Tamron Interview: 90mm Macro Lens {Press} San Francisco Newborn Photographer

When I had the opportunity to test drive the Tamron 90mm macro lens, I JUMPED at the chance! I had tried a macro lens only a handful of times but never took the time to actually learn how to use this beauty. After lots of practice, I took it on a few shoots (some newborn, some 6 months and even a 1-year-old) and the results were beyond my expectations. I am often asked what gear I use. Here is a link to my full gear list and I'm happy to answer questions. Though I favor my Canon 50mm 1.2L for the majority of my shoots, I use between 3 and 4 lenses for every single shoot and the Tamron 90mm macro is an excellent addition that I can't believe I previously lived without.

The original article from Tamron can be found here: **************************************************** Their Development Is in the Details Brooke Bryand captures tiny fingers and toes in her baby portrait sessions with the Tamron SP 90mm macro lens. Article By Jennifer Gidman Images by Brooke Bryand

Even though she’s only been a mom herself since 2009, Brooke Bryand has always been drawn to photographing babies and families. “I started shooting well before my own child was born, but it’s a whole different experience once you become a parent,” she says. The Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 macro lens has boosted Byrand’s creativity during her infant photo shoots more than she could have even imagined. “This lens is absolutely perfect to capture those little noses, toes, and mouths — I couldn’t get those details with other lenses I was using,” she says. “It’s also a cool lens to use during the first-year ‘cake-smash’ session, when they’re eating a cupcake or cake and I’m photographing them getting really messy. While it’s fun to show their distinct body parts when they’re newborns, it’s a whole different perspective to now show them using those toddler hands in a different way!”

The 90mm’s focal length (ideal for portraiture) and 1:1 life-size ratio is an invaluable aid in Bryand’s extreme infant close-ups. “When I first started experimenting with this lens, I was just using a box and a Pez dispenser, “ she says. “Even though I wasn’t that close to the box, I kept feeling like I was going to touch that Pez dispenser. That’s why my baby shots are so intimate, because I can get such fantastic, up-close detail in every nook and cranny.”

Brooke Bryand Photography | Tamron 90mm Macro Lens | San Francisco Newborn Photographer

Baby’s Age Matters Bryand’s shoots take anywhere from 30 minutes for a mini-session to three hours for newborns — and patience is paramount if you’re attempting those longer sessions. “Putting a newborn into one particular pose can take up to 20 minutes on its own, and any sudden thing can jar the baby awake and make you start all over again,” she explains. “Babies with digestive issues are particularly challenging, because they often have a tough time getting to sleep when their tummies hurt. You have to be prepared for that and be able to move on if a certain pose or image doesn’t work out.”

Offering a variety of packages for older babies allows parents to specify the types of shots they’re looking for. “I have a 30-minute mini-session, for example, if the parents really just want to capture a quick snapshot of what’s going on in that particular phase in the baby’s development,” Bryand explains. “Longer sessions take place as the baby gets older, not only because I’m shooting more as the baby becomes more active, but also because I like to get the baby in her environment, like in her crib or play space, then also go outside in the backyard or to a park.”

Brooke Bryand Photography | Tamron 90mm Macro Lens | San Francisco Newborn Photographer

Bryand has to reach into a different bag of tricks for different ages as well. “When a baby is three months old, I can use something simple such as a little squeaky toy or an item that’s black and white as a visual aid,” she says. “When a baby is six months or nine months, though, I have to entertain him more, maybe singing songs or playing games with him. Even a few weeks can make a big difference: At three months, a baby might not be able to push up, but at four months he might be able to; by nine months, he’s crawling and so excited to be mobile — they’re all totally different photo shoots because of this.” Because newborns aren’t as animated or mobile as their slightly older counterparts, Bryand introduces drama into these images by constantly changing her perspective. “I use a variety of angles, depending on the look I’m going for,” she says. “The newborn isn’t moving, but you’re telling different stories by moving yourself around the newborn. If I’m trying to get an infant’s face with that 90mm, for example, I might shoot straight on at her level; then, when I’m trying to get her toes, I might shoot from straight above, and then complement that by switching to wide angle so I can get the baby’s entire form.”

