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As you know from previous blog posts, I have been a longtime fan of Rachel Vanoven. I have been following her since 2013, which is when I started my newborn photography journey, and have been blessed with learning from her e-workshops and in person mentoring in August 2014. I felt like I learned so much at the hands-on mentoring session and saw immediate results. I think it is always fun to go back and see where you started to appreciate just how far you have come.
This “before” photo is in a world all on its own and is what prompted me to really learn the art of professional newborn photography. This photo is what I’d like to refer to as a result of hiring an untrained non-newborn photographer, such as myself at the time. I had no clue how to pose a baby and got all of my setup ideas from Pinterest. (All of you newborn photogs out there just cringed, didn’t you?) I also didn’t have a clue on how to edit newborn skin or even shoot with a pro digital camera. Heck, I wasn’t even shooting in RAW! I had so much to learn! It’s a fact that unless you are hiring a newborn professional for your baby’s photos, then it is very likely your photographer could produce something along these lines in the photo below simply because they just don’t know better and haven’t been trained properly in this skill. I can confidently say that I was extremely embarrassed for myself and my client with the product I was delivering in this photo.
Fast forward through a year’s worth of practice and training through the online workshop. I was feeling more confident in my posing, but still was missing something, so I went to Rachel’s in-person mentoring workshop. The results from those 2 days were really gratifying for me as I stated in my previous blog post.
I continued to get comfortable with all of the new skills from the workshop and honing in on my craft. However, there was still something that always evaded me. You see, Rachel shot only natural light at the time and I operate with strobes for all of my studio sessions. I was achieving the end results that I wanted to see in photos, but it was taking forever to do this is post. I could spend countless hours editing a session to perfection before I sent it off to a client. I just couldn’t get my lighting perfect in camera and it was costing me time away from family and a lot of precious sleep! A few examples below from a session in April 2015:
Fast forward yet again to June 2015. The crème de la crème of studio light newborn photographers opened up a mentoring spot for me and I pounced on the opportunity. I cannot express the amount of “ah ha” moments that I had when I attended the workshop at Dewdrops Photography. Amy is a lighting magician! Below are a few shots from the mentoring session and every setup required very minimal editing due to nailing the light properly in camera.
The following week after I got home from the mentoring with Dewdrops Photography, a set of twin girls that were on my schedule decided to make their entrance into the world a little early. I felt like I really cut down a lot on my editing time in post after this session and am excited to continue developing my new lighting skills. Below is just a teaser from the twins session. More will come in the next blog post to show off these two little beauties!
Long story short, I am always looking for new ways to add skills to my newborn repertoire. The more that I learn, the more that I can give that knowledge back to my clients in the form of art. Nothing excites me more than to hear the gasps of excitement when new moms and dads see their gallery for the first time, or to see the comments posted on the photos of their new baby from ecstatic friends and family fawning over their child. I hope this recap of my history and progress on how I got from that awful “before” photo to this most recent session has actually helped someone. Whether that be a respective client trying to narrow down the huge field of photographers out there and settling on the perfect one, or if it’s a fellow photographer trying to take their artistry to the next level. We all start somewhere and there is a photographer out there for everyone. I just hope that I can be a part of your journey in some small way; photographing your baby or cheering on my tog peeps ❤
I cherish each and every little baby that comes into my studio and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one. Bring them all to me! And send your pregnant friends my way, too! Tell them to BOOK WHILE YOU’RE STILL PREGNANT! Another blog post coming on that soon!
For more information about booking a newborn session with my studio, please click here! All of my session rates are published on my website and can be found by clicking here and going to the investment tab. If you have questions, please feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennifer Rittenberry Photography specializes in newborn, baby, family, child and maternity photography in Louisville, Kentucky and surrounding areas including but not limited to Mount Washington.