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we are so delighted that you are here. The National Association of Professional Child Photographers is an association whose mission is to promote
and support the artistry and integrity of professional child photographers. To accomplish this mission, NAPCP provides the most comprehensive resources for its members, bringing together a community of passionate artists committed to growth in their skills, their artistry, and their businesses.

NAPCP.com (formally pronounced “NAP-C-P”) is a place where professional child photographers can come and connect, learn, teach, aspire and grow. It is also a valuable resource for parents who are looking for a professional child photographer in their area, and want to be inspired and educated about our specialized industry.

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  • May 04, 2016

    Freelensing

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    Freelensing is, quite literally, freeing the lens from the camera body. You may wonder – why on earth would anyone want to do that? Couldn’t you drop and break the lens, or allow dust inside your camera body? Possibly, yes. But aside from the cheap thrill of living photography on the edge, there are many creative reasons for freelensing.

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    The effect of freelensing is similar to using a tilt-shift lens or a lensbaby, creating a “sweet spot” of sharp focus, while shifting everything else into creamy softness.

    Creatively, I get bored easily, so for me, freelensing is a way of feeling inspired and breathing new life into my photography. Just like you might experience with a new lens, tried subjects and scenes became new again as I started exploring this technique. I found a way to give my images more depth and create photos that convey deeper feeling, two things I always strive for in my photography. It has made me become a better observer, taught me to slow down, shoot with intention, and helps me notice more of the small things and magic surrounding me in everyday life.

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    Ready to give it a try? If you are new to freelensing, the easiest way to get started is with a 50mm lens. You don’t have to risk your expensive, high quality glass. A cheap, used, or even partly broken lens will do just fine. Bonus – a plastic lens is lighter and smaller and therefore easier to hold.

    Turn your camera to manual, figure out your exposure, then turn the camera off. Make sure your lens is set to manual focus and infinity, detach the lens, and turn your camera back on. Hold the lens right in the mount, and tilt or move it forward slightly as you look through the viewfinder. Less is more – think millimeters, not inches. You’ll see the focal plane shift across your image as you tilt and move the lens.

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    Some tips for beginners:

    – I recommend starting with a stationary subject or still life for the first few tries
    – Take lots of photos – what you see is not always what you get (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing)
    – Picking a multidimensional subject or scene will up your chances of achieving a sweet spot

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    The fun thing about freelensing are the endless possibilities this technique presents. Once you get the hang of the basics, take it a step further:

    – Try moving subjects – my wiggly baby is a really fun challenge to freelens
    – Turn your lens around and give macro freelensing a try (back of the lens facing your subject)
    – Give other lenses a go – you don’t have to be limited to a 50mm. I’ve seen gorgeous shots with an 85mm, and am currently experimenting with my zoom lenses and wide angle prime.
    – Experiment with positioning yourself in different ways relative to the light source to allow for light leaks
    – Hold your lens further away from the camera body while moving closer to your subject and see what happens
    – Create some intentionally out of focus images
    – Freelensed video, anyone?

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    In conclusion, the main thing is to have fun. Embrace the unpredictability of it – let go of missed shots and celebrate happy accidents. There is no right or wrong. Follow your intuition and let your heart lead your eye. I can’t wait to see what you create!

     

    Thank you, Barb, for the fantastic introduction to freelensing! We can’t wait to put your tips into action.

    For more of Barb’s photography, be sure to bookmark her web page, Like Endless Summer Photography on Facebook, and follow her on Instagram.

    img Website: www.napcp.com Email: katie@napcp.com

    About the Contributor: Katie, our Editorial Manager, is our wordsmith and communications extraordinaire!  After college and graduate school, she worked in the nonprofit world, and briefly in politics. She realized she'd be quickly burned out, and started writing for various lifestyle websites. Before landing at NAPCP, Katie shot product photography for Etsy shops and other small business owners. Katie also works with Pinterest, as a member of their Pinfluencer team. She is passionate about making the world a happier, more beautiful place! Katie lives for her husband and two children, updating their totally 90's home, and finding joy in the small things. Even washing dishes.

