Located in New Bedford, Massachusetts US
“Take as many courses as you can. Try to get some hands on experience with in person classes and workshops. Make sure you have your EIN number and insurance and put safety health above everything else.”
Tell us about yourself. What do you love doing in your spare time? What inspired you to newborn photography and do you photograph other genre’s in your business?
Like a lot of other newborn photographers, my oldest daughter was my inspiration to get into newborn photography. I’ve always loved photography since I was little, but once I held my precious baby in my arms, I knew I had to take classes so I could take gorgeous photos of her. At first, I believed it was just a hobby. But I fell in love with capturing the special time in a family’s life and I went on and took more courses, applied for my EIN number, bought insurance and became a thriving photography studio. Besides newborns, I also do maternity, birth, babies, toddlers, children and families.
How would you describe your photography style? What inspires your work?
My work is very fun and whimsical. While, I also include simple setups/photos in all of my sessions, I also have a couple of fun setups as well. I like people seeing my work and giggling with joy at the cuteness of the setup. love including setups that mean something to each family – whether it’s dad’s favorite sport team, mom’s favorite movie, etc. The families I work with inspire me. I customize every session – I sit down with each family for a consultation beforehand and we plan it out. I get really excited when they tell me things they love – it challenges me to come up with adorable setups. Then at their ordering sessions, when they cry at the work I’ve shown them, it warms my heart and keeps the spark going.
Who has inspried you and how did you first come across their work?
Anne Geddes was my first inspiration. I just remember seeing her books and calendars back in the 90’s and falling in love. I loved the whimsy and fun that all of her photos represented. Then I found Kelly Brown and Ana Brandt. They are my inspirations for having a great workflow, learning to safely pose newborns (I took 2 in person workshops with Ana Brandt and did several online classes with Kelly Brown) and creating gorgeous works of art.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting a newborn photography business?
Don’t expect to be perfect over night. Just like everything else in life, it takes practice. Take as many courses as you can. Try to get some hands on experience with in person classes and workshops. Make sure you have your EIN number and insurance and put safety health above everything else. Don’t rush anything. When you first start out, you’re not going to be able to do a “froggy”. That’s ok. Concentrate on the simple poses. With practice and perseverance you will get there! Don’t give up! Also, don’t compare yourself to others. Only compare yourself and compete with yourself.
What camera do you use? What are your favourite lenses and what’s typically in your camera bag?
I shoot with a Nikon D750. My favorite indoor lenses are my Sigma Art 35 mm 1.4, my Nikkor 50 mm 1.8 and my Nikkor 105mm 2.8 macro. When I’m shooting outdoors, my Nikkor 70-200 mm 2.8 and my Nikkor 85 mm 1.4 are my favorites. In my bag, I always have an extra SD card and an extra charge battery.
What is your favorite place to hold sessions and why?Where do you photograph most of your sessions? (in studio? on location?)
The majority of my sessions are held in my 950 square feet studio. I find for newborns, it’s the best place as parents get to relax on my couches, enjoy coffee, tea, water, snacks that I provide and I can control the temperature in the room, the lighting, etc. In the summertime, I do a lot of family sessions and maternity outdoors. I enjoy those as well. I love doing them during golden hour and getting the gorgeous warm lighting.
What (if any) photography training, mentoring or workshops have you taken?
I have taken 2 in person workshops with with Ana Brandt, I’ve also done two 1:1 mentoring with a local newborn photographer. In addition I’ve taken online workshops and purchased online videos with Kelly Brown and Meg Bitton.
Tell us about starting your business, and what played a key role in developing a profitable income.
I officially started my business in 2011. From 2011 until 2014, I wasn’t seeing much money at all. I was a shoot and burn photographer at that point. However, in 2014, I started doing IPS and it was a huge game changer for me. I started offering gorgeous and unique products and offering a full service – meeting ahead of time for a consultation to plan out the sessions, then after the sessions having an in person ordering session to help the families choose the best photos and the best products for their needs. As soon as I switched to the IPS business model, my profits soared. Though, it’s more work to do consultation, in person sales, placing products orders, etc. as oppose to just sending them a gallery, it has made a tremendous difference in my profits and has also helped to set me apart for the majority of photographers around me.
Growing pains: tell us about some of your challenges you have faced in your business, and how you overcame them.
I’m a bit of a “propoholic”. So I struggle with storage of all of my props. I finally turned my spare bedroom at my house into a storage room for my off season props and that has helped a lot.
Finding time to balance work and my family has also been a challenge. While it’s still an ongoing challenge at times, I’ve hired assistants to help alleviate the load.
One of my biggest challenges was when I made the switch from shoot and burn to IPS. I lost a lot of clients and it was devastating to me. But then I started gaining new clients that appreciated my dedication to my work, the personalization and the high quality products I offer. All it took was patience and working on reaching my ideal client and realizing that not everyone is my ideal client.
What should clients expect when working with you?
I customize everything so my sessions are just what my clients are dreaming of. I meet with each client in person to discuss everything from their hobbies, their work, their favorite colors, and the colors of the walls in their home so that the photos I create are just what they have envisioned or even better. I have a very relaxed atmosphere and a fully stocked studio so clients just need to bring me their adorable babies and food. I supply everything else. Parents can watch as I do a adorable poses with their babies, or they can relax and nap on my couches. My aim is to make everyone 100% happy with their experience and their photos.