The Baby Whisperer, turning everyday moments into timeless memories

Published Date: 07-Mar-2024 | 05:18 PM

In the delicate dance between light and shadow, there exists a land where every tiny yawn, every flutter of eyelashes, and every gentle touch holds deep significance. It's a world where innocence reigns supreme, and every moment is infused with the magic of new life. At the heart of this delightful realm stands Maisha Samiha, a woman whose lens serves as a doorway to the sublime beauty of infancy.

In a bustling world filled with fleeting moments, Maisha has mastered the art of slowing time, freezing cherished memories in delicate frames. As a newborn photographer, she possesses a rare gift which is the ability to capture the essence of innocence and love in its purest form.

Born in 1989, Maisha Samiha stands as a trailblazer, being the first and only certified newborn photographer in Bangladesh. Alongside her entrepreneurial endeavors, she holds a strong educational background. Maisha completed her schooling at Scholastica in 2007. She then pursued her Bachelor's degree in English with a major in Media and Cultural Studies at BRAC University, graduating in 2013. Continuing her academic pursuits, she obtained her Master's degree in English Literature from the same institute in 2019. As the Founder and Owner of Studio Picturerific, Maisha has established herself as a prominent figure in the photography industry. Additionally, she co-owns Mère, an online maternity clothing line, showcasing her various entrepreneurial skills.

Maisha Samiha is certified by Tara Bergman in Newborn Photography, showcasing her dedication to mastering various aspects of her craft. Maisha's expertise extends beyond photography. She is a certified martial artist, specializing in Wadu Ryu Karate. Furthermore, she has acquired certifications in Portrait Photography, Professional Product Photography, and Introduction to Studio and Product Lighting from prestigious institutions such as Beyond Photography Academy and Sean Liew Photography, both located in Malaysia, in 2018.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily People’s Life on the eve of International Women’s Day, Maisha Samiha shared her story of rising up and blooming in this field.

Here are the excerpts from the interview:

Daily People’s Life: How did you get into photography and what inspired you to specialize in newborn photography?

Maisha Samiha: It’s actually a funny story, I originally opened a Flickr account so I could view my uncle’s photography journey as he is my inspiration. As a kid I tried doing everything he did and it seemed to have continued till I was a young adult too. Seeing his photos every day, I decided to try my hand at it. Next thing I knew I was the owner of my first DSLR Camera which was gifted to me by him. I continued shooting for about a decade as a hobby until I decided to take it seriously. I got into newborn photography simply because I did not want to be yet another wedding or documentary photographer in the existing over-saturated market. Moreover, I was always great with kids, there wasn’t a good reason to not combine both of my skills to launch a new genre.

Daily People’s Life: Can you walk us through your journey of becoming a certified newborn photographer?

Maisha Samiha: I had to quit my 9 to 6 job and then I dived into my passion, within a year I got such a good response that the next natural step was to polish my skills and get certified, to learn more tricks to have smoother sessions as working with babies is not easy at all. So, I started researching on this matter and enrolled myself in a workshop on newborn photography. Soon I flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to attend an intensive day long newborn photography course in April 2019 by Tara Bergman who is known as one of the top newborn photographers in the world.

Daily People’s Life: How has the role and representation of women in photography evolved over time?

Maisha Samiha: Just like any other field, photography is also a male dominant field, however, this particular genre is ruled by women for obvious reasons, I will take that as a win. I would love to see more women take up this field as a professional, the number of female photographers in this country is still alarmingly low.

Daily People’s Life: As a woman, how do you balance your work life and family? What challenges do you typically encounter in doing so?

Maisha Samiha: I will be honest my work requires my attention like it's a newborn. It's not a business model which can just run on its own completely. So, I am still struggling to strike the perfect balance but I have come a long way and I have some weekends off now. First few years when my family would be home on weekends enjoying their free time, I would be in the studio working that was definitely one of the initial challenges, missing out on family time.

