1. How did you get started in photography and when did you start your business?
I took photography classes in high school and originally learned film, which was so fun. I used a darkroom and learned the whole process! I am dating myself, I'm sure. :) After school I didn't do much with photography, as I had moved on to life and job. I didn't really start getting serious about it again until my son was born, when I started shooting again for fun. My daughter was born two years later, and I quit my job to be home with my kids. Those next few years I started learning more and then decided that this was what I was going to do.
2. Where are you located? Do you have a studio space or do you shoot on-location?
I am in Fair Oaks, which is just outside of Sacramento, California. I initially did all in home and on location sessions. I moved into my studio a year ago, and it had changed my business for the better! I also used to use available light for in home newborns, and that was very frustrating. I made the move to switch to studio lighting and I am so happy that I made the change. It adds so much consistency and makes my life easier!
3. What do you shoot with and what are your favorite lenses?
I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II. For newborn sessions I primarily use my 50, 1.2. I also love my 135L and my 100mm macro.
4. What drew you to newborn photography?
When I initially started my business, I wanted to only shoot newborns! I was just drawn to imagery that I had seen, and I love new babies. Who doesn't?! This was six years ago, and at that point I did start experimenting shooting anything and everything that I could - weddings, babies, kids, families, boudoir. I slowly started weeding out anything that I didn't really enjoy, and I knew that I wanted to focus on maternity and newborns. I also love weddings, but I only accept and shoot about 10-12 a year.
5. How would you describe your style & where do you find your inspiration?
I would describe my style as natural, clean and tasteful. I'll be honest; I am inspired by some very talented newborn photographers in other parts of the country.
6. Have you taken any photography workshops and/or training?
I am self-taught (other than the class in high school) and have not attended any workshops. I would like to at some point. I have been doing this for six years, and still know that I still have plenty to learn!
7. Where do you like to shop for your props? Do you have favorite vendors?
I make some of my own props, but I like to buy also! For a lot of my wooded and vintage props, I scour my favorite vintage shops, and big box stores (TJ Maxx & Home Goods are my two favorites). I also love TFJ Designs. For hats, bows and outfits, I love Kissing Frogs and APP. Oh, and adorable birthday hats from Little Blue Olive - they are so cute for cake smash sessions!
8. Please share with us your top 5 favorite images!
My favorites change all the time, but as of now, here are some of my favorites!
9. What are 3 you wish someone would have told you when you started?
#1 - ALWAYS keep a separate account for your sales tax. I have done this since the beginning. As you grow, if that money is not set aside it will sneak up on you, and it adds up faster than you think.
#2 Hire an accountant. It took me six years to make the decision to have someone else do this for me, and I am SO relieved to have it out of my hands just recently. I wish I had done it sooner.
#3 Have confidence! I guess no one can teach this to you, but you have to learn it over time. In yourself, in your work, in your pricing. It feels so good to be in a spot where I can just say no and be confident in my answer! Or to be ok with turning down work if they are not in my budget range.
10. What are your favorite things about NewbornPhotography.com?
I've been a member for about six months, and it's been great to visit and view the forums. I also have LOVED the guest mentors... so far you have had some of my favorite newborn photographers there.
11. Lastly, tell us about YOU! Who are you, other than a photographer?
Hmmm, it's hard to talk about myself personally. I'm a California girl, and will never live in any other state. I love to travel - off to Italy at the end of March! I have three kids - my son, daughter and stepdaughter. Thanks for the feature!!
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