  • May 03, 2016

    Join us at a NAPCP Gatherings event on May 11th

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    We are so excited for next week’s NAPCP Gatherings event on May 11th! This month we will be doing something a little different.  Bring your camera and be ready to get creative!  We will have some helpful tips to get you inspired for our fun photo challenge with your NAPCP friends!

    Don’t forget to sign up with your email on our Ambassador Page to receive your free educational PDF before the event next week.

    If you would like to attend an event, please check out our Ambassador Page for locations near you. NAPCP Gatherings are hosted all around the world on the scheduled date.  If you are a NAPCP Member and would like to host a gathering in your area, please let us know the location and time, and we are happy to put this information on our website as well.

    Looking forward to seeing all of your smiling faces soon!

    About the Contributor: Deanne is a graphic designer and photographer. She graduated in 2005 from Northern Illinois University with a BFA in Visual Communication . Before joining the NAPCP team, Deanne worked at a small advertising agency for ten years where she grew as an artist. She also started her own small photography business in 2010 and has a passion for photographing children and documenting life. Currently, she is working for NAPCP as the Design Production Assistant and is excited for new opportunities to bring her love of design and photography together. Deanne resides in the Chicagoland area with her husband and three year old son. When she is not working, you can find her photographing or doing multiple home improvement projects.

  • May 03, 2016

    Video Interview Series Featuring Jennifer Kapala!

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    About the Contributor: Kristen Smith is a graphic designer and illustrator residing in Augusta, GA with her fiance Jon-Michael and two fur babies, Desmond and Penelope. She knew from a very young age that she wanted to do something creative and began taking design classes in high school. After receiving a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Georgia, she worked hard to establish a freelance career and officially launched her own company in 2011. Kristen is an award-winning designer, a celebrated creative for Minted.com, and has been working with NAPCP since it's inception in 2009.  She has a passion for fresh and beautiful designs with subtle feminine hints and a dash of whimsy.   Her passion for design is rivaled only by her passion for animals. She has been an avid animal rights supporter for many years and presently works with a local rescue organization fostering and rehabilitating cats. When she is not designing or sketching, you can find her crafting or in the garden!  She is also an entertainment junkie and watches entirely too many movies and television shows. Kristen looks forward to the extraordinary possibilities each new day brings!  

  • May 02, 2016

    Celebrate Mom!: Free Printables for Mother’s Day

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    Surveys and gift tags and corsages – OH MY!

    What’s better than free printables?! We have three special Mother’s Day printables available for you today! Have some fun filling out a survey all about mom or grandma and have your child decorate it so it’s ready to hang. They can even color a gift tag to match!

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    As an added surprise, make your mom or grandmother feel special by decorating a special printable corsage for them to wear on Mother’s Day. Get crazy with glitter, paint, or just use colored pencils. No matter how you do it, we’re positive it will make mom feel special!

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    Simply click below to download and print.

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    Use all 3 or however many you choose!

    Happy Mother’s Day!

    About the Contributor: Deanne is a graphic designer and photographer. She graduated in 2005 from Northern Illinois University with a BFA in Visual Communication . Before joining the NAPCP team, Deanne worked at a small advertising agency for ten years where she grew as an artist. She also started her own small photography business in 2010 and has a passion for photographing children and documenting life. Currently, she is working for NAPCP as the Design Production Assistant and is excited for new opportunities to bring her love of design and photography together. Deanne resides in the Chicagoland area with her husband and three year old son. When she is not working, you can find her photographing or doing multiple home improvement projects.

  • May 02, 2016

    A Guide to Shooting In-Home Lifestyle Sessions

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    In-home sessions are among my favourite type of session to do. No two are alike and each has their own pace and challenges (especially when siblings are involved!). Even with an over the phone consultation, talking with a client about areas in the home they think will work best, and scheduling best as possible around toddlers, you’re still walking into an entirely unfamiliar territory.

    I started this session off by spending some off-camera time with this shy big sis, hearing about all her favourite toys and what she learned at gymnastics that week. Once she was suitably sure that I was alright, she led me upstairs to meet her new baby brother.

