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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 23, 2016

    Video Interview with Emily Ley!

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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 20, 2016

    Session Share: A Devoted Maternity Session, from Michelle Anderson of Mango Mahalo Photography

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    Inspiration: My inspiration for this maternity studio session began when I was first contacted by the father-to-be. I had never before booked a maternity session directly with a husband. When the expecting couple had their styling consultation with me, the husband shared that he wanted his wife to have the most amazing experience and that he wanted to her to feel special. So I arranged for a professional makeup artist on the morning of her session, a sparkly maternity gown just for her, and a personally crafted floral crown.

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    Favorite Element: My favorite part of this session was listening to the husband offer so much verbal adoration and assurance to his wife. He was blown away by her radiant beauty and made sure to compliment her continuously.

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    Biggest Challenge: I feel comfortable in posing my maternity clients individually, but leading into this session I felt challenged on how to incorporate the husband and show depth to their love. After witnessing them interact with each other, I let them take the lead in posing and just had to fine tune at times.

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    Final Thoughts: As I reflect on sessions like this, I can’t help but think how quickly I get emotionally attached my clients. There is something so sacred about being trusted to spend a few hours with a couple, and in that time, to reveal a love story thru the photos I capture. I appreciate when clients are genuinely candid with their feelings of anticipation, joy, and devotion.

     

    Michelle Anderson is a Knoxville, TN photographer. Whether taking maternity, newborn, childhood, or family photos, Michelle’s goal is to document your loved one’s moments, and to create memories to be displayed on your walls and tucked away deep in your hearts.

    For inquiries, and for more from Mango Mahalo Photography, visit Michelle’s website, Like Mango Mahalo Photography on Facebook, and follow Michelle on Instagram and Pinterest.

    About the Contributor: Trained first as a pediatrician, Michelle started exploring photography after the birth of her first daughter. Now with 3 young children, she spends Her days as a stay-at-home mom & photographing children of all ages in Eastern Tennessee.

  • May 19, 2016

    Your Best (for You!) Business

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    I spent a couple of years as a small group leader for women photographers in Indiana. One of the things I found myself telling women repeatedly was, “Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Do what works for you.” As individuals and as business owners, each of our needs are unique to us. What works for one entrepreneur may not necessarily work for you. We are bombarded with varying definitions of success.

    So, it took me by surprise when a little over a year ago, I found myself caught up in this ‘no win’ game. Over time, I had started running myself ragged doing what I thought I should to be doing instead of what I knew worked for me. I found myself defining success by what other people said it should be, rather than what my own goals were.

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    I’ve always photographed almost everything (read: never said no), but I spent the majority of my time with high school seniors and babies. I was very busy trying to make my little business successful. My kids are almost grown, but are still in school (so not quite on their own). My husband travels for work extensively. I’m very active in Crossfit. And that’s in addition to all the other every-day things.
    Then last summer, just as I was hitting “busy season,” things went a little hay-wire. I started getting sick. I had terrible pain in my jaw that continued to worsen. I was diagnosed with TMJ, but nothing seemed to help. To make a long story short, I had been mis-diagnosed, which eventually led to a five day stay in the ICU. Three of those days, I was completely unconscious and on a ventilator.

    Everything stopped.

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    My husband (God bless him) was there to email all of my clients, explaining that I would be out of commission, and although he wasn’t sure how long it would take, I’d be in touch as soon as possible. Fortunately, I had been reducing my workload, having been sick for the month previous to my hospital admission.

    After I got out of the hospital, I knew I needed to make a change. The things I was doing in my business were only serving to take up my time, not make me a more successful photographer. It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race. Although for years I prided myself in staying off that roller coaster, over the years I slowly found myself right in the middle of it.

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    After I was able to get caught up with all my clients, I started the process of deciding how to restructure my business. I wanted to cut down my shoots and the number of hours I was working, but still make enough to justify keeping a studio which allows me to shoot year-round easily.

    I started looking at my numbers as well as what I really enjoyed shooting. For me, both of those things coincided. Newborns and children are where I have the most fun, and also happen to make up the majority of my work. Newborn sessions are less seasonal, too, unlike the way senior sessions were for me. After deciding the direction I would take, I started figuring out all of my expenses; I decided what financial cuts I could make, and what income I would need to continue. I looked over my records for the last year to see exactly what products my clients were purchasing.

