1. How did you get started in photography and when did you start your business?
I started my business 10 years ago, photographing weddings for friends that I met while working at a non profit organization. For the first 5 years of my photography career, I photographed weddings in New Zealand, Costa Rica, Hawaii and all over the United States. I had the travel "bug" and jumped at every opportunity to travel and photograph weddings in unique locations.
2. Where are you located? Do you have a studio space or do you shoot on-location?
I am located in the Chicago Suburbs. I shoot on location, in my clients homes. While there are many challenges to doing a session on location, I hear over and over from Moms how thankful they are that I was willing to come to them. Especially in the sub zero weather that Chicago has had this winter!
Having a mobile studio has enabled me to fly all over the States to photograph babies, the challenge is limiting the number of props I take with me. Thank goodness for Southwest! Although lighting is more of a challenge on location, I have worked very hard over the years to keep consistency in my photos, regardless of the lighting situation.
3. What do you shoot with and what are your favorite lenses?
I shoot with a Nikon D800, and my favorite lenses would be my 50mm 1.4, my 85mm 1.4 and my 24-70mm 2.8
4. What drew you to newborn photography? Do you photograph anything besides newborns?
Having been a wedding photographer for years, I didn't really consider newborn photography until I heard that my first nephew was on his way! I have loved babies since I was little girl. At church or functions growing up, if there was a baby present, I would hold my breath until I was brave enough to go up to the new momma and ask if I could hold her baby. But when my nephew arrived, and I photographed him, I knew that newborn photography was going to be a part of my business. My 12th nephew is about to arrive any day, and I have photographed every single one of our nieces and nephews when they were born...traveling all over the country to do so. I am passionate about capturing these tiny babies in this stage of life. So full of innocence and oblivious to the stir that they have just caused in their new world.
5. How would you describe your style & where do you find your inspiration?
I like to keep my style simple and natural. Years ago, I was running on a treadmill in my gym, and the Today show came on featuring Kelly Ryden and her Sister Tracey Raver. I was so in awe of their work, that I about fell of the treadmill! Right then and there, I knew that if I could strive to photograph newborns so naturally, and beautifully, I would feel like the greatest success.
6. Have you taken any photography workshops and/or training?
I have not. Years have gone by, and I keep hoping to get out to Nebraska to attend a workshop by Kelly and Tracey, or a workshop by Mary from Pebbles and Polka Dots Photography...and one day it will happen! I have studied newborn photography on my own, and worked very hard to master natural light and post processing. I think it is an ever evolving process.
7. Where do you like to shop for your props? Do you have favorite vendors?
I have a confession to make...early on in the days of my newborn photography career, I was obsessed with all of the newborn props. I bought wraps, headbands, blankets, hats, baskets....you name it, I bought it! And then I realized that I was spending far more on props than I was bringing in at the time. To make a profit, I realized that I needed to put my skills as a crocheter to work and make a lot of my own hats. Then I learned how to knit, and have become obsessed with it. Nowadays, the majority of my props are made by myself. I knit until my fingers are about to fall off, and I love coming up with new creations. Most of the time I try them out on my nieces and nephews first.
I do have one favorite prop vendor, and that would be Joann, from JD Vintage Props. She has been so wonderful to me over the years. And their service is excellent!
8. Please share with us your top 5 favorite images!
I love the simplicity of this photo, and her sweet little grin.
Left: She looks so peaceful and warm, to me a bonnet on a baby portrays such sweet innocence. Right: He looks so angelic, and I love how the lighting is dramatic with the bold color of the flokati.
I am obsessed with stripes, and I love her chubby cheeks and how she is just all tucked up and cozy.
My beautiful sister, due with her third, she braved the cold when I suggested this shot. I love the muted colors, and the snow.
9. What are your favorite things about NewbornPhotography.com
I became a member in January of 2014, and was so excited to find that a few of my favorite newborn photographers are here! I have so much respect and admiration for Keri Meyers, Jennifer Blakeley and Mary from Pebbles and Polka Dots....and the list could go on! I am excited to get involved with this community.
10. What are 3 you wish someone would have told you when you started your studio?
Don't be afraid to reach out to photographers around you, and in the online community. Network, Network, Network. Be true to who you are, find inspiration from others work, but be true to your style and your passion as a newborn photographer.
11. Lastly, tell us about YOU! Who are you, other than a photographer?
Well, you already know about my obsession with knitting. I knit for hours and hours when I have the time. I also love to cook, and am constantly stalking the Pioneer Woman's blog, and also Annie's Eats. Both fabulous cooks and wonderful women who are my inspiration for cooking. I don't have any children (yet!!) but I do have (almost!) 12 nieces and nephews, and I am quite in love with each of them. I try my best to spoil each of them, and be a wild and crazy Auntie.
I recently tried to be a southerner for 5 years, by living in Raleigh North Carolina, but I am from Chicago, and we moved back to the Chicago land area late last year. Just in time for their worst winter in years! We currently have over 8 inches of snow on the ground, and I don't mind one bit!
Website| NBP Profile | Facebook Page