Tell us a little about yourself/your business (how long have you been in business, where are you located, any special awards or features?)
I have been in business since 2010. From the beginning I knew that I loved studio and newborn photography. Before opening my business, I decided to educate myself in every way possible and dive head first into newborn photography, and I have never turned back. There is something so special about the pure essence of a newborn. I feel it is the most amazing time in a mother's life, and I am honored to be able to capture and share such a special moment in time.
I am located in the small desert town of St George, Utah. Operating a photography business in such a small town can be a little difficult, and at first, I thought there was no way I would be able to specialize and have enough clients. Luckily, I was able to prove myself wrong. I have a background in Interior Design and I have been able to put my education in interior design to use, and offer a unique studio photography experience like no other photographers in my area. By doing so, I've been able set myself apart and grow my business into just what I dreamed it would be. I always stay true to myself and what I love, and in the end, I have found that people appreciate that I am true to my style.
What are you most known for?
I am known for creating, simple newborn photos using all white and natural light. My style is a mix between organic minimalistic, and posed newborn photography. I love to keep things organic, but the girl in my always loves to add a classic, small glamorous touch to my images. For me, it is about the newborn and their little details, but I do feel that just the right touch of a cute little wrap or headband here or there really defines my style. I am known for bright, airy images and capturing the essence of motherhood.
How long have you been mentoring?
I have been mentoring for just over 2 years now. I started teaching by just offering 1-on-1 mentoring in my studio, and have since expanded to teaching via the videos and a workbook included in my workshop in a box. It's been great to have the opportunity to teach people from all over the world via my workshop in a box. The outreach has been amazing and it's been remarkable to see how much my students have learned and improved after taking my course.
What all is including in your mentoring and what kind of experience do your students receive?
My Workshop in a Box mentoring includes 14+ videos that cover all aspects of studio photography. In addition to the videos, it includes a 20 page guide that gives specifics and follows through the video material so my students can better understand and later refer to what I teach. The course covers all aspects of what I do from business, client prep, studio setups, both natural and strobe lighting, specific camera settings, shooting backlit, posing, angles, how to create artistic images, macro photography, editing, and much much more. It is a full workshop and I feel it is very thorough. It mostly covers newborn and mom + baby photography, but the techniques apply to all aspects of studio photography. What I do on a day to day basis is very consistent, and I feel that my workshop helps my students simplify their business and learn how to create stunning galleries with less stress, and more free environment.
At what point did you go from seeing yourself as someone who enjoys taking photos as a hobby to seeing yourself as a photographer?
When I bought my first DSLR I had no intention on being a photographer. I was an Interior Designer and that is what I loved. It didn't take long for me to become extremely consumed, or should I say obsessed with the art of photography. I have always loved creating and designing, and I feel that photography is the perfect outlet for me to express my creative side.
After about a year of shooting, I realized that people saw something unique in my photos. Once I decided I wanted the move from a hobby photography to a professional photographer, I knew I wanted to make working with me a professional experience. I started out with a business plan in a place, and then opened my doors in 2010.
What is your learning objective for your students?
My goal is for my students to lose the fuss and find the joy in the pure essence of newborn photography. When I first started photography, I would spend hours lusting over all the beautiful props and outfits and felt I would never be significant unless I spent all of my profit on props and accessories. At the end of the day, I knew I couldn't operate a business losing money, and I became overwhelmed by everything. In the last couple of years, I have completely changed the way I shoot and stopped worrying about needing the latest and greatest props. I now shoot to capture the pure essence of the baby. I look for those things the new mother wants to remember and aim to capture that. I want my students to learn how to keep it simple, artistic, and still create a great gallery with a lot of variety. I like my photography to be fresh and free. I love shooting natural light because I feel it gives me that simplicity I love. I want my students to learn how to use a white blanket, 1 simple wrap, and use angles, lighting, and thinking outside the box to capture something unique. I also aim to teach simplified editing in addition to the carefree shooting skills I teach.
Do you offer in person or online mentoring or both? Both.
Tell us about your gear and your one must-have lens. I have a Nikon D750, 35mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4, and 100mm 2.8 macro and I use all 3 in most sessions. My favorite must have lens is my 35mm 1.4.
Who in the industry do you look up to and why?
Kristen Cook. Her use of shadows and angles is remarkable. I love that she shoots with natural light and the drama she adds to her photos. I also love the feeling her images evoke and the simplicity of her setups.
What do you do when you feel unmotivated or uninspired?
I love education and watching the ways other work. The best part about photography is that it is subjective and there isn't a right or a wrong way to do something. If I am feeling unmotivated, I take an online course or go shoot with someone I admire. I also feel having a friend or two that you trust is another great way to lift each other up, inspire each other, and keep motivated.
What do you think is the most challenging part about being a photographer in today's industry, and what do you do to overcome those challenges?
I think that lack of education and business knowledge is one of the biggest challenges in this industry. It can be very hard competing with photographers who are under trained, under priced, and under equipment. I think education needs to become more of a priority along with business training. I feel that you can be an outstanding photographer, but without the right business skills, it's merely impossible to make a profit and keep your business open.
What is your personal measure of success as a photographer?
Seeing the joy of my clients faces when they see their images.
What do you look for in your locations when seeking the "perfect" spot for your sessions?
I primarily shoot in studio. If I do go outside, I've simplified the process by offering 6-8 of my favorite locations along with style guides for those locations. I let my clients choose between those. For me the perfect spot is something with incredible light and open spaces so my clients can move around.
What do you believe is the best marketing tool for photographers to attract their ideal client?
Instagram for sure. And don't be afraid to only show the work that reflects what you want to be shooting.
If you could go back and give yourself advice from when you first started, what would you say?
Learn to know your limits, value your time and your family, and say no when needed. Shoot for the style you love, not what you think your clients expect. Be true to yourself and the rest will follow.
What is your guilty pleasure? Shopping!
What do you like to listen to while you edit? Jasmine Thompson
What always makes you laugh? Girls nights out!
What always makes you cry? If I am overtired or overworked
Least favorite food? Asian food...thanks to horrible pregnancies :)