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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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  • Sep 23, 2016

    Countdown to Santa Barbara: 4 Months!

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    The 2017 NAPCP Retreat to Santa Barbara, California is only 4 months away! As we count down the months (weeks, days, hours!) to this inspiring and life-changing event, we put together a little to-do list of activities in the Santa Barbara area. Make sure you visit our dedicated Pinterest board for Spanish-style inspiration!

    Grab a scoop (or a pint!) of McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream.

    Chill in the air? Enjoy a great almond milk latte or macchiato at The French Press.

    Visit the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden — there’s even a Japanese tea house on site.

    Enjoy the dog (and kid) friendly hike up Inspiration Point, which offers wonderful views of the ocean, the city, and The Channel Islands.

    With some of the region’s best Pinots and Chardonnays (as named by Food & Wine Magazine), Babcock vineyard is one of Santa Barbara County’s most successful. An equal selling point to the drink, though, is Babcock’s farmhouse-industrial tasting room, which is chock full of board games, vintage photos, antler chandeliers, and mid-century furniture.

    Don’t wait to register; spots are filling up quickly — register now!

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    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.

  • Sep 20, 2016

    Holiday Photo Card Bundle – Now in the Store!

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    Check out our new Modern Merry Holiday Photo Card Bundle in the NAPCP Store! The templates included in this (6) card set can be used to make unique, customized, and memorable holiday cards for your clients. Not only can you offer these beautiful designs to your clients, you can also use them for your own family card this holiday season. So fun and easy!

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    Purchase your set today in the store!

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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!  

  • Sep 19, 2016

    Tips for Capturing Effortless Newborn Images

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    Whether you are a professional photographer, or a parent seeking to capture beautiful images of your own little one, the single most important, yet simplest, thing you can do to set the stage for a successful newborn portrait session is to ensure that your tiny subject is as comfortable as possible. (Although it is a topic for another day, I would be remiss in failing to note that safety should always be a newborn photographer’s highest priority. In my view, photographers who plan to photograph newborns should, at a minimum, participate in a workshop or receive instruction on the safe handling and posing of newborns from a knowledgeable source prior to accepting any clients.)

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    At the risk of stating the obvious, babies are more likely to be content, and to sleep, when they are comfortable. In that regard, the temperature in the room in which the baby will be photographed should be set to a balmy 80-85 degrees, as the baby will likely be at least partially naked for much of the session; space heaters can be particularly helpful in containing the heat to a particular area or room of your studio or home. White noise machines or other products designed to mimic the sounds of a mother’s womb are also very comforting to newborns and, thus, are likely to facilitate sleep. And, of course, a nice full tummy typically translates to a happy, sleepy baby, so it is best if the baby is fed just prior to the start of the session. Finally, although it is nearly impossible to predict or control a newborn’s sleep schedule, I have found that, as a general matter, the late morning hours seem to be a naturally sleepy time for many babies, so scheduling your portraits during that time period might be advantageous.

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    Although no particular equipment is required to create beautiful newborn portraits, a wide angle lens is particularly useful. Unless you are fortunate enough to live in a location with a year-round temperate climate, you will most likely be photographing newborns indoors, where space may be at a premium; a wide angle lens will allow you to work comfortably in those tighter spaces. In addition, a wide angle lens will allow you to remain within arms’ reach of your subject. Such proximity, in my view, is important from a safety perspective, and it additionally enables you to make adjustments to a pose or prop and to quickly capture the shot before the baby shifts positions. (For example, babies frequently move their hands within several seconds of them being placed in particular positions, such as the one in the image below.)

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    Although I prefer to use my 35mm 1.4 lens for newborn portrait sessions, any lens in the 24mm-50mm range would likely provide the same benefits discussed above.

    A macro lens – a lens capable of a 1:1 reproduction ratio — is another invaluable tool for newborn photography. A macro lens allows you to perfectly capture those tiny details – the button nose, the squishy lips, the fuzzy shoulders, the swirl of hair on the forehead, or the tiny little toes – that make each baby unique. Because babies’ features change so quickly as they grow, parents generally adore the sweet detail shots that preserve their memory of their little one during those fleeting first few weeks of life.

