By Estella Editor - POSTED Oct 23, 2014
Good news! We are giving away 10 of our Estella hand-knit baby rattles! Soft, high-quality, and hand-made, these baby toys are full of character and a wonderful alternative to the mass-produced plastic or hard-edged baby rattles on the market. The bold colors, lovely rattle sound, and unique shapes will keep baby engaged and entertained, while the humorous shapes and styles (like the purse, Metrocard, or mustache) will amuse parents. We’ve also just introduced three new shapes to our collection of knit designer baby toys: the pretzel, American flag, and bunny rattles. The perfect baby shower gift, keepsake, or addition to baby’s nursery, these soft baby rattles are unique and charming must have for babies and new parents! Enter to win here.
Tags Baby Rattles, Eco-Friendly Toys, Estella Hand-Knit Rattles & Toys, Kids' Accessories & Toys
Category Baby Rattles, Eco-Friendly Toys, Estella Hand-Knit Rattles & Toys, Kids' Accessories & Toys
A Conversation With :
By Estella Editor - POSTED Sep 23, 2014
After our photo shoot a few weeks ago for our new collection of baby toys, we had the chance to chat with our photographer, Luciana Golcman. Read more below on her background in photography, tips for shooting pictures of little ones, & favorite places in NYC to view art!
1. Tell us a little bit about your background & what drew you to family, children, & newborn photography.
I’ve always been the one with the camera in my hands. Not only on trips or events, but even when there were no digital cameras I was already making “film selfies” with my friends on our nights in! When a stranger would ask me to take their photo I’d put so much effort into framing it well, having the subject well lit, and so on. I guess it’s just something within me. As for why I chose to photograph what I do, I absolutely LOVE children and the innocence in their eyes. Grownups can be shallow, mean, fake, but kids just can’t! They are themselves 100% of the time. And that’s what I love about it. So I started with kids and from then I branched to newborns, because, come on. Who doesn’t love a baby? Then my clients ended up asking me to photograph the whole family and their bumps. So this way I ended up filling all those gaps in motherhood and photographing bumps to families.
2. Did you go to school for photography?
I actually went to school for “Social Communications,” which is just a fancy name for advertising. In Brazil it’s very different and you don’t have a major and a minor. You simply have a career – so mine was advertising. In school I had many photography classes but definitely not enough, so after I moved to NYC (about 8 years ago) I started taking classes at ICP (International Center of Photography). I never did a full term program but I’ve taken about a dozen Continuing Education Classes both as a student and as a Teaching Assistant. And I don’t plan to ever stop learning.
3. How would you describe your shooting style?
What I look for when I’m shooting is to reveal a person’s soul through an image. I don’t like posing it’s fake. I love natural. When I have a session with kids, for example, I have them have a fun playdate with me and their family, and I stay “backstage” waiting for the wow moments. And as we’ve all heard before, “The eyes are the windows to the soul, ” so I’m insanely intrigued with the eye and how they sparkle when we’re happy. Or how it shines when it’s teary. It’s all connected.
4. ISO, shutter speed, aperture – help! How can a beginner get the most out of a point-and-shoot or DRSL camera?
ISO, shutter speed and aperture are the exposure triangle. When you change one you have to compensate with the other(s). It’s like a seesaw. If the one side is heavier than the other, it’s going to tilt. So all you have to do is balance it out.
My advice for those wanting to learn how to shoot manually is to try to understand one by one first. Start with the “aperture priority” mode. See what happens when you drastically change the aperture. Then move to the shutter priority mode. And finally join them together to add the ISO factor.
5. Are there optimal places or times of day to shoot? Any tips on how to get the best lighting?
All photographers talk about the “golden hour,” which is that short time right before sunset or right after sunrise. At this time the light is much softer and the shadows are not as hard. So it definitely looks much more flattering on your subject. Midday light is the harshest one, but there are always ways to work around it. After all, the best time to shoot is always NOW.
6. What are your top three tips for taking pictures of babies & young toddlers?
Patience, patience, patience. LOL.
