being able to capture a time in images. To freeze it for families to be able to have and hold forever. But once we really got going, we realized we didn’t just love newborn photography, we had a passion for it. We didn’t want to be a jack of all trades. We wanted to focus and specialize. So we put our heart and souls and literal sweat and tears into newborns (baby through first year).
This meant cutting back our schedules to only allow for those sessions to be booked for our regular sessions throughout the year. And offering families and kids over one for our mini sessions. We hoped to be able to offer these mini sessions for spring, summer and fall. But our wish had come true and we truly were (and are) specializing in newborn to one year with the emphasis on newborn. (Now – anyone who has ever come to our studio with a squishy 6 month old knows that they need to be physically taken from me for the session to even begin – it’s my favorite baby stage and I would gladly spend all day playing and snuggling them instead of doing the job at hand…. and Danielle would sit and stare at a newborn making scrunchy faces forever as well)
Anyways – getting back on track. Last year we were only able to offer the family minis in the fall as our dream suddenly had become a reality. We photographed 116 newborns in 2014. 116! That number still blows me away! So you see, if we opened our schedule to photograph all ages all year, there would be no way for us to truly specialize. And for me – if I want a wedding photographer – I am going to call a wedding photographer. If I want a newborn photographer – I am going to call dna. 😉 Now that is not saying we DON’T love or offer other sessions. Senior sessions here and there (this year should be interesting as my son will be in need along with alllllll his friends)….
We love our family and Big Kid minis. But – that is all why we don’t offer them all year. We are hoping to be able to do both spring and fall this year – and at sunset! (which also means stretching them out – but it’s worth it…… cause, well, nothing beats a gorgeous late spring or fall sunset!
How did you find your style?
Oh man. Well – we worked. And worked. And worked. If you ask any photographer what the biggest challenge is – it’s finding their style. And it changes. Always growing. Always changing. In the beginning we needed to figure it all out. Posing. How to use the light. So many variables. So much growing to do. Then, once we started to figure that out. We had to figure out what we wanted our images to look like. Not just the pose. Not just the light. Not just getting all of that “right” (and that is difficult enough) but we wanted our images to be recognizable as US! But who was dna? Ok. So we were wanting to specialize in newborn to one. CHECK. We shoot only natural light and were learning how our light changed in our space and how to work with it properly and embrace the dark days (hello ISO and SS controls). But what did we truly want dna to look like? This is something that was agonized over. And over. And over.
And I will tell you something that we tell the photographers who come to learn from us. We TURNED OFF ALL OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS! Yup – Unfollowed them. I couldn’t look at them. Cause – I am human – and I compared. Once I turned them off – I could focus. WHO WAS DNA? And it began. A series of changes to how I edited the images. How we needed to tweak our posing and use of light to be able to process them the way we saw our work in our minds. And all the work we had already put in – changed again. And it continues to change. Always growing.
The greatest compliment we have ever been paid is when we are told “I know its a dna image before I see the watermark”. That! That! Is the goal! And when I change something – or our light changes – like clockwork every January – we get the messages….. What are you doing different? I am loving the light….. Yup – every January – like clockwork.
I posted this at the beginning of the year this year on our Facebook page.
The only photographer you should ever compare yourself to…. is the one you used to be…. When I get down – or am struggling – wondering – where are we going? All I have to do is look back to see where we have been. And know…. we are going….. Don’t compare to anyone but yourself! Ever! And when you do – just look back…. and smile…. left side is from early 2012 – right side from late 2014….
Words to live by in my book….. That time of shutting it all off – that time of focus. Allowed us to grow. And when I struggle – I look back. And then move forward again…… always growing…..