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    Posing is commonly thought to be one of the more challenging aspects of newborn photography. Although, as with any skill, posing technique necessarily improves with time and practice, there are a few simple tips that you can implement that will not only keep your sessions moving smoothly, but will also make a significant difference in your resulting images.

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    Just like adults, newborn babies are unique individuals with their own personalities and preferences: Some babies love to stretch out their tiny little hands and legs, while others prefer being snugly wrapped; some babies have a strong startle reflex, and would much rather lie on their sides or tummies than on their backs; and some babies simply insist on keeping their hands near their faces.

    Follow the baby’s lead.

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    Some babies sleep through an entire session and are content in nearly any position. If a baby seems to be happy in only one or two different positions, you can still capture a variety of different images simply by varying your shooting angle, as in the images below.

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    Alternatively, you might switch out props (for example, add a wrap or replace a hat with a headband) or keep the baby in the same position, but move her to a different location.

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    Regardless of any particular pose, there are little “fixes” that can make a dramatic difference in the visual appeal of your portraits. First, check to ensure that no portion of the baby’s face is covered. Blankets or wraps sometimes edge up near the baby’s chin or mouth and, similarly, baby’s hands can occasionally obscure a portion of his face (as distinguished from poses in which baby’s hands are resting sweetly on his cheeks or under the chin). Second, when possible, un-clench a baby’s balled-up hands; this simple act of flattening the baby’s hands will make her look eminently more peaceful and relaxed.

    Inevitably, there are occasions on which a baby is unsettled, even after being fed, soothed, and diapered. In such situations, I have found that a snug wrap and some patient lulling nearly always puts the baby to sleep.

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    But even if a baby simply doesn’t want to sleep, a wrap will often keep him/her calm enough to capture some beautiful wakeful images.

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    And what parent doesn’t love a portrait that showcases their little one’s bright, beautiful eyes?

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    About the Contributor: Tina Krafts is a portrait photographer based in Silver Spring, MD. She Specializes in custom portraiture of newborns and children in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

  • Sep 15, 2016

    Naturally Captured Newborn Session

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    Inspiration: I love newborn sessions captured in a lifestyle way. This family had two gorgeous rooms that we used, the master bedroom and the nursery. There was so much love and fun from big brother. I recommend allowing the older siblings to lead and guide the flow of the session. Having a new brother is already a big deal, but having a photographer in your house can be tough too! I was inspired by all of the light in their home! Snuggles and love were the focus.

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    Favorite Element: My favorite time was when mama needed to nurse sweet baby brother and big brother decided it was time for a dance party! Daddy came in and big hugs were needed. The image of this was an instant favorite straight out of camera!

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    Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge for me, when shooting lifestyle newborn sessions, is figuring out the best way to engage any siblings. Making sure to have enough time to allow for breaks, for baby, and older siblings is super important!

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    Final Thoughts: This time of “newborn” life is SO short. I highly recommend that everyone have this beautiful time captured. You won’t ever be disappointed in the investment!

    About the Contributor: I am a wife and mom. My kiddos are 6.5, 4.5, 2.5 and 4 months. I LOVE spending time with family. I LOVE giggling.

  • Sep 12, 2016

    Free Printable Lunchbox Notes

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    Most of our children are back in school — and we’re not sure who’s more excited, them or us! Backpacks, lunch boxes, newly sharpened pencils … we love this time of year. Today we’re sharing some really fun free printable lunchbox notes to help you add some pizazz to your kiddo’s lunch!

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    Our children love it when we include notes in their lunches, and we love knowing it makes them smile. You can download and print your lunchbox notes HERE, to make your kids feel extra special!

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    CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

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    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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  • pinterest-branding-horiz-(final)springcard
    New in the Store: Spring Marketing Postcard Pack!

    Introducing our Spring Marketing Postcard Pack! We have partnered with our friends at Artifact Uprising so that you can use these templates to make unique, customized, and memorable marketing pieces to remind your clients to book for spring and summer! The set includes 8 unique postcard designs perfect for engaging your returning clients. The designs […]

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    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 […]