Photo Tips From The Pros – Julie Aktabowski of This Little Piggy Photography

Today on Photo Tips From the Pros, Julie from This Little Piggy Photography shares how to get children to smile and what to do when things are not going as planned while you’re photographing children.

Meet Julie

Julie-Aktabowski-headshotHi, my name is Julie Aktabowski and I am the owner of This Little Piggy Photography, a newborn and family photography business located in Chicago, IL.

My love of photography began almost twenty five years ago with a high school elective. I still can’t part with my old manual film camera from those first years, even though I have to take the batteries in and out constantly as the temperamental thing insists on draining them.

I have a little secret.

I’m known in my area for my whimsical sessions. I love to build props and style sessions. And my families love it! I do, too. I love watching my little clients get lost in a fantasy that I’ve helped to build. But, deep down, I’m totally mesmerized by lifestyle photography. I admire the talent it takes to capture the truth in a moment, and am constantly mooning over the work of lifestyle photographers.

Favourite Photograph

Shameless mama-brag, but my favorite image is one of my own little guy. I was actually just playing around, and I certainly didn’t expect to get anything great out of it, so I guess I would call it a happy accident. He didn’t much like “posing” and this was just him being his silly self at the breakfast table.


How This Photo Was Made

I shot this image with my 35 1.4L, open to f/2, on my old Canon 7D. I’ve since switched to a 6D camera, and this lens hasn’t seen a lot of use, but it was one of my favorites when shooting on a crop sensor camera.

My tried and true trick with my reluctant little ones is to tell them, with a pseudo-serious face, NOT to smile, and that’s exactly what I was doing here. They just can’t help but laugh!

Best Photo Tips

My best photography tip would be to learn to roll with the punches. I’ve had many a session planned out to the tiniest detail, only to realize that I couldn’t control every situation. The thing is, though, it can be a blessing. I’ve learned to bring a cute colorful umbrella to that “picnic in the park” session (the hard way). And you know what? It was better than how I had planned. I’ve learned that even that six-day-old baby won’t always sleep, and you have to be open to things not looking the way you thought they might. Be flexible, and keep it fun!

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How This Photo Was Made

I showed up at this precious little girl’s session with dreams of pink props, lace wraps, and sweet baskets. Although she was in the desirable time frame for photographing a newborn, she just wanted nothing to do with anything I had planned. One thing she DID love, being in her crib, without me bothering her!

I looked around at the nursery…. no pink there. Mama had been so sure that she was having a boy, that she had planned her little one’s room around it! But as I studied the surroundings as she slept, I decided I loved the delicate pattern on her bedding, and the soft pretty light that bounced off her white crib. I ended up doing her whole session in her crib, and it actually turned out to be one of my favorite newborn sessions ever!

More Beautiful Photos Julie Has Made

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Where To Find Julie

Website  /  Facebook

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Are you a children photographer who have some great photography tips to offer and want to share your knowledge? Email me at amy.lee (@) and we can have you featured =)

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