Sometimes you just see something and a light goes off that it is being done right. That was exactly how I felt when I first saw photos by Cristina Coco! Cristina is a natural light photographer working in Westchester and Fairfield Counties and she has created some amazing shots using the natural landscape we are surrounded with in this area (she has some really cute subjects that help)! When I look at Cristina’s photos I literally feel like I know the kids’ personalities and they all look happy and comfortable! We were lucky enough to get to pick Cristina’s brain on what she is up to and get a little advice for snapping some shots of our own (try not get too distracted by the cuteness below)!
- How long ago did you start Cristina Coco Photography and what inspired you?
I started Cristina Coco Photography officially in 2009. I had been photographing my friend’s kids for years while I was in the fashion industry. After I had my son, I didn’t want to travel to Europe for work anymore and I was able to turn my passion and hobby into a business. My inspiration came from two things. One, my son and I wanted a business where I could spend time with him yet still have an income. The second was I just lived and breathed photography. I wanted to do it every day. Combining it into a career has been a blessing.
- Do you do Maternity, Newborn, Infant, Kids, Family photography? And, do you have a favorite?
Yes, yes, yes, yes and YES! A year or two ago I would have said infant hands down, when they are six to seven months old and sitting and not really crawling yet. So happy and easy to entertain because they are seeing the world upright on their own terms for the first time. They are so adorable and every image is easy. Lately I have really fallen in love with photographing kids a little older too (3-5 is so special!). I just adore getting to know my clients children through the years and as they get older I’m fond of each age more and more.
- What is the one piece of advice you would give to parents bringing a newborn/infant to a session?
Low expectations! (joking, but only sort of!) I don’t want my clients to have low expectations for the images you are going to get, a good photographer will get you good images under almost any situation but for the way your child might act that day. They are just like us, they have good days and bad. f you are not expecting too much and think of it as something fun to do, your stress level will drop immensely! Babies feel your energy, a stressed mom makes a fussy baby. The more relaxed you are, the better. Also, plan you and your child’s wardrobe at least a few weeks before the session. So many times a mom will call me frantic a few days before trying to get the right thing to wear!
- Can you share some tips for a mom that wants to capture every day moments at home?
Always have your camera charged and an extra memory card, don’t miss something amazing because your camera is dead! I usually keep a camera in our hall which is near everything in my house so I can grab in a second. For better pictures, get down to your child’slevel and try different angles. From a floor level, suddenly something as simple as putting together a puzzle has a more documentary feeling than just an above their head shot. I’m on my tummy all the time when shooting.
- Is there a camera/type of camera that you suggest for a novice that will take a lot of pics of their new baby?
Honestly, all the DSLR cameras on the market are so good right now, you really can’t go wrong with any Canon or Nikon. I always go by the saying, The best camera is the one you have with you. It is so true! Some of my favorite images of my son and I are iPhone pictures because I’m usually behind the camera.
- (Now that Picasso is gone) Is there a place on-line that you suggest people use for picture storing and sharing?
- Do you have any advice to a mom that wants to start her own business?
Find something you love and are passionate about and then get ready to spend 100% more time doing it than you planned. Owning your own business takes a lot of time and money to get off the ground. You have to be obsessed with what you are doing or you’ll be miserable! If you really love what you do, even a bad day is a good one. I feel so lucky to love what I do.
- What does your daily schedule look like? How do you divide your time and priorities between your son, your husband, your home and business?
Mornings, I get up early with my son and we eat breakfast and play with toys or color until my babysitter gets there around 9:30. Then I get dressed and am in my office by 10 (got to love the short commute down the hall!). He’s off to school or a sport class by 11 and then I spend the day editing clients sessions, marketing, creating galleries, designing albums or announcements, sending orders out, emailing, talking to clients on the phone… It’s different every day. On session days I work in my office until 3 or so and then I head out to photograph some beautiful families! With newborns and infants I usually do that backwards and shoot in the morning as I find in-home light to be better at that time and most babies are better in the morning. Evenings are all about my family, phone goes off at 6 and I don’t check my email again until my son goes to sleep. As far as priorities, family comes first without a question. That being said, being a small business owner is really a ton of work and the balance is something I work on constantly.
See….isn’t she amazing!! Now, check out Cristina’s website (www.cristinacocophoto.com) to see more of her beautiful photography and book your own session!
Happy Shooting! xoxo, Julie