capturing childhood by aLicia unDerLee neLson riaLee photography
Rialee Photography specializes in images of newborns and children
Photographer Ria Czichotzki of Rialee Photography specializes in documenting the ever-changing moments of childhood, starting with newborn sessions and continuing as children and families grow. The child-centric focus is a natural fit for Czichotzki, a wife and mother of four who also worked for seven years as a childcare provider. “I love babies so much,” said Czichotzki. “And I feel like the newborn time is such a fleeting time. It doesn’t last for very long and there’s so much that’s special about when they’re so tiny that you kind of forget, because you’re so busy as a new parent. And I really love capturing that time for new parents.” Czichotzki recommends that moms book a session while they’re still pregnant to ensure availability. The best time to capture the unique look of newborns is when a child is under two weeks old. “They’re sleepy for those first couple weeks, their skin is wrinkled and their legs curl up by their tummy,” Czichotzki said. “As they get older, they get more awake and alert and they stretch out more. Your two-month-old baby is not going to pose the same as your two-week-old baby.” As children mature, the photo sessions get shorter to accommodate the child’s budding personality and shorter attention span. “I can’t guarantee that they’ll stand still,” said Czichotzki, “but my camera is fast and I know what to anticipate, so that I can be ready to capture that look for parents that makes their child an individual.” Czichotzki works with parents to create images that reflect their child’s personality and also look beautiful displayed in their home. While most parents opt for print packages and images to display as artwork in their homes, many also purchase the digital rights to their child’s images. The rise of digital photography has brought changes to Czichotzki’s industry, but she doesn’t see it as competition, rather as a chance to share her skills with her clientele by teaching a digital photography class called PhotographerMAMA.
“I really love that people are interested in photography as an art and photography as a passion. Portraits are important, but I also like to teach moms to look for things in their daily lives that they want to remember and want to capture.” The PhotographerMAMA class is offered several times a year – check Rialee Photography’s website – www.rialeephotography.com -- or follow Rialee Photography on Facebook for upcoming dates. Digital photography will likely remain a parental passion, but Czichotzki stresses that, for documenting those milestone moments in a child’s life, there’s nothing quite like the peace of mind that comes from working with a professional. “If you’re not experienced with your camera and you’re not experienced with posing or lighting you might be disappointed,” said Czichotzki. “You’re looking at your images and going ‘I sure wish I had someone who was an expert in all of those things do my photos and now I can’t go back and get that time back.’ People have commented on what a great experience it is to come in here and get those priceless images. I just think it’s a rewarding experience all around.” [AWM]