Welcome Andrea, we are so happy to have you! Please tell our fans a little more about yourself and what you specialize in.
Thank you so much, I am so happy to be on here and share my work with you all and tell you a little about myself; even though I never know what to say about myself. I am 34 and am a mom to 4 wonderful children, yes you heard me correctly 4 kids!! My children are my world Mason (8), Madyson (8), Myleigh(3) and Mia (3months). They are amazing and beautiful and make my life crazy but I love it. I have been married to my husband Steve for 10 years and I am so lucky to have a guy in my life that is so supportive of my career. He is so good at helping out with the kids while I am stuck in the studio or in front of my computer editing and ordering.
I started my journey into photography after my daughter Myleigh was born and it was not something that I planned or even gave much thought to before I did it. But I picked up my first DSLR in May of 2010 with the determination to learn all I could, and am still always looking on ways to improve or learn more. I have always loved getting my children’s pictures taken and have always loved taking them so when I started learning how to take great images of my children I was in love. At the time I was a respiratory therapist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital where I worked mostly in the ICU’s and ER trauma room. I loved my job and all the wonderful people I met but it was hard to see all I had to see and then not bring the pain home with me. So in September of 2011, I quit my job and started photography full time; it was the best decision I ever made. I now make my own schedule and work mostly out of my home studio using studio lights. I photograph everything but weddings right now. One day I would like to specialize in just newborns and babies first year.
So, tell us, what’s in your bag?
In my camera bag you will find Nikon D700 x2 (because you should always have a back-up), 50mm 1.4, 35mm 1.4, 105mm, 70-
200mm. My new love is my 35mm. I was so hesitant on buying it because of the $$$$ but am so glad that I took the plunge and got it. I love how close I can be to my littlest subjects and because I love doing images from above, I love that I don’t have to stand on anything to get my shot. If you don’t have a 35mm you should definitely go get one, especially if you shoot babies.
How did you find yourself picking newborn work?
How did I choose newborns? Well I kinda feel like newborns chose me. I have always, always, always loved newborns and babies. I was that kid that took my baby doll everywhere with me as a child and as a teenager I was always babysitting. When asked what I wanted to be as a kid, my response was always the same, a mom. I have always been so comfortable around newborns and I think that is half the battle when it comes to newborn photography. I always get giddy when I book a newborn session. I love every minute of preparing for and doing these type of sessions. These are the sessions that I feel like I am the best at and make me the happiest to do, so that is why I lean towards newborns as my “specialty”.
If you could name one tip for photographers new to the newborn world, what would it be?
Oh wow this is a hard one, there are so many tips for a new newborn photographer that I could give.
1) There is safety, please be safe in every pose and set up. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from the parents in order to keep the baby safe and don’t try a pose or set up you aren’t sure of. 2) Then composites…..learn them, they will be your best friend! 3) Newborn workshops or mentoring….do one, it is best to see first hand how these poses and sets are done safely. 4) Patience, you will need a lot of it and this is what will get you the shots you want and the respect of the parents. 5) And this is my final tip, Respect. These little babies are people and they need to be respected too.
Are you self-taught and if so, what workshops have you attended?
Yes and No. I have not gone to school for photography but I have learned a lot from many photographers, forums, and videos. I have also attended a couple of workshops, some for newborns and some just for photography. I have gone to Megan Squires Mentor Me,
baby 1:1 workshop and 2 of Julie Paisley’s workshops. I am also doing a newborn workshop with Kristen Mackey of Son Kissed Photography in April that I will be hosting. I love workshops and meeting other photographers.
You rocked 2012! Exactly how many clients did you have? And do you remember what your boy/girl/multiple count was?
I did have a great year, I am so happy and feel so blessed to be doing so well, my second year in business. I photographed 81 newborns in 2012! Out of those 81 babies I had 40 girls, 41 boys and 3 sets twins.
Who is your favorite newborn prop vendor?
Well I absolutely LOVE Baby Bliss Photography Props, she is the best. Her hats, headbands and wraps are very affordable and they fit newborns perfect. She is great with custom orders and has a quick turnaround. I also love Roses and Ruffles for blankets and material for my beanbag, and if you sign up to get her emails you will be notified when different ones are on sale. And finally I also use Sew Whimsey, her headbands are great. I obviously use many more vendors too, but these are my three favorites.