The transition from wedding photographers to 'newborn' shutterbugs was no smooth ride for Midhu and husband Jino who were quite passionate about the career path they had chosen. But the social circles they moved in were not quite impressed by the less trodden paths the couple had chosen to take. Hence, the comment: “Isn't it time you put an end to this nonsense?” was like an electric shock down her spine. What next, when photography was the only trade young Midhu knew?
Midhu saw no reason to blame her family for any sort of negative comments. They were naturally concerned for her. She was no longer a carefree teenager who could wield the camera without a care in the world. She had a child now and to give it a secure future was a matter that deserved utmost concern. But the pull of the camera was so strong that she decided to entrust all her assignments to hubby Jino and toe the family line of being a demure housewife.
While she stayed put at home, she clicked away the little birds and the cats that came calling at her backyard. It was while clicking away such shots that an idea struck her. Why not make a few artistic clicks of her infant son Kian? The idea blossomed into a frenzy of shots with each mood of the baby captured in frames. The tiniest smile, the hint of a smile, his puckering, whimpering and tearing and sleeping images all ended up in camera shots. That was the beginning of a new hobby and a profession too. Here was a 'lady photographer' who had specialized in baby photography and maternity photography. The world was all of a sudden spinning around this Mannuthy-based young woman.
It was the beginning of a new journey. She captured on her camera babies in all their myriad moods and mothers caressing their full tummies. Midhu traces the genesis of her new hobby and her tryst with success in a candid chat with Onmanorama.
“My little one, my Kian is the one who changed my destiny,” says Midhu. Life was going full throttle for her when little Kian arrived and turned everything topsy-turvy. It also dawned on her that wedding photography and raising an infant would not go hand in hand.
A photographer’s joy lies in creating that one special moment out of a thousand images. “It was one such moment that changed my life forever. And that moment came from our superhero, our Kian”, says the proud mama.
“What defines the success of a photographer and her images are the ability to capture the pure essence of life”, says Midhu. In every movement of her son she saw her own life unfolding before her. In every shot there lay the pride and passion of a photographer combined with the sheer joy of being a mother. And from those frames emerged a new life, that of a newborn-maternity photographer.
Her first muses were from among friends and family. When they proved to be successful, a lot of encouragement came her way. But it was the unstinted support of her husband Jino that worked for her.
But clicking a baby in its varying moods is no simple job. It's a thousand-fold trying task than capturing wedding moments. It needs patience and painstaking effort to get that feel, that particular moment, to get a baby in its divine mood. At times, it takes one whole day to get that one look. In that lies the thrill of a newborn photographer. One has to wait for that defining moment. It may come when the baby sleeps, or is awake or is at play. One can never predict when that moment will manifest. Patience pays when it comes to capturing that God-given moment, says Midhu.
The west is fertile ground for such a genre of photography, where women love to immortalize their moments of pre-motherhood. Such images are new to our country, it’s just about coming opening up. It all lies in our attitude, our conditioning and the way we are taught to relate to new ideas and events, says Midhu. However, mindsets are changing and there are so many parents who freeze-frame each and every moment of their babies, right from the time of their birth to their childhood. People have started realizing the immense potential of capturing moments and preserving them. One can always go back to those moments.
Midhu is hopeful that the future will open up for her in bright colors. She is sure that she will one day immortalize one special moment in a baby’s life. She may have to wait for it, and she knows she will.