Verity Woods’ love of capturing the joy of having a baby and those precious family moments is the driving force behind her photography business. We caught up with the local gal, to see where it all began.
Have you had any education related to photography, or have you naturally taken to it?
I have been asked this question a lot , and the answer is, no, I’ve never taken a course, or read one book on photography. I’m self taught and learning something new every shoot!
My mother has been into photography for a long time; she takes amazing landscape photography, so I learnt a lot from her.
My photography is 100% passion driven, and I love incorporating my own style into every image.
I’m constantly being inspired by the photography world to learn and try new things, challenging myself and finding new ways to make my camera rock every shot.
Your main focus in photography is maternity and newborn shots. Have you always had an interest in this type of photography?
Yes! My heart has always been with pregnancy and newborns; nothing is more of an absolute miracle than falling pregnant and having a baby, and I get to capture that!
I love meeting with excited first-time mums, last-time mums and mothers who have tried to conceive for years and being able to celebrate with them.
My maternity sessions are becoming more and more popular, as women see that pregnancy is beautiful and should be celebrated and remembered. Nine months feels so long when you are waiting for baby, but in the whole picture, it all goes so fast.
Newborn sessions are not for the faint hearted; they require a lot of time, patience and sensitivity. I’m well aware at every newborn shoot that I have been entrusted with this couple’s whole world, and always follow babies’ lead with lots of cuddles and newborn safety practised at all times. Every newborn, even in those early days, has their own personality. I spend many a session in giggles with their antics; they are nothing short of amazing.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
The thing I enjoy more than anything else, without a doubt, would have to be meeting my clients and hearing their stories. I meet people at the most exciting times in their lives, waiting for their child, and then those early days when baby arrives. We all see the end result of the image of the mother and father smiling down at their perfect newborn, and so often we don’t hear the amazing stories that got them there. I love hearing them.
Falling pregnant can sometimes be a journey of heartbreaks, loss and love but most of all, full of hope. I’ve made some incredible friends along the way, I could write a book just with the clients I have met already – such inspiring stories … that and of course, getting to snuggle gorgeous newborns all day.
What is the feedback from your photography like, and does that influence the way you take your photographs?
My ‘fans’ feedback drives me every day! Their thoughts and words are so encouraging, and I love reading their every comment. They don’t steer my design, but their encouragement is what makes me want to do so much more than what I would ever had hoped or dreamed of doing.
I love the feel and community of my Facebook page. When a newborn baby’s photo hits the Facebook page, I love how people who have never even met the parents of this child will still leave comments of adorations and congratulations – it’s incredibly heart warming. They are an amazing cheer squad, and I’m grateful to every one of them.
I receive countless emails and messages from my thankful clients that I keep to read back over; it’s nice to know that by simply doing something I love, I can bring a huge smile to people’s lives.
What is the best age to photograph newborn babies?
This varies for each photographer, but for me and the style of my images, it’s in those first 12 days, when bub is sleepy and content and happy to be fed and sleep.
I know for a lot of people they remember their first 2 weeks with their newborn to be crazy and wonder how they would find the time to fit portraits in, but I love that for a couple of hours my new parents have a chance to sit and just take a moment with their new addition – it’s a great excuse for them to stop their busy morning just to baby gaze.
Do you have a favourite photograph?
Not one particular image, but I love a photograph that tells a story or captures a genuine connection in that exact moment. These are the ones my clients and I treasure the most.
Myself personally, it would be an image I have of our son, Noah. He was born incredibly ill, with no hope of survival. He beat the odds and as soon as we were able to finally bring him home from hospital, I immediately took a picture, raced down to have it printed and framed it – it still hangs in our home 5 years later.
What motivates you in your job?
The people I get to meet and work with. There have been very busy weeks where in extreme tiredness I ask myself, “Why?” The answer is always the same; I am able to capture little pieces of these people’s story … that’s a pretty great job!
My husband and two children motivate me to be bigger and better constantly and remind me every day how precious life is … and just the adventure of it all! I am a creative person who is now able to create; I love that!
When you are not taking photographs, what do you do with your spare time?
Spare time? I think I handed that phrase in when we had our son 5 years ago, followed by our daughter, Isabella, two years later! But when I’m not photographing, I’m being a mum – my most favourite role ever.
We live in such a beautiful place, so we love to spend days doing the simple things that matter the most: beach, ice blocks and painting, shopping and movies and spending time with family and friends.
People often ask me what I do in general conversation, to which I always reply I am a mother raising two gorgeous children, who also takes maternity and newborn photos.
No matter how much I love my job, which I do, I’m always living life inspired by the quote: “If I fail to raise my children, nothing else I accomplish really matters”.
This story was published in issue 78 of Port Macquarie Focus