A digital image file is made up of squares of colour that produce the picture. These squares are called pixels. When producing a photographic product these pixels are placed on the print or canvas in the form of dots. Depending on how close you are when viewing, you will want to print a certain number of dots per inch, (DPI), for a clear and sharp image and so you do not see any individual dots. This is particularly important in newborn baby photography.
An average person can distinguish about 850 DPI at about 4 inches, which is as close as most people can focus. When reading a book at about 12 inches only around 300 DPI is required as the average eye cannot distinguish any more. If we get even further away, say the distance of a computer screen, about 30 inches, then only 115 DPI is required for a clear picture. By the time we get to the distance of a TV of around 72 inches or 6 feet we only need about 50 DPI for a clear picture. However if you do view closer than the distances noted above you can start to see the individual dots and the beautiful pictures of your newborn baby will look grainy and of poor quality.
A digital file sized 4500x3000 pixels can be printed in many different physical sizes but the quality of viewing would be different depending on how large the print is and how far away you are when viewing it. A 4500x3000 pixel digital image will produce a 15-inch by 10-inch print at 300 DPI. You will be able to view this print in your hand and not see individual dots. (4500 pixels/dots divided by 15-inches equals 300 DPI). If printing a larger product say 30-inch by 20-inch then there would only be 150 DPI, (4500 divided by 30 inches equals 150 DPI). When viewing on a wall from a distance of over a few feet, individual dots should not be seen but getting close up they may be noticeable.
The example of a newborn baby eye below shows the differences when you have the correct number of pixels for the size of image you want to print.
First image is actual size at 300 DPI , 2nd image is 150% of intended size, the 3rd image is 200% of intended size 150 DPI.
(If you move further away and closer to this image you will see the effect, further away all of the eyes should look clear and sharp.)
Most general good quality photographic prints are produced at 300 DPI. For wall products some suppliers reduce this to 150 DPI or less but the clarity at closer viewing will suffer. These DPI’s are used as they are currently the most convenient formats for production and eventual viewing. They also allow for larger images to be printed from smaller less detailed digital image files.
I get asked this question from time to time, but often enough that I feel I should explain.
I don’t sell all of the digital files/images from a session on a USB/CD for £100. I understand that there are photographers that do, and I’m sure they have their reasons, but I would like to talk about why I do not and why it is an investment to get some, or all of the images from your newborn session on a USB.
To give you a little background information about me, I have worked all of my life. I have always studied hard to improve myself to be the best I could be in what I do. I am no different now that I am a full time professional newborn photographer. Previously I had been in industry for over 30 years, 15 years in financial services and 15 years in IT. I embarked on my final career of being a professional newborn photographer in 2014 after being a part time photographer for many years prior to that. Chumba Newborn Photography Ltd is a full time business and like any other full time business, certain standards are required to be maintained.
I’m not a photographer who decided to set up shop overnight to make some extra “fun money”. I have a family to support and provide a quality service to my customers. While the work that I do is from my home, I have invested considerably in the studio facilities that are used to provide a specialist newborn baby environment. Professional development of newborn images requires expensive software and equipment whilst online galleries and safe cloud storage of these precious baby images also needs to be paid for. I am priced so that I can not only cover all of these operating and product expenses, but also pay myself a wage after Tax and National Insurance.
I have trained to know how to safely pose a newborn so that the finished shot is a work of art, not just your baby thrown on a blanket with no thought to body positioning, angle, and lighting. I provide quality props, professional lighting and top quality camera equipment so that your images will not only be beautiful, but will also be of exceptional quality. You aren’t paying for the USB, you are paying for the art that is on it and all the time and money invested to be able to produce this art.
