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?
I am married to the love of my life, Jeremey, and together we run Amanda Puskar Photography. He is my assistant and toy squeaker extraordinaire. We have 3 children, 13,11 and 11 and 10 dogs. Our business is so busy that we don’t often get much free time, however, when we do we like to travel (Disney fanatics) and spend time at home with our family. I started newborn photography on accident really. I had a friend who was expecting her 2nd baby and she allowed me to capture her maternity session as practice. I was just starting out the maternity side of my business so I needed all the practice I could get. Once baby arrived, she asked me to shoot her newborn session. So I packed everything I had and bought and took it to her house. Looking back on those images 5 years ago… whoa! Boy have I grown! But that is what you are supposed to do. Once I shot that session, I knew I wanted to continue in newborn photography.
How would you describe your photography style? What inspires your work?
I hate to use the words light and airy… but really, that is what it is to me. I like the light, pastel colors, the brightness, the softness. I don’t do much of super dark colors. I love cute little animal hats and tutus, and fancy headbands. I love to add in a little dash of color on a neutral palette. I spend time on Pinterest and I also love Etsy. Both places I find inspiration.
Who has inspried you and how did you first come across their work?
I love Maxine Evans. I came across her work on Facebook. She lives clear across the country from me and I have talked to her several times. She has a very clean and classic style. Her positioning is always perfect. I love that she uses hats and headbands too.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting a newborn photography business?
Education. Education. Education. It isn’t as easy as putting baby on their tummy and taking pictures. You must be safe at all times. When a parent brings a brand new baby to you their expect that you will protect that baby from harm. You must learn and educate yourself on newborns, newborn safety etc.
What camera do you use? What are your favourite lenses and what’s typically in your camera bag?
I shoot with the Nikon D810. I upgraded from the D800 last year. My favorite lens would have to be my 24-120mm f4. I find that during a newborn session, I can easily get up-close shots as well as wide angle shots all with out having to change my lenses. I also have a 35mm f1.8, a 50mm f1.8 and a lens baby spark.
What is your favorite place to hold sessions and why?Where do you photograph most of your sessions? (in studio? on location?)
All of my newborn sessions are shot in our studio. We have a controlled environment where we can control the temperature, the noise etc. We have everything we need right there for those sessions. Our first priority is newborn safety and in our studio, we are providing a safe place for baby by having everything controlled.
What (if any) photography training, mentoring or workshops have you taken?
I have taken the Milkway Newborn Retreat for 2 years, along with the maternity retreat as well.
Tell us about starting your business, and what played a key role in developing a profitable income.
I quit my full time job to take the leap of faith that this would happen. My husband worked full time still so we could only shoot newborns on the weekends. That really limited our business because people really only wanted Saturdays, not Sundays. So the business could not grow like I had hoped. So in 2015 we made the decision to do the business full time. My husband quit his job and we jumped in with both feet. That first week home, we shot a newborn every day that week. 6 Months after taking that leap, we expanded our home of 150 sq ft to studio to a commercial studio that is 1000 sq ft.
Growing pains: tell us about some of your challenges you have faced in your business, and how you overcame them.
I think the biggest challenge that we face is finding your target market. I believe now, after being in business for almost 6 years, we have found that market. Getting there was rough. Pricing also goes hand in hand with that too I think. It was a lot of trial and error really. Finding what worked for my business and my clients.
What should clients expect when working with you?
When you book a newborn session with our studio, I send out our consultation information. Each baby that comes in the studio, I consider my own. We take care of all the changing, cleaning, and feeding (unless baby is breastfed). We incorporate items that parents bring in to make their session that much more special. Our studio has 2 shooting rooms for newborn sessions. One room is where we shoot all of our prop sets and family shots and then we go into a smaller, much warmer room, that we shoot all of baby’s naked images in. We have a comfy couch for parents, who often nod off, along with refreshments and wifi. Your baby is taken care of by us so that you can sit back and relax. You are never far away tho! Mom and dad are always in the same room with us shooting.