At the time I originally decided to start studying photography, it was right after my son was born. My husband bought me my first real camera, which was a huge jump from my point and shoot cameras I have always had. He knew I needed a creative outlet that was outside of my then often stressful job. I started taking pictures of Teddy as often as possible. I had no idea what I was doing, there was very little newborn education at that time and I had zero clue how to shoot in manual mode. I searched the internet, and found a blog by Clickin’ Moms and read everything that I could. Facebook groups were few and far between so photography just sort of became a hobby between Teddy and me.
3 years later, my daughter Maddie was born and again I just wanted to capture everything I could while she was still so tiny. I knew she was going to be my last baby and I just wanted to saver every second of our time together while I was on maternity leave. My husband again, bought me an even better camera, my amazing beginner Rebel by Canon. This camera was so perfect for me, I felt like I was a professional! I was even able to purchase a beginner lens, what we like to call the Nifty Fifty in the photography world. It was inexpensive but it got the job done! I was just sure it was going to come natural to me; I was always able to pick up anything non athletic super fast after all. I clicked and clicked to my hearts content. My cousin worked as a VP for Adobe at the time so I was able to get a really great deal on Lightroom. I uploaded my images and to me they looked just fine…! I printed them trough (gasp) Shutterfly and they looked terrible! I couldn’t figure out why. I was still shooting in auto…manual was not on my radar, why would it, the camera is smarter than me, right?! While online one evening a suggested group on Facebook came up called Bokeh Belles. I requested to join and quickly found out the group was only women photographers from the UK and Australia. I started scrolling through and oh my eyes, the work in there was just breath taking. I couldn’t believe that so many talented women were friends and all in one place. For several weeks I just scrolled in admiration. By that time, Maddie was 4 months old and I uploaded an image of Teddy with my super awesome Nifty Fifty thinking I was on par with the other ladies. The first comment I received was from my now mentor who clearly felt bad for me, as she said Teddy looked so green in the image she thought he was an alien since his eyes were so out of focus! I was shocked and a bit hurt. I sat on it a day and looked at the image and compared it to a few other photographers images and realized she was right. His skin had a really bad green color cast and I shot so wide open and missed focus his nose was the only thing in focus. For me, that was it. I needed to read, and ask as many questions as I could. I begin engaging in the group as the ONLY American for a long time. Over time, my work slightly improved albeit, I still missed focus often. I reached out to a few ladies and began doing Zoom training. I found a photographer in California that did in person hands on newborn training! I couldn’t believe it!
When I met Ana Brandt, she was so well known in the photography world that she really was like a celebrity (she photographs celebrities often!). After that training and a few more online training opportunities I began working with babies on my own. I was so nervous, they are parents most precious gift. Luckily over time, I became more and more comfortable with newborns and my images begin to improve as well.
I so often talk about and share my Fine Art work, but my business began with newborn photography I do not have it in me to give it up. The sessions can sometimes be hard but in the end I absolutely love photographing them. Each baby is different in their own way, and getting baby snuggles in is always such a joy for me. Watching new parents see their images during their viewing session is always emotional for us both! Babies change so quickly and the time is so fleeting, I’m so happy to have this as a career. Photography is such a huge part of who I am, I am eternally grateful that I will always be a small part of these families lives.