Photography can be quite educational, literally!

Comment

Photography can be quite educational, literally!

One of the best things about being a children’s photographer is the sheer delight and awesome privilege of interacting with little children on a regular basis. Their innocence, their laughter, their almost unbearable cuteness… it’s almost impossible to have a better “job” than this!

Great Photos, to Great People

Another great thing about what I do is the extraordinary people I get to meet, people with whom I would probably never had come in touch with, and who I am honoured today to consider among my friends. In addition to bringing up their little children, many of them are incredibly enterprising, and making a powerful impact on the world.

A Fantastic Discovery

One such amazing lady I met during my shoots is Radhika, a partner at Eye Level Kolkata. While I thoroughly enjoyed doing the photoshoot for her beautiful daughter, what intrigued me most was when I found out that Eye Level is actually the World’s Fastest Growing after school/supplemental education program, focused on Math and English! 

Yeah, that’s Radhika, with her daughter waving Hi! 

Yeah, that’s Radhika, with her daughter waving Hi! 

Discovering New Age Education for Kids

Anyway, I started asking more questions, since my daughter was two and I wanted to have the best possible education for her, starting from the tiny tot years. I loved hearing about the powerful, innovative education methods used by Eye Level, especially their ultra-modern Blended Learning Programs that bring out and cultivates a child's unique genius! And when I discovered 2.5 million students in over 25 countries trust Eye Level, I was sold! 

Smart Kids, Happy Moms

I talk to a lot of new moms on my shoots and they are all concerned about how best to take care of their child's education going forward. In today's day and age, it's important to go beyond the limits of traditional education that schools provide, and I was delighted when I discovered that Eye Level provides such a comprehensive children’s education program right here in Calcutta (near Park Street and in Salt Lake).

All in a day’s work @ Eye Level Kolkata

All in a day’s work @ Eye Level Kolkata

Next Steps (Tiny Ones)

Needless to say, I loved Radhika’s unique endeavour to get the best of global education for our children (up to to 14 years) right here in this city. My daughter would be joining Eye Level soon, and if you’re interested, check out their website or simply get in touch with Radhika @ 9874218877. Tell her I sent you, and get 2 weeks worth of free classes to start with right away.

I’m sure you’ll love the experience.. just like I did. 😄

Comment

Baby Photography = Olympics Training + Meditation

Comment

Baby Photography = Olympics Training + Meditation

Photographer. Mother. Nurse. Gymnast. Doctor. Counselor. (and that’s just the beginning!)

A good baby photographer is not just a capturer of memories and an artist of expressions, but her role includes all of the above, and so much more!

Babies don’t care who you are, or what you plan to do. You turn up with your camera, photography gear, props, lights and the whole shebang… and they just turn up your nose at you and get busy in their own world. Throwing toys, running away, bawling their head off, playing with dirt, asking to be fed, going off to sleep, almost falling and causing mini heart attacks, and everything that can make your life difficult as a photographer. You almost wish you were a nature photographer… at least mountains and trees don’t run away, or make faces, and definitely don’t kick you. :)

In baby photography, one perfect shot can take hundreds of clicks, as kids are never still and you never know when you might miss the perfect moment. At one time I was clicking my daughter’s picture right after the Durga Puja bisarjan, and I wanted her to pose with her toy lion. Well, she of course had other ideas and simply refused to be in the same frame with the soft toy. Every time she would throw it away, run off or cry if it was brought near her. I kept trying, kept clicking, to no avail.

And then fortune smiled for just a moment, when my husband handed her the lion and she held it close for just a fraction of a second before flinging it away, and I clicked right then… lying on the floor to get the perfect expression from her level, tired and perspiring, and almost at the limit of my patience... but delighted to have got the perfect shot to wrap up my puja album.

With tiny babies, you are not just being super careful (as newborn photography has to be done within 10 days of birth), maintaining optimum room temperature, playing ambient heartbeat sounds to calm the tiny tot, and also training the new mother on baby handling basics that hospitals don't exactly prepare you for… at the same time you’re changing lenses, changing props, sometimes changing baby diapers, and in all that madness, capturing precious moments that will melt the mother’s heart and become magical memories to be treasured for a lifetime. 

On the journey of photographing babies, you learn humility, patience, lightning reflexes, keeping others calm when your plans go out the window… and not only do you bring your skills as a photography artist and editor, you come as a mother who knows exactly how to handle and take care of a baby, through smiles and poops, tears and laughter, through mellow sleep and manic madness.

Baby Photography is not a profession. It’s reveling in the adventure of life, and being in the present moment. It’s flowing with what is, and capturing moments that take your breath away. Being with babies teaches you what life is all about, and I wouldn’t exchange that for literally anything in the world!