When you are presented with your online gallery, the images have all been individually edited and retouched so that they are beautiful. The digital files you purchase of your newborn baby are ready to be printed. They are checked for colour, sharpness, contrast, and exposure so that while they might be hung on the nursery wall, they could also hang in an art gallery. When you have these digital files, you have the ability to print them as many times as you would like for yourself, for family, for friends, etc. You can print canvases, make albums, large prints, small prints, make announcements, cards, your opportunities are endless. They are the price they are because you have them forever in the digital format, where as when you purchase a finished product from me, yes you are getting a quality piece of art, but it’s one item that can’t be printed over and over. Think about the day when your baby is all grown up and is getting married, and then eventually have children of their own. How wonderful it will be to be able to see these newborn baby images then.
When doing your research on which newborn photographer to choose, please don’t compare on price. There will always be cheaper options, you only get one chance to capture them while they are this new, tiny and beautiful. New babies quickly change and are usually only able to be artfully posed in the first few weeks. Make sure you are comfortable with your choice. I would recommend visiting them and where they will have the shoot before booking and don’t forget to book your choice early to make sure they are available for you newborn baby.
When you think about the cost of newborn photography, remember these images are something you will have forever, unlike a new pushchair, cot, iPhone or tablet that will be outdated in a few years. You will look back on those first few weeks of your baby’s life and barely remember much apart from the lack of sleep, but having professional newborn portraits will capture all of the beautiful little things you want to remember forever. Don’t miss out, it is well worth the investment!
It is never too early to book your newborn baby photography session!
Newborn photographers know that babies arrive when they want to. For this reason they normally only accept a limited number of bookings per week to be able to accommodate when babies actually arrive.
After having your baby the last thing that will be on your mind is booking a photography session. When things settle down and you do have some time, it is too late to get those early memories captured.
If you are thinking about newborn photography, contact your local photographer to see how far in advance they are taking bookings. Most Newborn photographers take bookings after the 20 week scan.
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When looking at building our dedicated newborn photography studio heating was one of the primary elements. We needed to ensure our babies, that were going to be undressed for most of the time, were kept warm and comfortable.
Traditional heating moves cold air from the floor level past the heat source and up to the ceiling. This air cools and then moves back down to the floor level. This leaves cooler spots at floor level and hot spots at ceiling level.
Infrared panels heat the walls, people and objects in a room as opposed to the air. This means that the heat can be distributed much more evenly back into the room at a slower rate. This lasting heat ensures that walls stay dry and mould cannot form or spread. Mould found on walls and ceilings can be toxic and hold harmful allergens. infrared heat can help protect against this and is ideal for allergy sufferers and asthmatics.
Infrared heat is proven to have many positive health effects such as improving blood circulation, strengthened immune system, improve blood supply to the cells. Additionally it has a relaxing effect on body and mind. Far Infrared heat is used worldwide for providing healthy heat including in baby incubators, in saunas and by Japanese Doctors as treatment for cardiovascular patients.
No dust circulation
Conventional heating systems can stir up dust and allergens in the process of heating the air within a room. Infrared heating panels don’t heat the air and because of this there is no dust circulation of any kind.
Other benefits for newborn photographers
Objects that the baby is going to be placed in and on; are gently heated by the infrared rays. No cold surprises that would unsettle a sleeping baby. Most of the work that we do will be at floor level. Infrared heating makes sure that this floor level is warm and comfortable.
There is a lot of information about natural light verses artificial light, flash verses continuous in newborn photography. I am happy with all types, depending on the circumstances, but due to the lack of beautiful natural light in the UK I use artificial and prefer continuous rather than flash.
I have always preferred the results that natural light gave when photographing newborn babies but this light was all too infrequent due to the UK climate. I started using flash but was not pleased with large bursts of light on a newborn. Then there are the parents who are trying to relax in the calm studio environment and enjoy the experience of having their beautiful newborn baby photographed. The enjoyment of watching the photo session with a big flash of light every few minutes is not my, or probably their, idea of fun.
Chumba has therefore invested in various photographic continuous compact fluorescent lamps. These lamps do not create bursts of light but a continuous stream and are cool-running. This gives me the ability to consistently produce the sort of images that I prefer whilst keeping baby and parents comfortable.