On The Blog

An open letter to unoriginality.

Everyone has a limit to their patience, and it seems we may have reached ours.

It has been brought to our knowledge that a certain other photographer in Singapore has been indulging in less than ethical business practices, and has literally been copying almost every single element of our photography style in their maternity sessions without giving us the slightest hint of credit.

At first, when that photographer was brought to our attention, we gave them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they were merely inspired by us, or by other photographers similar to us, who specialize in a rustic and Bohemian style of maternity photography. But then, we noticed other styling elements like throw pillows and blankets, wall-hanging decor such as flower wreaths and macrame wall hangings (placed in exactly the same position as they were in our photographs, mind you) and even the outfits of our mummies, being almost precisely replicated. Finally, there were some of our favourite poses for our mummies and daddies that were being imitated, as well as our social media posting style down to eerily similar captions!

We put our heart and soul into creating our own personal style of photography, and have taken many small steps over the years to relentlessly improve on our range of photography session offerings. Sure, we have also been inspired by our own share of mentors, and have taken great pains to giving them credit for their work. Many of the elements our mummies and daddies have grown accustomed to such as our “signature” poses, newborn props, maternity outfits and even deliverables such as our {Memory Box} and packaging style have been painstakingly refined over several years of experimentation. This is why we are so thoroughly upset and somewhat disheartened when another photographer just takes all the elements we’ve perfected over time, and copied them in such a deliberate fashion.

While other professional photographers we’ve spoken with on this issue have advised us to do everything from letting bygones be bygones, to taking legal action, we don’t think those are the most ideal ways for us to move forward at this point. So here we are, hoping to inform and educate our current and potential clientele that there is a copycat in our midsts. 

We genuinely hope nobody has mistakenly enquired with or tried to book a session with this other photographer thinking that it was us they were engaging. Or if you were hoping to get a similar style of photography and service from them but were disappointed due to your expectations of the Bows and Ribbons Photography experience, we apologize.

Let’s just clarify one thing: We really don’t mind other photographers taking an idea or two from us and using it in their work if it inspires them. We don’t want any credit. What we will not accept is if your business model relies so blatantly on outright copying. 

To the photographers in question (if they should read this): If copying the work of others is your idea of running a photography business, you really should consider whether you’re doing this for the right reasons. Because if it’s someone else’s passion your channeling, or someone’s work you’re claiming credit for, you’ll eventually wear yourself out from exhaustion since you really aren’t doing anything to satisfy your own personal desire and ambition to create.

If you’ve read all the way and stuck with us through this slightly long post, we would like to thank you for supporting us and for being as invested in our work as we have been all these years. If you were surprised to see us veering towards bitterness in this post, we’re sorry about that. We’re really just human–we hurt when something gets stolen from us, we get upset sometimes, and we, hopefully, grow. Especially so when it’s something that means so much to us. 

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The Wild One

Toddlers are a handful—yes, even when it’s your own little tot you’re photographing—but there’s usually a method to their “madness”. You just gotta find it.

That big grin, though!

Can you hear his laughter?

Call us bad parents, but having a willing and available model around to try out new props for us is something we’ve truly come to appreciate…and, sometimes take advantage of!

A new rattan rocking horse recently arrived and we thought we’d give it a spin in our studio with our mostly enthusiastic model and son. Thankfully he gravitated towards our new prop like a duck takes to water. It was honestly difficult trying to get him to come down from it!

Yee-haaah

However, like all toddlers (yes, even our own), they reach a point where they get tired of posing for us, even if they were having so much fun just a second ago.

Can I just play here without having my photograph taken?

So we had to end our brief session with him. Thankfully we managed to get our shots before a meltdown became imminent.

OUTFIT from Piper and Me | SANDALS from Adelisa & Co.

Written by Timothy Fernandez and Yuyeth Fernandez

© Copyright 2019 Bows and Ribbons Photography

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Two isn’t company, it’s a team!

After discovering the similarities we shared with local lingerie and maternity wear company Happy Maternity, we were delighted when they asked us to be the official photographer for their latest product launch.

As a husband and wife team, there are many things we don’t agree on, but there are also infinite others that we often find some common ground on. Perhaps that’s why we’re called Bows and Ribbons Photography—you need to do a bit of work to fashion a bow out of a piece of ribbon after all.


We were infinitely grateful to be able to photograph our unofficial Bows and Ribbons models, Winnie and Leia to showcase the new product.
 


Another gorgeous mummy to be, Fiona, really showed us just how glamorous being pregnant can be! 

But that’s enough about us. We were recently asked to work on a photography session for yet another small local business run by a husband and wife team. Yup, we’re talking about Happy Maternity, whom we had collaborated with before for our exclusive Happy Mummy and Me sessions (which are still available to Happy Maternity customers, by the way https://bowsandribbons.photo/happy-mommy-and-me/).

The husband and wife duo recently launched their latest product, the Avery Dove Panty, a matching undergarment for the popular nursing bralette. We styled and shot the entire photography session for the new lace panty in a way we felt best showcased the classy and understated style of the pair of intimates. The Avery Dove pair of undergarments really take intimate maternity wear to the next level.