Brooke Bryand Photography | Tamron 90mm Macro Lens | San Francisco Newborn Photographer

Working the Big Picture Into the Smaller Ones Her attention to detail with the 90mm lens helps set Bryand’s work apart — in addition to her ability to put those details into the context of the larger story. “I do a couple of things to differentiate my work so it’s not simply ‘insert baby here,’” she explains. “First, I try to integrate some portion of the family’s home into the photos. I will bring blankets, hats, and other props I’m thinking of using. Once I enter their home, however, I look for items that mean something special to the parents and that are also appealing to the eye — like maybe a striking souvenir from their honeymoon. That gets their personal story into the picture.”

Brooke Bryand Photography | Tamron 90mm Macro Lens | San Francisco Newborn PhotographerBrooke Bryand Photography | Tamron 90mm Macro Lens | San Francisco Newborn Photographer

The other element that’s vital to Bryand’s images: making sure that Mom and Dad are in some of the shots. “To me, the individual baby images are just part of the story,” she says. “My job is to show what’s happening on that day, at that moment in time, which includes capturing the relationship between the baby and his parents in what’s often their first official family photo. If a newborn just woke up and is about to feed, I’ll take that opportunity to do the family shots; once the baby is ready to sleep, that’s when I’ll focus on the individual shots of the baby.” When it’s time for those solo shots with older babies, Bryand often encourages the parents to remain nearby (“you never know when that separation anxiety will kick in as they get older!”) but to also let her do the lion’s share of the work. “I want to take the load off of the parents and let me be the entertainer during the shoot,” she says. “I’m fresh meat for the kids, so they’re interested in me and I can engage them directly. If a baby isn’t feeling comfortable with me for some reason, I bring Mom or Dad in and ask them to stand as close to me as possible so they’re my shadow.”

Parental input is important, too, when it comes time to decide whether to fix those bumps, scratches, and bruises a baby gets from learning to navigate the new world around her. “While I try to do as much as I can in-camera to minimize any blemishes or take care of it in post-production, I always talk to the parents about it first,” Bryand says. “Some parents actually want to show that moment in time, bumps and all, because it’s a memory of when baby started walking; other parents want their baby to look the way he normally looks, without those battle wounds. I always defer to the parents’ wishes.” When asked what the best part of shooting these baby sessions is, Bryand doesn’t hesitate. “They’re so new and beautiful,” she says. “Plus the parents have often only been home for a day or two when I get there to shoot a newborn session, and they’re just in this blissful state where sleep deprivation hasn’t quite kicked in yet and they’re just thrilled to be parents. It’s such a treat for me to share in such an intimate time with these new families.”

Brooke Bryand Photography | Tamron 90mm Macro Lens | San Francisco Newborn Photographer | Canvas Collage Storyboard

To see more of Brooke Bryand’s images, go to http://www.brookebryand.com. ****************************************************

Happy Holidays {photograph&frame} San Francisco Family Photographer

Although I've had my photos up at photograph&frame for over a year, they put up their holiday display this week and asked to feature more of my work! Thanks to my incredible, gorgeous, fun clients...here they are in the front window! Be sure to swing by the Chestnut Street location of photograph&frame to frame all of your family photos! I frame all of my personal and professional work there...the staff is fabulous and I love the finished product every single time!

photograph&frame-brooke bryand photography-san francisco family photographer

photograph&frame-brooke bryand photography-san francisco family photographer

photograph&frame-brooke bryand photography-san francisco family photographer

San Francisco Birth & Baby Fair {Behind the Scenes} San Francisco Baby Photographer

The SF Birth & Baby Fair was a hit! It was held at Fort Mason last weekend where Herbst Pavilion was packed with bellies, bellies and more bellies! I had the pleasure of being side-by-side with both Senn & Sons on my left and Parent Coach SF on my right. But how did we get from start to finish? WHEW - a lot of work. brooke bryaBrooke Bryand Photography | Birth and Baby Fair San Francisco | San Francisco Baby Photographernd photography-birth and baby fair san francisco Initial plans on the left...finished product on the right

I met with the ever-talented Kim Senn of Senn & Sons a few weeks ago to get some semblance of a plan together. She had a booth next to mine and while I have a decent grip on marketing/the message I want to send prospective clients, I need h-e-l-p on bringing a 10x10' space with an 8' table to life.

