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Today’s Photog Crush, Ali Roddam of Bellaphoto

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Today’s Photog crush:

I am a part of an amazing group of photographers that inspire me on a daily basis. We love supporting each other, learning from one another…and dishing about just everything.

My photog crush of the day is…

Name: Ali Roddam

Business Name: Bellaphoto.ca

Specializes in: Newborn, Maternity and Family photography

https://www.facebook.com/bellaphoto.ca

http://www.bellaphoto.ca/

https://www.instagram.com/bellaphotoca/

-How long have you been in the photography business? Oh my goodness, I have been doing photography since I was 12!! Can you believe that! A friend was starting at an afterschool program, and it sounded fun! It was mostly pinhole camera, and then I got my first Pentax K1000 (which I now have tattooed on my arm lol).
After highschool i continued to college, and graduated from the Langara Professional photo imaging program.

Then I didn’t touch a camera forever.
I thought the idea of kids photography was lame.. And babies are gross. Until I had little people.
I have been running Bellaphoto for the past 7 years!

-What the most fun part of being a (newborn) photographer?
Snuggles. I love love love babies. I am 93% sure I am done having my own, so now I have a job where I get to snuggle babies all day long! I also love melting look the parents get as they see their gorgeous baby posed in the most adorable way.. A look of omg.. I made this. For a lot of parents their newborn session is kinda the first time they just get to relax and really see their baby, the first week can be so stressful, I try to give my parent an enjoyable and relaxing experience.<3

-Are you brave enough to show your growth? A photo of one of your very first sessions, and your most recent session?
Oh heck ya!
bella photographyLike I said I have been doing photography for like a million years, so I knew how to get exposure, and focus on point.. But posing a baby.. Man that junk is hard!

-Tell me something that would surprise most clients about the newborn photography industry:
How hard newborns are. I thought i was the $hit when I started bellaphoto lol. Then I tried to photograph a newborn.. Omg all it did was squirm and cry.. Don’t babies sleep?!?! I vowed then to never photograph a newborn again.. I was scarred.. Then a few years later I decided.. I want to do this.. And I want to learn how to do it right. It took a TON of research and studying before I would even attempt a newborn again. Also.. how insanely expensive my adorable props are.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate every stitch, every knit and purl.. Which is why I have no problem paying the big $$… but i don’t think clients realized i have paid close to $50 for a single bonnet before (WHAT!!! My jacket didn’t cost me $50 lol)

 

-Coffee vs Tea…vs Vodka? The secret is to actually put the vodka in the coffee, and ride that baby all day long. :)
I recently started a blog regarding my obsession with both Coffee and Vodka, and the adventures of my family moving to our new rural home! https://coffeetillvodka.blogspot.ca/

Break down a typical day in the life of YOU. What does a typical day look like for you?
Wake up at 7:40.. We should be up at 7:00, but again i didn’t think I would sleep in.. so the alarm wasn’t set.
Race around to the kids screaming WAKE UP!!! We need to leave soon!!

Realize my youngest has secretly been up since 4:30 am watching TV.. Awesome.

Look in the fridge and realize there is no food, and question if sending a box of mac and cheese to school with them could be considered a “deconstructed” pasta. And pat myself on the back for what a progressive parent I am.

Instead make PB&J and thank the LORD that there are no allergies in their classes this year, as Peanut Butter is one of the only constants in their diet, then the apple slices, yogurt and finally the baby carrots that I know i am going to throw out at the end of the day, but at least make me feel better about my choices.

Politely and sweetly ask them to get their bags and shoes.
More Forcefully and sternly ask them to please get their bags and shoes.
Yell loudly to get their bags and shoes.
SCREAM AND THREATEN WITH TIME OUTS ALL AROUND IF SHOES AREN’T ON THEIR FEET IN 30 SECONDS!

Deal with a sobbing child yelling that I am “SO MEAN” and a surly child saying “”she would appreciate if I just asked nicely”.

Dropping the blessed little darlings off and heading straight to the coffee shop for a Venti Americano.

Walk into the studio and breath a soothing breath.. Look at my beautiful things and how clean everything is, there are no lego or dirty socks in site…. then…

Session
Edit
Pickup
Dinner
Betime
Vodka
Edit
Vodka
Rinse
Repeat.

 

What “gear” do you use? Do you shoot with natural light or studio lights? I LOVE LOVE LOVE Natural light.. But living in the The Comox Valley BC, we get really great natural light.. Like 3 months a year, so I have learned to use strobe to create a similar look.
I also shoot on Canon bodies.. This is not because Canon is better, or Nikon is worse. It’s because in 2003 I walked up the the counter of Lens and Shutter in Vancouver and said.
“I currently shoot on a Mamiya, I am looking to get a digital camera, what should I get”
To which the consultant replied “Canon bodies are 20% off this week”
DONE!
Now $10,000 in lenses later… I am kinda stuck :)

If you could travel back in time, and give yourself ONE piece of advice about your business, what would it be? Treat it like a business! Yes $50 is awesome at the beginning… but once you realize the amount of hours and cost that go into creating that image… I have been doing photography for 20 years, I deserve more that $5/hr. Also, selective coloring is NEVER ok.

Here are some of my favorite images:

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