Located in McMurray, Pennsylvania US

Name: Kristin Merck

Representing: Kristin Merck Photography

# of Years Experience: 8

This is an older image, but still one of my favorites. We waited out the sun for this shot and anyone watching would laugh at me laying on the ground to get it.

Be open to learning new ways to do things, whether posing, lighting, editing or anything!

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?

In my spare time I love spending my time with my husband, 2 kids and our dog. My kids are involved in a bunch of activities and I love capturing those. I started playing tennis a couple years ago and I love it, I also do some kickboxing which helps relieve any stress I have haha! I started photography after I had my daughter and was laid off from my career as an architect. I was taking her photos and my son as well and, with the extra time suddenly on my hands, I really needed a creative outlet so decided to give this a try. I quickly turned my hobby into a new profession and have loved it! I also photograph maternity and older kids and I dabble in architectural and business portraits to mix things up.

How would you describe your photography style? What inspires your work?

Lately I am obsessed with trying out different lighting, styling and posing. My style has been pretty simple, clean and straightforward, however I started getting a bit bored shooting the same way so I started trying out more of a fine art approach to some of my images and more dramatic lighting in others. It has been great to mix it up and I feel re-energized and excited again. I love finding new photographers from many different genres and styles on Instagram. I save images that I find inspiring to a folder on my phone and then I can reference it or take elements from them to incorporate into my own work.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting a newborn photography business?

There are three things (well many but these are top) I wish I had heard when I was starting out. First, be humble. You may think you know how to do things, but listen to your mentors and you will learn so much more! Second, be open to learning new ways to do things, whether posing, lighting, editing or anything! Third, be excited! You will learn so much more when you find something that really excites you. And remember you never stop learning.

What is your favorite place to hold sessions and why?Where do you photograph most of your sessions? (in studio? on location?)

I have always had a studio that has an outdoor area to take photos as well, so I am able to offer sessions with both in-studio and outdoor photos! I moved into a new studio about 8 months ago and it sits on a golf course which has some really stunning spots. It is especially fun for maternity sessions to do some more artistic shots inside and then get outside for some beautiful golden hour shots as well.

What (if any) photography training, mentoring or workshops have you taken?

I have been so lucky to mentor with some amazing photographers. I have done workshops with Ana Brandt (maternity/newborn), John Gress (lighting), Thom Rouse (Creative Photoshop), as well as quite a bit of mentoring with Julia Kelleher (who is just so generous sharing her knowledge, so sweet and super talented). I have other “mentors” and fellow photographers, both local and national, who I have met through PPA. I think it is so important to surround yourself with people of many different talents and specialties, not just newborn/child photographers. Inspiration and education come from places you may least expect it.

What should clients expect when working with you?

I do my best to give all of my clients a full-service experience. I get to know from the start what their goals are, their style, and any specific poses/props/etc they may have in mind. We meet in person before the session (if possible) to go further in depth getting to know each other and also styling their family. For the session, I have everything they might need in my studio, from diapers and wipes to breakfast and coffee to toys for older siblings. Mom gets pampered with hair and make up and the whole session is very relaxed. Afterwards, I custom design either wall art arrangements or an album for them. I try to make everything as stress-free as possible 🙂

This was this client's 2nd baby with me, and having done a few sessions with her before I felt comfortable trying out some new things with the backdrop and lighting. It helps that she's gorgeous but this is one of my favorites!

This has become one of my all time favorite images, she looks like a doll! I was trying out new props, posing and lighting, so I was thrilled that it came out just as I had imagined.

This little guy came from a huge baseball family and so they requested to incorporate baseball somehow. I had just purchased a bunch of vintage gear for another project so I was thrilled to be able to use it here too!

These babies are number 4 and 5 (all 6 and under!). I love how twins just want to be near each other and these two were so sweet.

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