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    I figured I had about 20 minutes or so before big sis checked out, so we worked quickly to shoot as many different poses as we could of them alone. Toddlers generally set the flow of my in-home sessions (let’s be real, they set the flow of ALL my sessions!), so taking advantage of her excitement at the beginning was key!

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    Once she had enough of the camera, Dad took her out for a snack break and we focused on pics of mom and the newest little member of the family . Doing an in-home session can start with a wish and a prayer for good light, but luckily this room had the most delicious, creamy winter light which we took full advantage of. If a client doesn’t have the perfect set up with beautiful, light diffusing sheer panels as this client did, I always have an inexpensive (and when I say inexpensive, I mean literally from a dollar store) pair of sheer white curtains to put up with painters tape to soften any hard light coming through.

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    Now that big sis was all snacked up and ready to go for round two, it was time for full family photos. Big sis got to decide who she wanted to sit with, which usually gets me a little more co-operation for the short window we have.

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    Baby brother was starting to get hungry and while mom was giving him a nice, long feed, I got to spend some more time with my newest little friend. She showed me her favourite book (Robert Munsch, of course) and we got to horse around with dad while we waited!

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    Once baby was in a wonderfully dozy, milk-induced coma, I moved on to some close ups of his sweet little fingers and toes, individual shots, and of course, some shots with daddy.

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    When it comes to shooting lifestyle, going with the flow is the order of the day. Take a deep breath and know your best laid plans may fall to the wayside, but sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed to give the best images possible.

     

    Natalie Balen-Cinelli is an Ontario natural light photographer who loves to work with neutrals and soft pops of color. Whether shooting indoors or out, she strives to make each session as unique as the family she’s photographing. Natalie gets giddy about her clients taking a first look at their photos, and hopes they love them as much as she does.

    For more from Natalie, and for booking inquiries, visit the Lolabean Photography website, Like Lolabean Photography on Facebook, and follow Natalie on Instagram and Pinterest.

    img Website: www.napcp.com Email: katie@napcp.com

    About the Contributor: Katie, our Editorial Manager, is our wordsmith and communications extraordinaire!  After college and graduate school, she worked in the nonprofit world, and briefly in politics. She realized she'd be quickly burned out, and started writing for various lifestyle websites. Before landing at NAPCP, Katie shot product photography for Etsy shops and other small business owners. Katie also works with Pinterest, as a member of their Pinfluencer team. She is passionate about making the world a happier, more beautiful place! Katie lives for her husband and two children, updating their totally 90's home, and finding joy in the small things. Even washing dishes.

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  • portfolio review
    NAPCP Retreat: Live Portfolio Review

    Today we have a special treat for you — a video of the Live Portfolio Review, hosted by Dan Brouillette, and 2014 Photographer of the Year Jennifer Kapala,  from the NAPCP Retreat. This video has wonderful tips for submitting your images in the January 2016 International Image Competition (open now!, and ending February 18th). Submit […]

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    6 Ways to Prepare for a Newborn Session

    Hi! I’m Natalie Balen-Cinelli, owner and operator of Lolabean Photography. I’m in my 5th year as a full-time newborn photographer and, like many of you, I discovered my love of photographing newborns and children when my oldest daughter was born. I quickly became obsessed with documenting her every move. Fast forward two years, and I […]

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    Holiday Wine Label Printable!

    Looking for a last minute DIY gift? In need of a holiday party favor? Download our Holiday Wine Label printables below! We have created two festive designs that are easy to print, peel and stick! After downloading, make sure to purchase the correct corresponding Avery templates that we used here! We chose bottles with smaller labels […]

  • Inaugural NAPCP Gathering – November 5th!

    We’ve created this comprehensive guide with our Top 12 Tips for Work-Life Balance, and we will be discussing it at our first gathering this Thursday! Don’t worry though, you don’t have to be present to take advantage of this fantastic advice! We are so excited about our Inaugural #NAPCPgatherings event this Thursday, November 5th, happening […]