With over 50,000 fans, followers, and admirers - Keri Meyers is easily one of the industries most loved Newborn Photographers. Keri is a photographer to celebrities, having worked with Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green, Donald Trump Jr, Ian Ziering, Simon Helberg and others - and a is mentor and inspiration to thousands!
Enjoy this special Q&A with Keri and join me in welcoming her as our November mentor, to our Monthly Mentor Series!
Hi Keri, thanks so much for offering to be our Monthly Mentor for November, inside NewbornPhotography.com! Its an honor to have you, as a part of our group and we are all excited to learn from your experience and gain insight from your knowledge!
Q- When did you start photographing newborns? And why did you choose this field?
A- It all really started back in 2007 in between the births of my two sons (14 months apart). I have always had a love and eye for photography. Before having children I loved photographing landscapes and nature. After the birth of my first son in October 2007 my passion really shifted to children. Go figure. After photographing several local children and families I decided to start my business officially in the October 2008, just before my second son was born in December.
When I first started out I tried everything from babies, to seniors, to families and weddings. I quickly realized that weddings were NOT my thing. After photographing several newborns I knew I had found my niche. I absolutely love, love, love photographing newborns. I love the creativity it allows me with each session. I enjoy matching blankets and hats and finding new props. I love meeting new parents and hearing their stories about welcoming their new little family members into the world. After each session I am so excited to start editing the photos from that day. Newborns are a gift and it is such a pleasure to be able to document those first few days of life for my families.
Q- Describe your personal 'style' to us.
A- I consider my style to be classic and clean. I try to limit my prop usage to props that will not distract from my little clients. I generally like to keep color use toned down and limit my colors to 2-3 different colors per session. I want my clients to look back on their portraits several years down the road and fall in love with them all over again.
Q- Do you use natural light, or studio light? Do you prefer one over the other and why?
A- Up until November of 2012 I was natural light only. Now, I use studio light for my newborn work and I love it! I was always intimidate by studio light because I didn't know what to get or what to do. I finally decided to dive in and make myself learn it. I'm so glad I did because studio light is so easy and best of all, CONSISTENT! Having consistent colors makes editing a breeze. I love natural light, but using studio light really helps me to streamline my workflow and get consistent results every time.
Q- What's in your bag? (What camera and equipment do you use)
A- I shoot with the Nikon D700, Nikkor 50mm 1.4, Nikkor 35mm 1.4 and Nikkor 60mm 2.8 macro. I have a few other lenses, but those are the three I shoot with ALL the time.
Q- Can you share with use, some images of your studio and set up?
You bet! Forgive the terrible iPhone pic of my studio light set up. I don't have any quality images of the set up yet. The image on the right is my set up with natural light. I position everything the same with studio - I just cover my windows and put my umbrella right in front of my window and treat it like I would window light.
Q- What is your favorite pose, and why? What image do you tend to sell the most of?
A- I love, love, love the tushie up pose and wrapped shots. I do those with every session and they are a client favorite. I am drawn to the simpler, classic newborn poses. I would say clients typically love the tushie-up pose, the head in hands pose, anything with fingers resting on face and of course, those smiles... if you catch a smile it doesn't matter what baby is doing - they are going to want it.
Q- What is your biggest challenge as a Newborn Photographer, and how do you strive to overcome it?
A- I would say my biggest challenge is and will always be balance. Balancing family and work is a juggling act. My best advice is don’t be afraid to say no. Sometimes you just have to. I know it’s hard to turn a potential client away, but don’t overwork yourself. We do this because we love it and we are passionate about our art. You don’t want the quality of your art to suffer because you are overworked and stressed about getting a gallery finished for your client.
In the last few months I have really tried to set hours for myself and to stick to those hours, my husband helps me with that. I am learning to step away from the computer and get back to e-mails during “business hours”. As a customer I know how important it is to get immediate feedback. But, as a mom and wife my family has to be my number one priority – those e-mails will have to wait. I think most clients and customers can understand that.
In terms of Newborn Photography, it can be a challenge to keep things interesting. Sometimes I feel like I am doing the same old thing. I think consistency and style is important, so I try to change things up with the different and new props. Remember, your clients hired you for your style and to them what they receive is NEW and EXCITING! Another way, I try to keep inspired is to mix up my sessions - schedule a 6 month, one year or family session in between every couple newborn sessions.
Q- What advice would you give to other newborn photographers, just starting out?
A- My best advice is to find your style and what reflects you as an artist. Develop that passion and your style. Most importantly, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Don’t get discouraged if you’ve made a few mistakes along the way or have a string of challenging babies - it gets easier with practice. I have become the photographer I am today because of the silly mistakes I made and constant work to perfect my craft. Finally, find a support system - it's so helpful to have a group of peers you can share stories with and vent to after a challenging session. That's why I LOVE NewbornPhotography.com!
Q- What are some of your favourite prop vendors?
A- Oh Dear! How much time do you have? There are so many wonderful prop vendors available to us it can be overwhelming at times. My personal favorites are JoCo Couture, Lilian.Grace, Trinket & Pixie, Devoted Knits, Darling Baby & Fancy Fabric just to name a few! I have to give props to all of the prop vendors - you ladies continually amaze me with your ideas and products!
Q- Tell us about your mentoring sessions, what do you teach, and what do your students learn?
A- I try to cover EVERYTHING. I want my students to feel "brain overload" when they leave. We cover everything from communicating with parents, setting expectations with clients, camera settings to get the best image SOOC (which is so important in getting those creamy skin tones), camera angles, lighting technique with studio light, session workflow and soothing, prop selection and styling, and post processing. It's a full class, but so much fun! See past student reviews here!
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions Keri, its so great to have you as a part of our community!
For the opportunity to ask Keri more specific questions visit our Forum under "smarten up" where you will find a post called "November Mentor Keri Meyers". There she will be answering ALL of your questions! Also, be sure to submit images to the critique board this month to get feedback from Keri herself! She will be making every effort to critique every image submitted!
Connect with Keri on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!