It started with the backdrop. I wanted something feminine, but not just framed photos, so I printed three photos on foam core HUGE (20"x30") as well as two foam core logo signs. Then, I had to figure out how to actually hang these puppies. Let's just say I may have found my retirement career as a grommet-installer. After a few tries, totally rocked it! It's indicative of how non-domestic and non-handy I am to even share with you how proud I was of myself for creating two simple holes in a piece of foam core, but hey...life's little successes, right?

 Brooke Bryand Photography | Birth and Baby Fair San Francisco | San Francisco Baby Photographer

Then, I blinked and it was the day of the fair! Thanks to my truly off-the-chains amazing hubby Dave, I had all day Saturday and all day Sunday to myself to prepare and be at the show. For once, I wasn't rushing from place to place...I was actually (gasp) ready! The day went by in a blur of big adorable bellies and tiny itty-bitty newborns, mixed in with cutie-patootie chub-a-lub babies that just bring a smile to your face. Thank you so much for stopping by to introduce yourselves, everyone! I look forward to working with you soon. Here are the final results from the booth "design"!

 Brooke Bryand Photography | Birth and Baby Fair San Francisco | San Francisco Baby Photographer

Brooke Bryand Photography | Birth and Baby Fair San Francisco | San Francisco Baby Photographer

Ooh, and I totally got to rock my video all day long which was fun to share with everyone walking by (and entertaining the kiddos as I had convos with their mamas and daddies!).

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/28426511 w=640&h=360]

What's it like to work with Brooke Bryand Photography? Check out my video!

I found this dynamic duo of videographers (Marmalade Sky Films) in the spring and knew that they were the perfect fit to create a video for me. I wanted to develop something that would show new clients what it's like to work with me...that it's not scary or intimidating and actually quite FUN! Marmalade Sky followed me on a day of shoots and then we hung out for some Q&A to help explain why I do what I do. The final result - I am so proud to share - my first ever Brooke Bryand Photography video:

http://vimeo.com/28426511

Brooke Bryand Photography

For a behind-the-scenes look, you can check out the post from a few months ago.

I'm in Love. {Behind the Scenes} San Francisco Family Photographer

Yep, I'm in love. And it's not just Dave or Cal this time. I met Matt & Eugene from Marmalade Sky Films a few months ago...I found them on Facebook (a fellow photog posted a wedding that Marmalade created and it was love at first sight). I reached out to Matt & Eugene to see if they would consider using their incredible storytelling skills to create a video for Brooke Bryand Photography. I wanted to create something that would show new clients a little bit more about who I am as a person...what a session is like...and make the entire experience a little less intimidating and FUN! The video isn't quite ready yet (believe me, I hit "refresh" about 2,000 times a day!), but I will share as soon as it is! In the meantime, I want to thank my awesome, awesome clients for saying YES to letting two fabulous guys follow us around for the morning. If you don't know them yet, check 'em out!

- Andrea Ruotsi of Flutter Interiors (don't get sidelined by the work-in-progress...Andrea is uber-talented and can email you portfolio work) - Ali James of 7x7xMommy

And also a huge thanks to my "talent team" (i.e. the lovely ladies who make sure I don't look like I'm coming from the gym and help me not sound like an idiot on camera): -- Erin Brennan of Brennan Brand Strategy -- Loryn Barbeau, a holistic performance coach and all-around amazing person

What went into creating my video: We first shot Andrea's family (7 of them!) and then met Ali and Travis at Lover's Lane (you know I love that location!) to snap a few photos of sweet Abigail. Finally, we headed back to my apartment where we did an interview with me...which...it turns out...is terrifying! I've done public speaking...I've been interviewed on TV...I didn't think it was my first rodeo until I realized it was! Speaking to an audience about a concrete subject is one thing...speaking about myself, it turns out, is a whole different ball-o-wax. So I got gussied up and had my hair done at dry bar (if you haven't been there - GO! It's awesome)...then my make-up done at Benefit (also fabulous)...and off we went. Here are a few shots from "behind the scenes" - I can't wait to share the entire video with you!

