My decision to venture into newborn photography was the easiest decision of my life. Training to become a newborn photographer, is a completely different and rewarding journey.
As a mum to many children, I had seen beautiful newborn images being showed around. Seriously how hard could it possibly be. Buy a good DSLR camera and “BAM” Perfect quality photos of my own. “Ummm No”
As a newborn photographer, I completely underestimated how much I needed to learn. There was so much I needed to know about producing high quality images for my clients. Unlike other photography businesses, Newborn photography required an extensive amount more equipment, props and training.
I started with an online training class which taught me the basics of my camera. Now anyone who knows me, Knows that I am a complete control freak. Working my camera was great, but I wanted to completely understand how manual worked. I wanted to completely control the environment and the image I was capturing in camera.
The next stage was to master the advanced photographers class, and focus on control and lighting. This took months of work, with endless submissions and a very supportive partner. I believe at one stage, Ash had lay down on the floor of a wet rock bed, so I could capture a waterfall in slow motion. I used him as my tripod to keep my arm still. Lilly my oldest daughter, had a great time tipping red food dye into a wine glass, so I could capturing it in slow motion. Let’s not even mention the sparklers in the house with 7 kids running around. It became a family commitment, and everyone knew how important it was to me.
Right! Now I have mastered that, whats next?
Newborn safety, and posing a baby the right way. Learning how to move and adjust a newborn into poses without injuring them or hurting them. Online classes and hours of study led me to following some amazing photographers in the child and newborn genre. Anyone can plop a baby down and take a photo. Training is about learning when you see a photo and fall in love with it, but you don’t know why. My job it to know why you love it. The lighting on the face and types of lighting to use, angles on the camera, and how to make the babies face the most prominent part of the photo. Getting tiny little fingers to uncurl, and placed correctly so babies look comfortable in their photos. How to pose a new mother and her baby, so all you see is connection and love. I could go on for hours on all the mistakes you make when you first start, and I will stand by the fact that you will forever be learning. There is so much to learn and try, as long as you know the basic fundamentals. Newborn Photography has opened up a world for creativity. Combining my two favourite things in the world, kids and Art. I can capture the magic of my children and beautiful images for the parents that come to visit me.
As with all new businesses, equipment and start up costs add up quickly. I grew out of my first camera in 6mths, frustrated with the limitations I invested for the future. I setup a home studio, Ash was my biggest support through this business endeavour. I remember I woke up one morning after this awesome dream “Ash, I’m going into business, and I’m calling myself Kirative Images”. His reaction was this stunned look on his face, like he had just received the most expensive bill in his life. So smiling at me, he said “OK, Go for it”. Little did he know I would spend the next 6mths annoying him and my sister for a website, I had no idea how to build.
Setting up the studio was the fun bit, buying new props from all over the world. I learnt how to combine colours and textures and define my style through my images. I fell in love with natural wood props and soft neutral colours. I also have a love for elaborate setups and started doing composite images with digital backdrops. This is the art of combining multiple images and layering or blending them into one image. Starting to use photoshop in the beginning, I almost threw my computer at the wall. This was hands down the hardest part in my photography journey, and now I couldn’t live without it.
For anyone wanting to venture into the world of newborn photography, I will leave you with this advice. Firstly learn your camera in full manual mode. Study, Study, Study your education is the most important thing you will do for your business. Starting up any new business is expensive, invest in your education and stay true to your style. Copy photographers, save images you love and practice images and poses until you can do them blindfolded. Find the one thing you can offer your clients, that nobody in your area is providing. Stop comparing yourself to other photographers, and enjoy yourself.
Never Stop Growing.