Nina Cholcha-Cisowska is a new-born and family photographer who owns her own business, Newbornstory Photography in Sunderland. We asked her about the ins-and-outs of her job and in return, she offered some crucial advice about how to get started in the photography industry.
Nina has worked for 18 years as a child photographer and attended university in Poland where she studied Photography.
She worked for the police department in laboratories before moving to England where she worked for another photographer. Just one year ago, she decided to go it alone and open her own studio in the North East specialising in new-born photography.
Nina said: “I realised there was a gap in the market and it’s an absolutely precious thing to do.
“When I take photographs of mothers during pregnancy, they want to preserve precious moments but they don’t feel like they look their best. Their bodies change and sometimes they don’t feel as though they look sexy anymore. This just isn’t true.
“If you think about the old days, Marilyn Monroe was the perfect shape and had a bigger body and she is still beautiful, and featured everywhere.
“I think the best thing you can save in your life is photos, so I imagine that my photos will be around for generations in the client’s home.”
“Women look more themselves than ever when they’re pregnant, so they come to the studio to keep this memory. I’ve got a lot of feedback to say that women feel more comfortable because the photographer is a woman, I am a woman and a mother, therefore it’s easier for me to work with them and to make them feel more comfortable with the session.
Nina is clearly passionate about what she does and is truly satisfied when her clients are satisfied.
What she loves most about her job is the ability to preserve a moment in time that often seems to slip away in the blink of an eyelid. She even attends births every so often in order to capture the moment when the parents first see their baby!
“What I love most is when parents come back on the viewing and they cry, I even have a box of tissues ready. They come back about 3 weeks after the session and they notice their baby has already changed and notice how important it was.
“It’s just like anyone, your memories from holidays or school. If you have pictures you can easily come back to the moment, but if not it can be hard to remember how you look or friends’ faces.
“They notice with the photos that they grow up quickly, sometimes too quickly and they cry because they love the picture and because they already start to notice the change.”
On first impressions it is clear that Nina is driven by the sentiment that she expresses in her photographs. It is refreshing to see someone that is truly satisfied by what they do and who takes pride in the fact that her work will stay with families forever.
She added: “I think the best thing you can save in your life is photos, so I imagine that my photos will be around for generations in the client’s home. If I worked for galleries they would go in the rubbish in a few years, I could maybe achieve a little bit of fame but I could never have the ability to stay with my photos.”
We asked Nina for her top tips for any readers of Fashion North who are looking to break into the photography industry:
1) Work on your portfolio
“First work on your portfolio, peoplecan trust you if they can see your work. If you have friends, ask them if they can pose for you. Even if you already have a business, make a model call and this usually works because they have their free prints.”
2) Remember your law
“Remember that you could work with children so remember about the law. You can’t have photos without signed documents, be very careful about uploading anything unless you have the parent’s permission.”
3) Trust is important
“Not everyone has the knowledge about this, but you need to remember to build your business with trust. We could still have a great session but I couldn’t use the photos for advertising because parents don’t like if someone else is going to see their children.
“Always respect client’s needs. Forget about your needs; if you want to make them for advertising then model call, your friends, your family, work on your portfolio first. If you have to spend more time for less money then it’s worth it.”
Newbornstory Photography is based in Sunderland. For more information about the company or to chat to Nina, please visit her website here.