7. Any particularly memorable moments or laugh-out-loud stories from your shoots with little ones?
Every shoot is has a memorable moment. I laugh so much every time. I’m not sure who is having more fun: the kids or myself!
8. When it comes to kids, attention spans can wane quickly – do you have a tips for keeping them engaged or tricks to get real smiles out of them when they’re not in the mood?
When they are really not feeling it, the worst thing you can do is force them. They are supposed to have fun, not be a perfect professional model. That’s why I always ask the parents to pack water, juices, snacks, and toys. If they are not feeling it we have a break, play, rest, and wait for them to feel better. The one thing that never fails, though, are bubbles. They just love them!
9. You live in New York – do you have any favorite spots to take pictures?
My “public” studio, definitely (and by that I mean Central Park). It’s amazing how many different backgrounds you can get in Central Park! And because I usually blur the background to focus on the eyes, all I look for are backlit trees or anything else that would look beautiful blurred.
10. How about favorite places to view art in the city?
That’s a very difficult question. NYC is a Mecca of art. I love visiting the small galleries in Chelsea and Soho. And I’m extremely bummed that “Yellow Korner” (a great affordable photography shop) closed last year. New Yorkers deserve more places like Yellow Korner!
11. Your talent speaks for itself through your photos. Is there anything you don’t do well that you wish you could?
Thank you very much :) We are always our worse critics. Every day I think to myself “I don’t do anything well! I still have so much to learn!” But if I should pick one thing I would say I can always learn more about light. Photography is all about painting with light, and the more you learn the more you see that it can change the way you look at the world.
Tags Baby Photography, Baby Rattles, Estella Hand-Knit Rattles & Toys, Hand-Knit Toys
Category Baby Photography, Baby Rattles, Estella Hand-Knit Rattles & Toys, Hand-Knit Toys
Just In :
By Estella Editor - POSTED Sep 4, 2014
Estella is thrilled to announce the addition of four new hand-knit baby rattles to its collection of designer baby toys! The new shapes include an ambulance, racing car, airplane, and, in honor of baby’s older siblings who are headed back to school, an iconic school bus. These baby rattles are hand-made in Peru by local artisans and are the perfect alternative to plastic, wood, or other hard-edged baby toys. Bursting with color & personality, these soft toys for infants are not only safe but well-designed – they make lovely nursery decor pieces or baby gifts. The bright hues & charming rattle sounds will engage baby’s senses, while the fun shapes encourage imaginative play for toddlers – whether it be playing doctor or flying planes – the age at which baby toys can become an important part of a kid’s childhood. Regardless of which you choose, these baby toys serve as beautiful keepsakes, lovely additions to any baby shower gifts, and sure to delight baby this fall and well into adulthood. View the new rattles, as well as entire collection of baby rattles at Estella!
Photographer: Luciana Golcman
Tags Baby Rattles, Soft Baby Toys
Category Baby Rattles, Soft Baby Toys
Just In :
By Estella Editor - POSTED Jun 24, 2014
Just in – new keepsake designer baby gifts from Salisbury, Lotus Springs, Boramiri, and more! These luxury pieces include classic gifts like sterling silver baby rattles, spoons, cups, baby blankets, & hand-made dolls, and are beautiful on their own or when paired with our selection of baby clothes. They make perfect baby shower gifts for discerning parents and are sure to please babies now and through adulthood. Visit Estella now to shop our baby keepsakes boutique.
Tags Baby Gifts, Baby Rattles
Category Baby Gifts, Baby Rattles
Sale Alert :
By Estella Editor - POSTED Jun 8, 2014
Our knit baby rattles and superhero dolls will be on Gilt.com tonight, beginning at 9pm and ending June 11th! This sale will include our hand-knit collection of soft superhero dolls and baby rattles… Check it out!
Tags Baby Rattles, Estella Hand-Knit Rattles & Toys, Sale, Soft Baby Toys
Category Baby Rattles, Estella Hand-Knit Rattles & Toys, Sale, Soft Baby Toys