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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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  • Aug 23, 2016

    2017 NAPCP Retreat Speaker Features – Jennifer Kapala Photography

    Jennifer Kapala Photography - Based in Calgary, Jennifer is a multiple award winning child and family photographer with an affection for good coffee, a passion for all things underwater photography and a not-so-secret ambition to own a horse again. Jennifer loves simple, honest and quiet moments, and builds relationships with her clients to draw out the connections and stories of who they are.SpeakerFeature_Jennifer1

    What are your favourite shoot locations? Any body of water would be number one, followed by the mountains a close second. I love more dramatic and extreme environments to shoot in.
    What is your biggest photography related challenge? Most likely the fact that there is only 24 hours in a day and I have a lot of ideas and drive to execute my ideas. That’s where I have found it beneficial to have clear goals that I re-assess regularly and a plan to get there.

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    If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? I love to travel and am planning to go on an adventure with my mom in 2017. We had originally planned India and Dubai, however had to postpone that trip. We are now planning on traveling to Africa, which is a continent I have always wanted to visit. I am particular interest in seeing Tanzania!
    A quotation that sums up your photography philosophy: “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” ― Ansel Adams

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    What or who can’t you live without? Easy – my family and friends. They are everything and without their support and encouragement, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am forever grateful for them.

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    Thank you so much Jennifer!
    Click here to read more about Jennifer and all of our talented 2017 Retreat Speakers!

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    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.

  • Aug 22, 2016

    Improve Your Photography Business with an Accountability Partner

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    The NAPCP Retreat is a great place to meet amazing photographers and colleagues, gain inspiration, and up your game. However, after meeting at the January 2016 NAPCP Retreat, Kim Tank and Willy Wilson never would have guessed that they’d become one of the most important resources in each other’s photography businesses!

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    As solo-preneurs, photographers often don’t answer to anyone but their clients. For some, that might mean being on time or even ahead of schedule for client related tasks, but often the other business-related chores get put off or start piling up (blogging, anyone?). What if you had someone to help keep you accountable for those daily tasks that are so important for overall success of your business?

    Willy and Kim were both energized and motivated by the planning session Alice led at the 2016 retreat. However, both were executing few of their plans. One day, Kristin Milito and Carolyn Ryan posted photos from a video chat in the NAPCP Facebook group, and Kim was inspired. She had just finished reading Brian Moran’s book The 12 Week Year, and asked if anyone wanted to be her weekly business chat buddy. Willy volunteered. Six months later, both of their businesses have distinctly altered and improved as the result of their weekly Skype conversations.

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    Willy and Kim put together five reasons for photographers to have an accountability partner:

    1) Short Term Goals for Long Term Success – The 12 Week Year talks about setting goals for your business on a quarterly basis, versus an annual basis. It is more difficult to predict outcomes 6-12 months in advance, and typically people fail to act on their goals until the last minute, thinking they still have time. Subsequently, they continually fall short of their objectives. By treating each quarter as a “year”, there is a closer deadline to measure success or failure, so you’re more likely to get those important daily and weekly tasks done to achieve your goals. Kim even hired Jennifer Kapala, who will be teaching at the NAPCP Retreat, to help her with her goal setting. Sharing your goals with someone who you are checking in with each week will increase your likelihood of achieving them.

    2) Weekly Accountability – When you’re the only person in your business, having an accountability partner allows you to have weekly check-ins, which help keep you on track for your goals. You tell your accountability partner what you are doing each week so they can hold you accountable for what you want/need to get done. They aren’t going to scold you for not completing your tasks, but the awareness that someone is going to be asking if you completed them is terrific incentive to ensure that details get completed.

    3) Marketing Ideas – Choosing an accountability partner who is in the same industry gives you twice the brain power around marketing plans. Sharing ideas and results for new campaigns, addressing and sharing thoughts on unsuccessful marketing in the past, helps both photographers advance their marketing at a much faster pace than simple trial and error, or buying online marketing programs from a stranger.

    4) Knowledge Sharing – It’s incredibly helpful to have someone to bounce ideas off of and help you work through decisions or ideas you have. You can’t and don’t know everything, and everyone has their special gifts. Your accountability partner will have resources you don’t and vice versa. From where to get photo boxes, tips on Photoshop, workflow, studio management systems, or presentation skills, you and your partner exchange information to enhance your business every time you talk.

    5) Friendship and Connection – Being a photographer can get lonely. A fringe benefit to the development of your weekly chats is that you become involved in each other’s lives. Your support system is expanded and you become true friends. Your photography accountability partner is someone who really understands what you’re going through. Maybe that’s not just a fringe benefit but, rather, one of the biggest values of having an accountability partner.

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    Ready to have an accountability partner but you aren’t sure where to start? Here are some guidelines for creating a prosperous accountability partner relationship:

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    1 – Pick Your Partner: A photographer acquaintance or friend would be the first place to start. If you don’t know anyone personally but are a member of a photography community such as NAPCP, try reaching out to someone you think would be a good fit for you. You don’t have to be in the same niche of photography, you are primarily looking for someone who is willing to commit and wants to improve their own photography business. Perhaps even your business coach or mentor could be your accountability partner (although this relationship will be more one-sided).

