Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I am one of the billions of mothers around the world who have become paparazzis in our own way --- thanks to the wonders of modern technology. “Doting mother” is now an understatement as our adoration for babies keep us busy camera-clicking and instagrammin’ to capture every smile and milestone.
Baby pictures are wonderful and heart warming mementos that parents and child can both treasure for a lifetime. In fact, right after the baby makes it grand entrance, parents take hundreds and thousands of baby portraits in the following months.

While the digital world now gives us more freedom in abusing our cameras to its limit, parents also opt to have a formal photograph taken of their child, to give due credit to the blessed event. 

Attempting and perfecting a best baby portrait is no easy task. Infants are unpredictable and they get fussy without any warning. It’s hard to capture sudden burst of laughter, a yawn, or a funny expression with the limited aperture and speed applications of a handy cam, and more so of phone cameras.

Ayie in her element.

Good thing we have pros like Ayie Hernandez, who have mastered the art and speed in photographing babies and toddlers. Her web page, Ayie Hernandez Photographydisplays her impressive portfolio of happy and touching images of newborn babies, toddlers, and expectant mothers. 

“Kids are very interesting subjects. You feel the most sincere and purest emotions. It is heart warming when you see them smile and happy. As for photographing expectant mothers, it moves me to see a woman shining at her best, in her most defining moment, celebrating a miracle that is about to come.”

Presumably, her fascination with babies stems from her personal experience with childbirth. No, she is not a mother… Well, at least not yet. She is rather, if I may say so, a mother of reinvention as she re-branded herself with a different profession, taking a bold leap (and projects in between) from nursing to photography. To date, Ayie also sidelines as stylist and co-photographer in fashion shoots and photography workshops.  

Ayie is not a graduate of any film school nor did she take any formal training in photography. She considers herself a late bloomer in this field, joining the bandwagon  merely 4 years ago. Much to everyone’s fascination in capturing still life with digital photography, Ayie’s baby steps to full bloom began with just the use of a camera phone. She tinkered with a Canon Ixus handycam for a short while before she settled with the specialized tools of Nikon D40 and D90.

I’d say she became a photographer by chance, sheer instinct, and wild imagination. Her images are not perfected by the use of a light meter. She plays with ambient light and delivers superb images by her own gut-feel and trained eye.

And she brilliantly does so, even when working with kids. This is pretty much challenging as a photographer because you need to maintain control of your techniques while your subjects move unpredictably. You have to challenge yourself to make newborn babies look interesting even with rag-doll poses. Toddlers, on the other hand, have their own moods, and react differently in front of the camera. Some kids enjoy being the center of attention, and show off their signature antics to please the photographer. Others get shy with strangers, and would even get hysterical at times.

“That’s why I take time to get to know my subjects, gain their trust, understand their moods, and work around it. I shoot kids as natural as possible. I let them play. I wait and catch them in their own element. A child can never fake an emotion. You can’t force a natural smile from anyone, especially from a child. That’s why I keep things light and spontaneous. Each smile and even a cry that comes out from them are the moments that are worth capturing.”

Ayie advises parents to enjoy these moments with their children. After all, we can’t freeze time and keep them as kids for the rest of their lives. “Make sure you have your camera with you all the time to capture each precious moment. Kids change and grow up so fast. It is only through pictures that they remember images of their innocence and youth.”

For more about baby portraits, please visit Ayie Hernandez Photography on Facebook, or call 0922 834 0989 for bookings.
Story published on my Metro Mom column in Edge Davao newspapaper
Page 15, A1 of INdulge section, Vol. 5 Issue 52, 16 May 2012.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home