Brooke Bryand Photography-San Francisco Family Photographer-Marmalade Sky Films-Presidio-Lover's Lane

Brooke Bryand Photography-San Francisco Family Photographer-Marmalade Sky Films

Brooke Bryand Photography-San Francisco Family Photographer-Marmalade Sky Films

Brooke Bryand Photography-San Francisco Family Photographer-Marmalade Sky Films

How to Take Great Photos of your Kids this Summer {Workshop Tips} San Francisco Family Photographer

Tired of returning from vacation, downloading 1,000 photos and realizing Little Johnny is squinting or has his eyes closed in most of them? Find it daunting to flip through them and figure out what to do with the other 999 of them? Here are some tips to make taking photos of your kids this summer a little easier (on everyone!):

1) Find Shade: Although it's a common misconception that sunny days make for beautiful photos, it's actually the opposite. Cloudy/overcast days are ideal for photos, both because the subject isn't squinting and because the cloud cover brings out gorgeous color tones in your surroundings that are often washed out when the sun is beating down. Try to take photos in the early morning or late afternoon, and if you need to take them mid-day because you're at a picturesque lunch, find shade to snap that shutter.

Brooke Bryand Photography | San Francisco Family Photographer | Photography Tips

2) Play Games: Most kids rate having their picture taken right up there with having a tooth pulled. Why is that? Because many parents make it about the picture...but if you make it about the kiddo, all of a sudden it's not so bad. Find yourself in a gorgeous setting and want to capture it? Play a game with your child (depends on their age, but it's as simple as singing a song or playing peek-a-boo or asking ridiculous questions like, "Do you think Mommy should eat a spider for lunch?")...they are much more likely to engage with you and have a genuine smile on their face if you make it about them.

Brooke Bryand Photography | San Francisco Family Photographer | Photography Tips

3) Put Away the Camera: If your child thinks that your iPhone is an extension of your fingertips, put it away for a few hours. Cameras on cell phones or actual cameras are used so much on kids these days, they are either immune to them or they are really annoyed by them and our constant harassment ("look at mommy! look at mommy!"). Put the camera away for a bit and just enjoy the freedom of doing nothing together. When you take it out again, they're more likely to be refreshed and ready to go!

Now...when you get home...that is the other part of the challenge. What do you do with 1,000 photos? The quick answer: delete! I recommend deleting 75% of the photos taken. Yep, I said it. Delete! The truth of the matter is that an overabundance of photos weighs heavily on all of us. We think that because digital photography is "free" (i.e. no film to develop), we should keep everything we've ever shot, lest we risk missing 10 seconds of our cutie-patooties lives.

Here are my quick tips to free yourself from digital photo overload:

1) Organize: When you download your photos, put them in folders and sub-folders (yes, sub-folders). So if you took a week vacation to Hawaii, the folder would be: 07.13.2011 - Family Vacation Hawaii and then you'd have sub-folders according to date and activity (i.e. "07.14.2011 - Snorkeling" and "07.15.2011 - Luau"). Taking the time to organize photos from the point of origination (i.e. download) will save you lots and lots of time later.