    2 – Plan Your Meetings: Once you find a partner, determine what you’d each like to get out of your check ins. What will you discuss? Will you have a main focus? What will you do if you find yourselves getting off track in your conversations?

    3 – Plan Your Check-In Interval: Determine how often you will chat. Will it be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or some other interval? Weekly meetings work best to keep things on track, but it all depends on your schedule. Try to meet no less frequently than once a month, though, otherwise you lose the benefit of the check-in.

    4 – Commit Your Time: Succeeding in meeting goals requires commitment. Agree with your partner on how long your sessions need to last and carve out the time on your schedule. Think of your weekly check-in as a weekly management or marketing team meeting. That seems pretty important. Commit to sticking with the process and you will see immediate benefits.

    5 – Plan Around Interruptions: Life, business, vacations, illness, and clients will eventually mess with your scheduled meetings. Be prepared to have a backup plan. If your schedules don’t align, can you check-in via email? Reschedule for a different day? Skip a week? What kind of priority will your check-ins have?

    6 – Spread the Love: Kim also checks in with Jennifer Kapala, her business coach, and Willy talks with Lisa Dowty and Molly Garg almost daily. Contrary to popular fears, connections with other photographers will help your business thrive.

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    Kim and Willy chat weekly by Skype for 60-90 minutes, which allows time for going through the weekly lists, setting new goals, sharing ideas and personal stories. The main focus of the chats is to share the list of things accomplished from the week and plans for the following week. These items often spur discussions about marketing or creative ideas, how to handle specific situations with clients, editing, pricing, family, and the ever present Cat Named Weenie. When they have a session or important appointment during their usual chat time, they try to reschedule and worst case, email each other their weekly lists. Willy and Kim have never gone more than two weeks without a check-in because they both make it a priority in their schedules.

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    Having an accountability partner will help you achieve success and prosperity in your business and grow your heart with a new good friend.

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    Want an accountability buddy and don’t know where to start? Post on the NAPCP Member Community Facebook page (you must be a NAPCP member to do so). You’ll be sure to find a great partner!

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    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.

  • Aug 19, 2016

    Video Interview Series: Summer Murdock!

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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!  

  • Aug 19, 2016

    2017 NAPCP Retreat Speaker Features – Jean Smith Photography

    SpeakerFeature_Header_JeanJean Smith Photography - Jean is a lifestyle photographer based out of Michigan. Her family is the center of her universe, but travel and photography tie for the second place loves of her life.

    Tell us who you think will benefit most from your NAPCP Retreat class, Capturing the Real. This class if for photographers of any level who are striving to create art that is more natural, has more emotion, and is more REAL. They may feel stuck like they are creating the same photos over and over, or perhaps struggle to see and capture real moments and relationships while they are shooting.
    If you could take only 3 items with you to a deserted island, what would they be? Sunscreen (I’m REALLLY white), huge supply of food (sorry, I’m not spearing my own fish), and my inflatable raft (for when I’m ready to leave – duh).

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    What creative interests do you have outside of photography? I always tease that I have zero artistic or musical talent outside of photography. But, I’m very interested in learning guitar and piano, and learning how to paint.
    Do you have a long-term goal for your photography business? The end goal isn’t set in stone, but I know my future holds a lot of travel and a lot of photography, and hopefully they’ll work together!

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    Thank you so much Jean! Click here to read more about Jean and all of our talented 2017 Retreat Speakers!

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    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.

  • Aug 19, 2016

    Session Share: Cold and Cuddly Beach Maternity, from Cristin More Photography

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    Inspiration: Joe and Stephanie inspired me from the moment they stepped out of the car. They are an extremely stylish, affectionate and bubbly couple, and I knew I could push the boundaries a little bit with them and they would appreciate some added drama in the session.

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    Favorite Element: That’s tough to choose — probably the light, with their connection being a close second. This session was one of the easiest to shoot because they showed up ready to cuddle and love on one another and Stephanie’s growing belly, and the light was warm and golden and glorious, like it knew this couple was special.

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    Biggest Challenge: The weather! Stephanie was 37 weeks pregnant and it was freezing outside with insane winds. Luckily, Stephanie’s short hair played in our favor, creating movement with the wind that was beautiful instead of a mess, and Joe used the bad weather as an opportunity to snuggle in close. They were such troopers about the whole thing, and the results are exactly why I tell clients that sometimes bad weather can mean good things for sessions!

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    Final Thoughts: This was the perfect example of a session that had all sorts of bad things going for it, but with the right people, we were able to get something great! I love Stephanie and Joe and their willingness to go for it, whether it be trying new things for me, like direct light in Golden Hour, or being willing to cuddle on a beach in the cold.

    About the Contributor: I\'m a Bay Area photographer and mother of two, who has been encouraging tickle fights between siblings and couples to make out on camera (you know, in a classy way), since 2012.

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