Daily People’s Life: What do you find most rewarding about capturing images of newborns and their families?

Maisha Samiha: When I manage to click a photo of a newborn smiling, as you know it’s not possible to make them smile. It's nothing short of a miracle when they smile in their sleep and you get that shot. However, positive feedback from clients of how much they love the photos is always a boost of morale.

Daily People’s Life: How do you handle challenging situations, such as a fussy baby or an uncooperative family, during a photoshoot?

Maisha Samiha: I would say fussy babies are easier than uncooperative adults. If the baby is fussy as long as you can address the issue and deal with it, they will calm down after some time. It’s when an adult is being irrational is very challenging. Answer to everything in my profession is patience. You have to keep explaining the process to them patiently until they understand.

Daily People’s Life: How do you collaborate with parents to understand their preferences and vision for the photoshoot?

Maisha Samiha: Once an appointment is confirmed, they are added on WhatsApp where we usually send them the studio address and an instruction video that basically enlightens them about everything they need to know before coming to the session. The client is then consulted about their preferences, color palette and even on how they should be dressing up for the family shots.

Daily People’s Life: How do you approach each photoshoot creatively to ensure that each session is unique and special?

Maisha Samiha: Lots of homework, discussion and planning before each shoot and then putting all of that together. In addition, every baby comes in with their own uniqueness.

Daily People’s Life: Newborn photography requires a delicate touch and an understanding of safety protocols. How do you ensure the safety and comfort of newborns during your photoshoots?

Maisha Samiha: Knowing and understanding each and every development or milestone of a baby by heart is the most important thing knowledge one can have in this profession. You need to know what can be done and what cannot be in relevance to the age of the baby. All that being said, newborns are the most sensitive age and size and therefore, inside every prop that the baby is posed inside there are always layers of blankets, fillers and pillows supporting all the delicate parts of their bodies.

Daily People’s Life: What are some common misconceptions people have about newborn photography, and how do you address them?

Maisha Samiha: That a baby older than a month is a newborn. Newborn sessions need to be done within 14 or 15 days of their birth. Yes, that is the recommended age, delays only make the session difficult, lengthier and costlier. Once they cross that mark, they usually start developing gas and other tummy issues which causes them discomfort and leads to the baby being fussy.

Daily People’s Life: Do you have any tips for aspiring photographers interested in specializing in newborn photography?

Maisha Samiha: PATIENCE. You can be the best photographer in the world, it doesn't matter, unless you keep trying patiently to achieve the shot you want. In addition to knowing how to handle a baby extremely well, just being good isn’t even enough some days. You can’t be scared of holding babies, that is the first thing you have to get over if you want to pursue a career in this field.

Daily People’s Life: What other types of photography do you enjoy or prefer to engage in?

Maisha Samiha: I conduct commercials/products on the side, and have been doing so since my university days.

Daily People’s Life: Do you enjoy studio sessions more, or do you prefer to work in different locations?

Maisha Samiha: Studio sessions because I can control everything, other than babies of course, they have a mind of their own. Hehe.

Daily People’s Life: What future goals or aspirations do you have for your career in newborn photography and how do you want to promote this role of work in this country?

Maisha Samiha: Last time I gave an interview my next goal was to go international, now that I have done a couple of international shoots. I would say the next step would be to expand into having more branches.

Daily People’s Life: Where can readers find more information about your work and how can they get in touch with you?

Maisha Samiha: Simply visit these links and they will get everything about me and my studio in here.

Daily People’s Life: Tell me how does it feel to be the first and only certified newborn photographer in Bangladesh?

Maisha Samiha: It’s definitely a good feeling, but it’s also been a while so it has sunk in by now at least for myself. I think it’s time to reach greater heights and push myself to learn more tricks.

Maisha Samiha represents the heart of empowered women. On this International Women's Day, we got to know how a woman can effortlessly excel in any sector with grace. If you believe in yourself, you can pave the way to becoming the next big thing. Simply commit to hard work, determination, and never giving up.

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