Brooke Bryand Photography | San Francisco Family Photographer | Photography Tips

2) Star & Delete: If you use a program like Picasa (my favorite for consumers...free from Google) or iPhoto (very similar), there is a rating system (either stars or numbers). When you load your photos into these programs, go through and star your favorites. If there is a numbering system for selecting favorites, go through and choose all of your "1's" (i.e. anything that has a chance of being salvaged) and then number some of your favorites "2's". My process is then to go back through the "2's" to edit my favorites of those and making them "3's" which are those I'll share with family. I may then select my top 10 images as "4's" which are the ones I'll share on Facebook. Nobody needs to see all 50 family photos...just pick the very best-of-the-best. And what to do with all of the pictures that didn't make it to be a "1"? Delete. Let 'em go. Adios. When you want to go back at the end of the year to create a calendar/Blurb book/etc, you'll be grateful that you just need to flip through your BEST 25 images from that trip to Hawaii and not all 1000.

Have questions? Let me hear 'em!

Mom's The Word {Marketing} San Francisco Family Photographer

Thanks to my super-awesome client, Alison (check out her fab blog about being a mommy in San Francisco here), Mom's The Word contacted me about a month ago to feature my photographs in their store! If you don't know Mom's The Word yet...you need to!!! They seriously have the cutest maternity clothes (and...ahem...clothes for the "4th trimester" that nobody told you about). I was so honored to be asked and leave it to my adorable clients to provide me with great pieces to share!

Here are a few of the pieces up, but you'll have to stroll through the store (3385 Sacramento St @ Walnut) to see for yourself!

Brooke Bryand Photography | San Francisco Newborn Photographer | Maternity Clothing | Mom's The Word Brooke Bryand Photography | San Francisco Newborn Photographer | Maternity Clothing | Mom's The Word Brooke Bryand Photography | San Francisco Newborn Photographer | Maternity Clothing | Mom's The Word Brooke Bryand Photography | San Francisco Newborn Photographer | Maternity Clothing | Mom's The Word

Why Custom Photography Costs More {Marketing}

I sometimes hear friends/acquaintances talk about photographers and the high costs associated with hiring someone to "just click a few photos". I came across this article today by Marianne Drenthe of Marmalade Photography and I found myself nodding my head in agreement. I am so grateful to ALL of my fantastic clients, but I do think this helps explain a little more of the "behind the scenes" of what goes into each and every shoot that I do:

Check out full article at ProfessionalChildPhotographer.com

I also really loved this story (excerpt from the same article as is linked above)...so appropriate for a zillion situations in life, including photography:

There is an old story about a ship that cost a company millions of dollars. Something went wrong in the engine room and the ship was stuck in dock. They called various "experts" who spent weeks trying to fix the issue to no avail and at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars. Finally a older gentleman was called in who simply brought in his small tool bag and a hammer. He set about pinging on various parts of the vast engine with his hammer, finally settling on one area. He spent a few minutes pinging in that area, took out a few tools and fixed whatever what was wrong. After a few moments the man straightened up, looked at the captain and instructed him to "start her up." The captain disbelievingly went to get the engines started while the man sat in the engine room listening as the engine roared to life. The man tipped his hat as he exited the ship to the staff who sat dumbfounded because they had seen all the experts come on board for days with their expensive equipment only to have the ship not fixed. This man did it in a few minutes with a few pings of his hammer! A few days passed and the man sent the shipping company a bill for $10,000. The accounting department contacted him immediately. Why all the rumors mentioned that this man had only spent "a few minutes" fixing the ship "with his hammer and a few other random tools". When questioned about why his bill was for $10,000 – did he accidentally leave an extra zero on the bill? The man confidently responded: "In fact the time was worth the $1,000. The other $9,000 was for the years of experience and the ability to discern the issue as quickly as possible for the company."

New logo! {Marketing} Brooke Bryand Photography

After much deliberation, I finally selected a new LOGO! I wanted something that was clean, simple and modern...something that suited my style of photography and suited me! I used http://www.99designs.com to run a contest. If you haven't checked them out before, it's worth seeing if the fit could be right for you. You basically set a budget of how much you'd like to spend, then designers from around the world create comps for you to consider and you select a winner! The winning designer then does revisions for you until your logo is perfect for your needs. Love it.

Without further ado...my logo! Brooke Bryand Photography | San Francisco Photographer