Excuse Me, What Camera Are You Using?

Do you know Anne Geddes?

Even if you don’t know her, you would have seen her beautiful baby photographs in calendars. Her babies are always in such peaceful poses and atop whimsical and overly large plants and flowers and sometimes they pose as bumblebees/butterflies too. And they are so cute and would induce a lot of ‘awwwww’ when you see them.

Anyway I read the December 2008 issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly which interviewed Anne Geddes. She spoke of her work and how she got an epiphany one night when she decided right then and there (while watching some fireworks I think) to be the best baby photographer in the whole world.

And she did. Talk about affirmation!

Anne Geddes is well-known for her amazing baby portraits. She is probably the only person in the world who does what she does. She runs the business and studio with her husband and daughters.

Anyone who has had babies before will know how trying it is to make a baby go to sleep. (Anne’s baby photos are sometimes taken in sleeping positions.)

In fact, trying to make a baby do anything you want is going to be darn hard too. Babies and animals aren’t going to do as you say. They just go with the flow, their way.

Strangely Anne said that her studio is not a madhouse as imagined. Babies aren’t shrieking or wailing.

What’s funny (to me at least) is that people ask her husband what sort of camera Anne uses for her baby photos! His reaction was something along the line of “Why don’t you ask how Anne keeps the babies so beautiful and calm instead of asking what camera she uses!”

Yeah, like the camera matters??? It’s not about the camera.

It’s the person behind the camera, the person who uses the equipment that makes the photos shine.

This reminds me of the same thing our (famous) Malaysian photographer, Jen Siow, said once when I attended his talk on photography last year in Penang. (He was the same guy who photographed me for the Malaysian Women’s Weekly last July.)

Jen said that having the most sophisticated camera won’t create photo miracles if the photographer does not understand that cameras are just about 2 things – speed and aperture. You can have the most expensive Nikon or Canon but if you have no idea how a camera works, you will still take lousy photos.

Sure, having a super-duper camera will be a nice bonus. But a camera is a tool.

In Anne Geddes’ case, those interested in her craft (and want to emulate Anne) should ask the right questions – for example, how do you pacify the babies so well that they pose for you in such incredible ways? What do you do to make your babies calm? How do you make them smile so angelically?

The same thing works for websites too. People always ask the wrong questions when they want to get a website. The wrong question is: How will my website look?

The right question is – What sort of results can I generate from my website? How can it help me grow my business?

When you ask the right questions, you not only get the right answers but you start to learn something that puts you ahead of others.

Most people just look at the website and think it’s a piece of brochure online.

We look at your website and we know it’s a marketing tool. 😉

Have a good Merdeka weekend everyone!

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