Amy Cope is a newborn photographer based in Manurewa. She describes her photography style as simple, soft and sweet. Being a former teacher at UCOL in Wanganui, Amy now likes to teach other photographers about newborn photography.
Where are you based?
When did you first pick up a camera, and what was it?
As soon as my parents would let me touch their cameras, so probably 10 or so. My dad taught me to use his old Nikon SLR, and I loved the challenge of trying to get it exposed correctly.
What attracted you to photographing newborns?
I LOVE newborns, it was my absolute favourite stage with all four of my kids. There is absolute perfection in the fine details of a newborn. I remember the feeling when my first child was born, I just could not stop staring at her and admiring how perfect she was. I want to capture that feeling forever for my clients because the time passes so quickly and it's hard to remember those details, especially when you were so tired for most of that time.
Tell us a little about your style of photography?
Simple, soft and sweet. I keep colours fairly neutral and try to accentuate the baby.
What gear do you use?
Canon 5D MkII, 50mm 1.2, Sigma 35mm 1.4, 100mm macro. I have the 85mm 1.8 as well but it doesn't get used much these days.
If you had to choose only one lens, what would it be and why?
Sigma 35mm 1.4, because it is super super sharp and can be used for anything I would want to photograph.
How long have you been a photographer for?
It depends what you call a photographer. I started photographing weddings as a side-line job in 2004, but I would say "professionally" for 4 years.
In your opinion, what makes a good photograph?
One that makes your heart soar and keeps drawing you back to it. But my perfectionist nature would say that all the little details need to be just perfect, another reason I love newborn photographer as I can perfect everything before taking the shot.
What is/has been your greatest challenge as a photographer?
This is a hard question to answer because if I'm being perfectly honest I've found it all a pretty easy journey. Photography just fits me perfectly, it makes sense to me, then add babies into that mix, which I adore, it all just seemed to come naturally. I've also had two other businesses previously (fashion and baby related) so I'd already struggled through making a business work successfully and knew what mistakes not to make this time around.
What has been your most memorable assignment and why?
I usually am most fond of the photos I've just taken, but there is one photo I adore that I spent 45mins taking (most shots are 5-10mins) and it won me a silver at Iris, that is the one of the twins in a circle. It sums up technically perfect to me, perfect light and the two babies perfectly positioned.
If you weren't a photographer, what would you be doing?
Working in the fashion industry, my degree is in fashion.
What motivates or inspires you to keep doing what you do?
I'm inspired by the babies I photograph, each one is so different and a unique challenge and I'm always so proud when I succeed in capturing their beauty, and then to hear the clients oohhing and ahhing over the photos, that definitely keeps me going.
What do you enjoy doing to take a break from photography?
Spending time with my husband and four kids. But honestly even then my camera is usually not far from me, I probably don't take much a break from photography - ever.
We see you teach other photographers about newborn photography, why did you decide to do this?
I love what I do and I love sharing that with other people. I was a teacher at UCOL in Wanganui for 2 years teaching fashion and I just loved seeing people grow and develop their skills. Being able to teach newborn photography was a natural blend of my love for photographing newborns and my love of teaching.
What tips or advice do you have for budding photographers?
Price yourself in the market you want to be placed in, once you set your prices people expect to get what their friend got, so if you're $100 for a disc of images then you will find it a very hard market to get out of. This was the best advice given to me when I started and it helped me immensely.
You can see more of Amy's work here