1. How did you get started in photography and when did you start your business?
In high school, I took a photography class and thought it was awesome! That was back when we used film and a darkroom! Since then, I’ve always been drawn to the camera to preserve moments, create emotions, and evoke feelings based upon what I see. I’ve always been involved in photography in some way...photographing for friends, at events, schools, etc. Once I had children, I was able to concentrate on developing the business slowly, and did a lot of on location work once the children started school. As their schedule allowed, I took on more and more clients. About a year and a half ago, I decided to open a studio location. To me, the ability to control the lighting, my environment, and use my creativity to design scenes allow me to create portraits my clients can get no where else.
2. Where are you located? Do you have a studio space or do you shoot on-location?
Captured By Renee photography studio is located in downtown, historic Morristown, NJ. The 1,600 square foot studio is designed exclusively for my maternity, newborn and child clients, and includes a 125 square foot nursery with private bathroom for my newborns. I have a line of gorgeous outfitting for my maternity sessions, and tons of accessories, props, outfitting, etc. for my newborns and wee ones.
3. What do you shoot with and what are your favorite lenses?
I use a Canon 7D and Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon 1.4 50mm and a Canon 2.8 24-70 almost exclusively.
4. Why newborn photography? Do you photograph anything besides newborns?
Newborns are definitely my specialty! I tell people all the time, I have the best job...I get to cuddle little babies all day! For me, capturing the beauty and celebrating the miracle of such precious moment in a new family’s life is a blessing. I feel like I understand them...and we just connect. My clients even call me “the baby whisperer”! I also am in love with my maternity clientele and have been really enjoying the art in pregnancy. To be able to document their emerging new family in the most beautiful of ways is a treasure. I also photograph my wee clients through the first years of their life. What an honor to watch them grow up!
5. How would you describe your style and where do you find your inspiration?
I really like a timeless, classic, and artistic feel to a portrait, and I talk to my clients for inspiration before and during the session. This way, I can incorporate my photographic style while tailoring it to my clients tastes and color palette.
6. Have you taken any photography workshops and/or training?
I enjoy taking video workshops and try to do so at least once a month. I really like Creative Live and The National Association of Professional Child Photographers.
7. Where do you like to shop for your props? Do you have favorite vendors?
I mostly find things on accident. Be it at a store or antique shop or boutique and the wheels will start turning in my head, asking “can i put a baby in this?” Unless, of course, I'm looking for something specific, and then I have some favorite vendors I use... Mr. & Mrs. And Co., Serendipity Backgrounds, Denny Manufacturing and of course Etsy for their amazingly talented vendors!
8. Please share with us your top 5 favorite images! Why are they your favorites?
These images all in some way stood out to me because of the emotion they evoked, or the feel of the image.
9. What are three things you wish someone would have told you when starting out?
First is that you can’t be everything to everyone. Don’t be a Mexican restaurant that also sells pizza and Chinese food, too. Find the area that you love, and perfect it. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for my newborns to grab me by the heart!
Secondly, be prepared for the unexpected. Always have backup gear, batteries, lenses and camera bodies. I had a mechanical failure twice, and once I wasn’t prepared for it! Thankfully, it only gave me a half hour delay (and caused my husband to come racing down to a venue and sneak me a replacement lens!)
Lastly, learn and understand the business side of things...laws, taxes, insurance, etc. Creatives aren’t always paying mind to the business details, so it is important to understand your obligations in having this type of business from the beginning. This way, its just part of your normal workflow
10. What is your photography site and NewbornPhotography.com url?
11. What are your favorite things about NewbornPhotography.com?
Although I’m a recent member, I feel it is a great educational resource for both parents and photographers
12. Lastly, tell us about YOU! Who are you, other than a photographer?
As a mother of 2 children, I am a cook, sanitation engineer, doctor, landscaper, mechanic, referee, chauffeur, plumber, teacher, and personal shopper. In my spare (really?) time, I enjoy the finer things in life...a good cup of coffee with the right milk-to-sugar ratio, the cold spot on the pillow, the feeling of the outdoors on my skin, and laughter.
Lots and lots of laughter.
Would you like to be our next Spotlight Photographer? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Spotlight Photographer.” We look forward to featuring you!