It is my pleasure to feature my interview with Daniel Vaiman. I met Daniel when he came to me from Switzerland for a two day 1:1 masterclass. He was a delight to teach and is new to newborn photography. Daniel is a professional landscape photographer, musician, and teacher of music. He also runs landscape photography workshops. New to the field of newborn photography Daniel talks about his journey into the world of photography, and why he has chosen newborn photography.
Daniel, thank you so much for being here. Are you able to please tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
Photography has “followed” me and interested me very much since we moved to Israel. I was almost 11 at the time. A friend of my parents gave me a very simple camera for my birthday. Of course I had no idea about any of the technical aspects of the camera but every year in Israel the whole class would go on a road trip. Always I took this camera with me. Also on other occasions I’d just take the camera and start clicking :). Much later on, the camera was changed for the mobile phone, then another phone. (Who remembers the Sony Cybershot? 🙂 ).
Then 10 years ago a simple DSLR and all the way up to 2 Mirrorless that I’m using now. Basically it was always more than just a hobby, but I could never afford a camera before. I am also a musician and music teacher and the music/piano was taking up all the “free” time from studies and later on from work. 6 years ago I succeeded in “breaking off” just doing piano and decided to seriously pursue photography. I started with Astro photography as the night sky has fascinated me since I can remember. Then I went on to Landscape photography as well and finally arrived at Newborn Photography.
What made you decide to specialise in newborn photography?
Well, when my girlfriend was pregnant, I started seeing more and more newborn photos. If you have an interest in reading up on information about Newborns, you are going to find newborn photos whether you actually want it or not! Funnily enough, I suddenly find myself not only reading up information about newborns (sleeping patterns, feeding patterns etc etc etc) but I was actually looking at newborn photos. Then I started researching more and more, watching some videos and newborn photography courses online.
Everyone always told me: find your niche, find your niche… well… I found my niche! Or better said my other niche. I decided to have 2 Niches: My first is that I run photography workshops in Iceland where I teach people Astrophotography and Landscape photography. My second niche is newborn photography and to have a newborn photography studio in the city where I live.
As soon as I was clear about that, my girlfriend told me that I must look for a mentor to really teach me and to give me information about how it works. It’s not the same as to find a nice mountain in Iceland, fiddle with composition for 2 hours and get your sunset right. It is much more than that! Well, my girlfriend, she was right :). So then I started looking online. I was actually looking specifically in the UK as I’ve spent 6 years living there for my music studies. I went through many different websites until I came to Melanie’s website. Needless to say, this is the place to learn everything you need and want to learn about Newborn Photography!
I believe newborn photography is a type of business which can be more stable than landscape photography. There are always people having babies. You can discover a country but it is always the same landscape somewhere. The newborn moments will never come back – and the babies will never look the same in a week, two weeks, three weeks etc. For the children to be able to look back on what they looked like – and also for the parents – the feeling that creates is what made me want to specialise. I also love the challenge.
Why did you choose Melanie to train you in the art, business and safety of newborn photography?
Looking through different websites, Melanie’s was the one that “spoke” to me most. I was also very happy to see that there are no potato sack pose or hands holding the chin pose which so many photographers advertise on their main page. The tailored made tuition is worth investing in and Melanie’s explanation of what is going to be taught was both very clear and accommodating.
What did you learn from Melanie
I’ve learned a lot about the correct lighting, posing and the workflow in the studio. I also learned a lot about newborn post processing. Also, not to doubt yourself from the business side is something that I found invaluable ☺. As someone that comes from Landscape photography, patience is never a problem but the safety aspect of working with newborns is of utmost importance. This was extremely useful for me
How did you find Melanie’s teaching style?
Extremely attentive to detail and always giving you the best knowledge possible. Melanie was calm and very productive at the same time. Being a teacher myself patience and dialogue are in fact the key points to teaching. Both were very present in Melanie’s style.
How do you feel you have grown in your knowledge and art?
I feel that what I’ve learned in person with Melanie is not something you can learn by yourself from YouTube or other online classes. While there is a lot of useful information out there, nothing can replace an in person tuition! The art of photographing and post processing of Melanie is very unique which was also part of what has caught my attention!
What would you tell others about Melanie East?
Being a teacher myself in the field of Music I can honestly say that Melanie has conquered and mastered both, being an amazing photographer and artist and just as amazing educator/tutor.
Each person learns at a different pace and is at a different stage in his/her art. It is not easy to accommodate yourself as a professional towards all these variables and this requires a lot of patience, talent and ability to explain. Melanie adapts her knowledge to accommodate your needs and pace of learning. She is attentive, patient, professional and very clear. You don’t feel rushed through. You observe, shoot, learn and ask any question you might have and she will answer them until you know you have your answer and you understood it fully.
If you haven’t yet attended any classes of Melanie (in group or 1:1), do it now!
1:1 will give you a lot to start developing your own style and ideas.
Thank you so much Daniel. It was lovely to meet you and to keep in touch and I can’t wait to see what you produce. In the meantime, do have a look at Daniel’s beautiful landscape photography by clicking here.
To find out more about learning with me, whether via in person 1:1, workshop or remotely, then please take a look here: