We all see these adorable baby pictures and wonder who takes them. Here in Egypt, a baby photoshoot is a recent concept, but who wouldn’t want an album documenting their baby’s first days in the cutest way? Heidi Fathy, founder of Photogenique talks to us all about it!
The name “Photogenique” comes from that fact that anyone is photogenic; it all depends on the photographer and the way they are photographed.
What inspired you to start baby photography?
It all started when my son Yassin was born and I was looking for a photographer to take pictures of him as a newborn. I couldn’t find any, that’s when I started doing some research, looking for creative ways and techniques to take photos. He was my first, when people saw the pictures they were interested in having something like this done for their babies.
How is photographing babies different from other types of photography?
It’s much harder because you can’t control babies; you can’t tell them to pose, to stand still or to smile. Their emotions really show, if they are grumpy, sleepy, hungry or hyperactive it will show in the picture. You also have to be very patient, sometimes we have to wait a few hours for them to eat, change and sleep again. My favorite thing is how everything is so natural, we get very beautiful and genuine photos.
“Their emotions really show, if they are grumpy, sleepy, hungry or hyperactive it will show in the picture.”
Is this becoming more popular in Egypt?
When I started out it wasn’t at all, especially for new born babies. Many people avoid it because it’s very tiring, time consuming and needs a lot of patience. At the beginning when I started people thought my photos were from the internet, they didn’t think that this is something done in Egypt. I get people from all social classes.
How are your photos different from the ones moms take at home?
I use a lot of natural light, and I really take care of what is in the background and the surroundings. Clean backgrounds, and keeping it simple is what I do. I take care of what they are wearing too, many factors that people don’t think about can really affect the photo. Don’t take a picture of a baby boy with a floral couch in the background for example.
Is it considered a luxury thing?
In Egypt it is yes, people don’t think taking nice baby photos of your children is a must, wedding pictures are considered more important. However, outside Egypt it’s the opposite, baby photos are very important, they pick the photographer carefully.
“In Egypt people don’t think taking nice baby photos of your children is a must, wedding pictures are considered more important.”
What has been your favorite shoot?
I really love the newborn photo shoots more than anything else. They are fresh from God as they say. When I hold them I forget that this is my job and I just have fun with it. It’s best when they are from 1 to 15 days old, so they sleep easily and are more flexible to photograph. I remember one time a mother brought her 3 months old daughter; I wasn’t very excited. I thought it would be really hard because she would be more aware and wouldn’t sleep, but to my surprise she was the opposite. Very flexible and slept like an angel. This is one I won’t forget.
Do babies so young have different characters?
Definitely! Some are easy going, other are grumpy or happy. I photographed my son when he was seven days old; he wasn’t easy, there were certain sleeping positions he didn’t like. You can’t force them to do anything, but whenever we have a photo shoot we put a plan for the baby, if it doesn’t work, we always have plan B, because we don’t really know how the baby will react. Many mothers lose hope, worried that the baby won’t cooperate, but we work around it.
What’s next for you?
I do a lot of photography, so I want to concentrate and specialize more in newborn babies photography. I also hope to branch out outside of Egypt. There is a lot of demand in other places like Dubai.
What is a piece of advice you’d give to mothers?
I really advise mothers to do this, many kids grow up and they don’t find nice photos of themselves. Many children are embarrassed and even cut up their baby pictures because they don’t like them. This should be a priority for you, create nice memories and pictures.
For more adorable baby pictures, follow Photogeniue on Instagram