This weeks photographer interview is with newborn, baby and maternity photographer Tonia Lariviere of Delicate Impressions. I have loved seeing Tonia’s work since I began Baby Joy Studios 4 years ago. Such beautiful genuine work! Make sure you have joined the newsletter so you don’t miss out on more photographer interviews and studio tours to come! Let’s take a peak into the life of photographer Tonia…
Where do you live? Caledonia, Ontario, Canada
Tell us a bit about how you began your journey into photography. How long have you had your photography business?
I have always loved Anne Geddes (back in the day when she was the only newborn photographer around)…and as a child I used to walk over to the “baby hospital” and just stair in the window of the 4th floor nursery and watch all the babies. I loved newborns and always had a passion to work with newborns. I became a paramedic so I could deliver babies (after 14 years still didn’t deliver ONE)…and thus began my obsession with newborns and photography. I began in April of 2008 and finally feel that this past year I have grown to where I finally want to be.
Describe your photography style. What invaluable lessons have you learned that helped you develop your distinct style?
My style of photography is simple. Less is more. Simple head pieces, simple pants for boys, simple props and simple poses. I feel keeping newborns in this type of simplicity makes the photographs timeless and beautiful. Lighting is the key aspect to keeping this style. Understanding lighting and why it works the way it does on subjects is crucial to a great image.
Are you formally taught or self taught? What has been the best form of education you have taken (workshop, mentor, online classes etc) if any?
I’m a self taught photographer. Last year I started to attend some of my most favourite newborn workshops (1 left to go), and the workshops have been AMAZING!!! It’s the tiny details I thought I had, but didn’t, that really helped me grow over this past 6 months.
What is your favourite photography genre to photograph (newborn, maternity, family, weddings etc)? Hands down – newborns!
If you photograph newborns what is your favourite technique to get them to settle and sleep?
Hot room, heated area they are about to be placed on, and a full belly. I always recommend parents bring a soother (but I have new one’s on hand just in case). But generally, warm, full babies always sleep for me.
Natural available light or studio lighting? Studio or on location sessions?
Used to shoot exclusively studio – now I am exclusively natural light. I do both in studio and on location sessions.
Nikon or Canon, other? Favorite lens?
Nikon D800 and 50mm f1.4
How do you find the balance between work and your personal life?
This is always such a tough question! Balancing both is critical for my family. My children are older, so it’s a bit easier, but trying to make a schedule and STAYING with it, is so important. If it were an office job, it would be a simple go to work, come home and be with family. So just because it’s a self-run, home business, why should it be any different.
If you had one piece of advice to give on how to co-ordinate and choose your props for a session, what would it be?
Take out props / backdrops the night before. Then find the outfits / wraps / headbands that match according to the props and backdrops you want to use. This was taught to me and has been so much better than wasting time during a session trying to figure out what I want to use next!
What is your favourite Baby Joy Studios Product? Why?
I LOVE Baby Joy Studios headbands the best. The simplicity (there again – my style) is so beautiful and dainty. I love that the headbands don’t over power the image.
What is your favourite photo you have taken and why?
Favourite photo…oh gosh. I love babies so much it’s difficult to pick just one favourite photo. I chose this one (after looking over photos)…because I love babies with LOTS of hair. I love babies who smile, and I love that her little hand on her head just sat there comfortably. Mom ended up ordering this in a 20×24! I love when parents proudly display their images…
What photographers do you admire and inspire you?
Jinky Art is probably the most amazing photographer I have ever seen! I also love Baby As Art, Pumpkin Pie Photography and Son Kissed Photography.
When you are not working, how do you love to spend your days? Hobbies, family, travel etc?
We love to travel. I love seeing the world. We are also movie buffs…I’ll watch a movie anytime day or night. My kids are teenagers now, so when we do get to spend time together (they are busy now)…we will do whatever makes us happy. Movies, television series, LOVE church! And Travelling.