When asked about what it was like to work together at envisioning and launching new products, we were a little surprised at the similarities shared between Happy Maternity and Bows and Ribbons Photography.

Aside from being a husband and wife team, with their own sets of tasks and duties for the business, we were glad to hear about all the little disagreements and squabbles that ensued when running their business. It honestly sounded a little too familiar to us!

“It can be challenging sometimes when you’re a married couple working together in all aspects of life,” shared Florence, co-founder of Happy Maternity, and resident marketing expert. “There are times when you don’t see eye to eye, and while you can leave it at the office for a job, when you’re business partners, you need the maturity to separate your feelings as a spouse and as a colleague.”

Keith, the other half of Happy Maternity and resident operations guru, agrees. “It definitely has its challenges, yes, but it’s definitely rewarding, too,” he added. “For one, your relationship has the opportunity to grow stronger every day, as long as you’re willing to set your ego aside and remember that at the end of the day you’re a team in every way, and that’s what really matters!”

The Avery Dove Panty and Nursing Bralette are now available at Happy Maternity’s website.

Written by Timothy Fernandez

© Copyright 2019 Bows and Ribbons Photography

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Behind the scenes: Our very first workshop

We would like to thank all participants, our beautiful family models, as well as organizers the Nikon School Singapore and venue hosts The White Space, for making our first workshop a memorable one.

We honestly never really considered ourselves “teachers” since we are perpetually looking at improving our own photography and are never completely satisfied with the outcomes of our sessions. Perhaps there may be some truth to the adage you are your own worst critic.

But after being invited by the Nikon School Singapore to conduct a workshop on baby photography, we started seriously considering if there would be anything of value that we could impart to enthusiasts and professionals looking to learn something new.

Photo by The White Space

After some thought, we made a decision, and called our workshop: An Introduction to Lifestyle Baby Photography, hoping it wouldn’t sound too fluffy nor pretentious.

A beautiful mummy and her adorable baby.

Tender moments.

Arriving on the day of our workshop, as newly minted “instructors” no less (ahem), we started assembling a little lifestyle bedroom scene from scratch and were given less than an hour to do so before the participants would arrive.

We felt like we were auditioning for The Amazing Race, but thank goodness we had the right combination of excitement and nervousness to pull it off just in the nick of time.

Then reality started to sink in for us as natural light photographers—we would be shooting in a new space, with unfamiliar light, and, to top it off, we would be explaining what we were trying to achieve to eager-eyed photography buffs.

We took several deep breaths, and began, trusting that the Nikon bodies we had in hand would iron out some of our technical rough edges.

During the 3-hour workshop, we were graced with two utterly adorable babies, Leia, a cheerful 6-month old, and Gareth, a wide-eyed 2-month old, together with their gorgeous mummies and daddies.

With baby Gareth, 2 months old.
The way he looks at me.

Here are some of our favourite images from the two training sessions…

Daddy and me.

Daddies can be amazing models, too!

…as well as some behind-the-scenes shots of our less glamorous selves (gasp!) at work during the workshop courtesy of the talented Qi Hui from The White Space.

More behind the scenes snaps from Nikon School team.

Check out our Instagram Stories Highlights reel for more behind-the-scenes clips.

Written by Timothy Fernandez and Yuyeth Fernandez

© Copyright 2019 Bows and Ribbons Photography

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A session with an adorable little nipper

Little Ashton was one of the most cheerful little 6-month-olds we’ve had the pleasure of photographing. We first met Ashton’s family when we documented his big brother Ethan’s milestone sitter session some 3 years ago, and are always grateful to meet growing families.

This little lad must have been in one of his best moods when he turned up for his milestone session at our studio. Almost immediately greeting us with a cheeky grin and then a wholehearted smile, we were hopeful for a successful session. Babies go through so very many changes as they grow into toddlers, and occasionally get the blues for no obvious reason, so we were glad that Ashton arrived in high spirits.

From his very first pose in a bucket, Ashton gave us so many absolutely adorable expressions to capture. Sure, since he’s just a baby, he did need a few snuggle breaks here and there, but after a hug or two from mummy and daddy, he was back at his mark, smiling and chuckling away.

In fact, we think this little boy even surprised himself with how much he enjoyed his session and started getting sleepy soon after his first setup. So, instead of wasting precious time, we captured some of those tender sleepy moments including some tender moments with mummy.

We first met Ashton’s family, when we photographed his big brother Ethan some 3 years ago. Ethan was about the same age as Ashton back then, and was a chubby and cheerful sitter, too. Today, he’s a confident and affectionate big brother, who just loves his little brother to bits. 

As newborn and baby photographers, we never fail to appreciate how fortunate we are to be able to watch families grow with us. It’s a tremendous honour, really.

Since little Ashton and his family were visiting all the way from London, they didn’t want to waste the trip to our studio and chose to have a milk bath for their adorable little nipper. Needless, to say, he was all smiles in the warm bath water, and may even have tried tasting an orange slice or two. 

Written by Timothy Fernandez 

© Copyright 2019 Bows and Ribbons Photography


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