Maxine and Shellaine have both been students in my classroom and I couldn't be more proud of where they are now!
They do gorgeous work with newborns and are even teaching. They're both moms and have not only the photography skills, but the life skills to do this kind of photography. Keep reading for some tips they have on getting into newborn photography.
- It's not all about the props
- Lets get that out of the way first and foremost. When you are first starting out, save your money, it is more important to invest in yourself.
Elaborate props and accessories cannot create a beautiful image if you do not have the ability to create a proper exposure, lighting, and composition. Which brings us to the next point.
- Know your camera, and what it can do for you
- Getting off of automatic, and learning the ropes of manual exposure will rock your photographic world.
You do not need a crazy expensive camera to start out.
Settle for an entry-level DSLR, and opt for a few lenses instead. This will give you more versatility to accomplish an array of compositions.
- Ensure the safety of your newborn subject
- Newborn photography is unique in that you will be completely posing your subjects.
This is a double-edged sword. It works for the experts, as they have had countless times to practice and therefore are established in exactly how to properly pose their little subjects, for both safety and aesthetic composition. But – they have been properly educated in how to do this, safety being the most important component.
There is nothing more essential to your session than insuring the safety of your newborn client. Which is why we suggest the next few points.
- Take a workshop
- A workshop in newborn photography or mentorship that is specific to newborn photography.
Please research, take a course, or mentor with an established newborn photographer, so that you will learn how to properly work with your precious little subjects.
While many workshops will teach you to safely pose and soothe baby, a good workshop should teach you so much more. Like what? Well, there is a lot more to a newborn session than simply posing and photographing.
Experts can really help you get a good start at learning all the steps to take in running your newborn photography business as well.
- Cover Your Butt
- Cross your T's and dot your I's. Don't photograph a single person without proper insurance to protect all parties involved.
Ensure you have the right equipment, a clean and safe work environment, and a contract for your client to sign that spells out what each party will receive (even for portfolio building sessions).
- Find your own style
- The photography market has increasingly become super saturated and you need to set yourself apart from your competition.
What is it that you can provide for your clients to make them want to hire you, as opposed to the next photographer?
- Provide something that is exclusive to your business.
- Create a unique look or experience.
You want your art to speak to your target clientele.
- Be prepared for the costs involved
- Can you make a profit as a newborn photographer? Do you want to do this as a hobby, or use it to supplement your existing income?
Quitting your 9-5 job is a big decision, and to be quite frank, it is difficult to turn a profit right away in this industry.
There are a lot of startup costs that are not considered prior to starting.
It is not only a camera and couple lenses that you will need to set up your business:
- studio costs
- software programs
- marketing and advertisements
These things all add up very quickly, so be prepared to spend what you make and more for the first little while.
Do your research, and be prepared to really work hard on this entrepreneurial journey.
- Sweat Equity
- This is your business; you get out what you put in.
I may be beating a dead horse here, but again in this industry, you really need to work your tail off to become successful. You can be an amazing photographer, but if you don't have the skills and drive to market yourself, your work will go unnoticed.
- In this digital world, there is so much we can do with a raw photograph and good editing programs. This is another avenue that you can use to really create your own style.
Have fun, be creative, be you, but remember to be consistent.
Your clients will want to hire you based on your work that they have seen, so remember to produce something similar (unless you educate them before hand that you want to try something new).
- Have a great time
- Enjoy these little miracles, embrace the fact that you are running your own business, creating your own hours, and working for yourself.
Maxine began her journey into photography in 2010, shortly after having her third son. Mostly self-taught in photo-graphics, Maxine combined her previous visual designer and retail management skills and opened her own photography business. She constantly strives to always improve her talent, and when she doesn't know how to do a task, her determination drives her to figure it out on her own.
Shellaine decided to not go back to teaching Elementary Education after having her second child, and instead go back to school. In November 2012 she began the diploma program at The Burwell School of Photography. Unsure of which direction to go in photography, she attended various workshops with well established photographers, and found a love for newborn photography.
It was at a newborn workshop that Maxine and Shellaine met, decided to do a shoot together, and then merge businesses, creating Maxine and Shellaine the Essence of Newborn Art.
Their love for photography, babies, and business are an integral part of their success.