NiddledyNoddledy.com

Comment

No Adulting!

Comment

No Adulting!

Photographing my little cute "monsters" is a revelation. Children are veritable powerhouses of emotions, each lasting for less than a second. They laugh wholeheartedly, cry inconsolably, and switch from one emotion to another in the blink of an eye. Capturing all of that is both a challenge and a delight.
 
Then comes the task of making a pick: which one or ones should I give to the parents? Because as a mother I know they will treasure them all.
 
Until I started photographing these transitions I didn’t realize how much goes on in that little human being... how magical they are! Not just in terms of cuteness, but how they always live in the moment with no attachments, no judgements, no expectations, with nothing to hide. They just are BEING themselves, shining their light, making everyone happy around them.
 
Adults, starting with ME, are different. We love to linger, over-analyze things, dramatize life, and marinate in all sorts of things that bring you down. We get caught up in these nitty-gritties and forget that ‘it really is a Happy Day.’ It always is. We just need to stop adulting and move on... in the blink of an eye.
 
So, how many should I hand over? The adult in me rations, “Give only the very best.” The child in me says, “Hand me over to my Mommy, all of me.” I know that makes no sense. Then again, who am I kidding? Tomorrow when a mother is tired with a truckload of concerns preying on her mind, just by flipping through these pictures she may also see the light, as I see it today!

Moral of the story? No more adulting!

Comment

The first time that we said “Hello”

Comment

The first time that we said “Hello”

My world changed the day she was born. 

I was so happy when I first saw her. I knew what falling head over heels in love meant. What love at first sight meant. What unconditional love meant. 

When she was brought to me—all bundled up in a warm blanket—I thought I could never forget the moment. Never forget that tiny little face, the baby smell, the tiny hands… I took it all in. Old habits kicked in, and I took out my phone and took a picture. Thank god I did. Because now, a year later, when I try to think of that moment all I can remember is this picture, how she looks in it, and my eyes well up in tears… taking me back in time, filling up my senses with her smell, her touch, the first snuggle. 

I now realize I had created a powerful anchor, without even realizing its significance.

Children remain tiny for a very small time, and grow up with lightning speed. A year old now, she sits in her high chair next to me, and actually feeds me with her tiny fingers! When I return after a long day, she welcomes me back with a warm snuggle, takes my face in her palms and bites my nose. In the garden, she holds my hand and walks on the grass with faltering steps, and screams for Mamma the moment she realizes I’m out of her sight. 

Seems only yesterday that she would fit in my hand. 

Her face has changed a zillion times already. She is an ocean of expressions, and can go from tragedy to comedy in 10 seconds flat, firing a million expressions along the way. Such a difference a year can make!

Yes, I took it all in the first time that we said “Hello”. Like all mothers I thought I could never ever forget every tiny detail of that moment. But now when I look back and try to remember how she looked, what she did, all that comes to my mind are these beautiful pictures I clicked. How she looks in them, her face, her expressions, her fancy little poses. Everything else is lost. 

No, not the feeling. That always stays. 

So I am grateful that I took those pictures. A whole lot of them. And they take me back in time and let me relive the moments once again. These pictures have created an everlasting memory and this is ONLY the beginning as we step into Year 2.

I have my camera ready. 

Bring it on, my little angel.

Comment

Go slow… or Why Niddledy Noddledy was born

1 Comment

Go slow… or Why Niddledy Noddledy was born

"Smile, breathe and go slowly."
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

The pace of modern life can be quite hectic, especially for working women. Technology-enabled, notification-driven, and always on the edge — teetering between the personal and professional, never quite achieving the balance.

I too was just rushing through life, never really doing just one thing at a time. I was always on the go, until a life was born in me… my daughter. And that is when I discovered “magic".

The magic of slowing down. Of sinking into the comfort of a sofa, of losing myself in a book, of standing under the shower, of enjoying the sweetness of milk, the punch of a fruit, of rain on my face, of wind in my hair, of pausing for breath, of looking in the mirror, of doing nothing.

It’s as if I have been given a second chance… to match her pace, to follow her faltering steps, to know this world a little better, to live this life one more time. To be delighted with little things, to laugh wholeheartedly, to live freely, to love unconditionally.

That is the magic of “experiencing” life. Not just going through it, or struggling at it. Children can really make you stop and take a long, hard look at what you’ve been missing in life, while you were rushing through.

I thank my daughter for giving me the opportunity to really “live” my life. I’m so glad for this second chance, and I had the strong desire to capture the magic of this experience while I was living—actually living—in the Now.

And that is why I created Niddledy Noddledy… to collect memories, not just things.

Come join me on this beautiful journey. Take a look, and let me know how I’m doing.

And while you’re at it… "Smile, breathe and go slowly.” :)

1 Comment