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    With that in mind, I began reorganizing my product and pricing structure. I eliminated many products that were time consuming for me to produce and provided a low profit margin. In fact, I eliminated more than half of the products I was offering at the time! I also added some new sessions that would draw more of the client base I was looking for.

    Once I had everything ready, there was only one thing left to take care of, and for me it was going to be a drudge — my website. Being an entrepreneur, we basically have to be Jills of all trades, but this is not my strong suit. In fact, just talking about changing websites would send me into complete stress mode! I had used the same website for the last 8 years. I knew it needed updating, but I kept putting it off. With the restructure, I had to make the change. Even with a friend’s help, the website took me two months to complete. Seriously, it was like nails grinding on a chalk board!

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    I finally had everything in order to make it official, and released it on social media. So far the response has been good, and I’m excited to have more time to breathe, take care of my home, and focus on the other things I love.

    There are many good business models out there, but I’ve always encouraged women who were thinking about starting a photography business to decide what will work best for them and build from there. For me, that currently means specializing in one area of photography, and leaving some of the excess behind. Remembering what my own life needs and goals are helps keep it all in check. I’m choosing to follow my own advice: I don’t have to live up to someone else’s standard of success. I just have to know what I want and work from there.

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    Tabitha Parker is based in Indianapolis, Indiana. She specializes in newborn and children’s portraits. For more from Fresh Canvas Photography, and for booking inquiries, please visit Tabitha’s website, Like Fresh Canvas Photography on Facebook, and follow Tabitha 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.

  • May 18, 2016

    An Interview with Layla Zakaria of LZ Moments Photography

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    NAPCP: To start off, tell us a little about yourself and your photography.

    Layla Zakaria (LZ): I was born and grew up in Berkshire, England. I loved photography from an early age. I had my first dark room in my bathroom when I was 17 . I loved the excitement of not knowing what I had captured until I developed them in the dark room. Family life took over and my photography slowed down. My husband is American and I moved to the U.S. 6 years ago. A few years ago I started back into my passion of photography and it has just kept growing!

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    NAPCP: Your primary focus is newborn photography, and you also do extensive work with the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS) remembrance photography organization. Why do you choose to lend yourself and your skills to NILMDTS?

    LZ: I absolutely adore being a newborn and baby photographer; seeing new parents with their precious babies makes me feel honored to be a part of it all. I have personal experience with the loss of a child and know the heartache will always be there, but if I can give something back to give a little comfort, then that’s all that matters. It’s hard — unbelievably so — but the positives outweigh the negatives.

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    NAPCP: You have a beautiful editing style. What is your favorite editing tool, and do you use it in your remembrance photography as well?

    LZ: I must say my favorite editing tool is having a good day! I use LightRoom and PhotoShop (PS), and love Paint the Moon actions. For remembrance photography, I edit in black and white, and use PS for skin smoothing.

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    NAPCP: Share your current favorite photo with us. Why is it your favorite?

    LZ: This black and white image of my daughter is one in a hundred! She never lets me take her picture.

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    NAPCP: Describe your dream photo shoot.

    LZ: My dream shoot would be to photograph my toddler like I can other babies — she will not do anything for me when I try to photograph her. I think she’s so used to having the camera around that she’s not interested in it at all. It took 4 of us to get one picture of her for Christmas!

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    NAPCP: You home school two of your children. This has been a hot topic of interest in the NAPCP Member Community. What advice do you have for a work-from-home photographer interested in homeschooling?

    LZ: I have 5 children, two that are in England at university. My 13 year-old daughter goes to mainstream school, and my 14 year-old son, and 3 year-old, are at home with me. I home school my son as he was diagnosed with ADHD and high functioning autism, and did not do well in school. I am usually editing while he does his school work. I have my studio in my home, so it works out with my daytime baby sessions, as I have someone to watch the toddler … even though she likes to crash the photo sessions to “help”. I think homeschooling is a great way to really know what your child is learning, and pick up on any problem areas quickly. My son does a lot of sports, for social reasons, and there are lots of meet-up groups and networks to help, too.

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    NAPCP: Where do you see yourself and your photography in 5 years?

    LZ: I would love my own commercial studio. I have looked into it a couple of times this year, but I’m not sure if I want to make that big jump yet. So maybe in 5 years.

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    NAPCP: You are a champion for meeting the needs of NILMDTS and similar remembrance photography organizations. Take a moment to tell us about your passion for this type of photography.

    LZ: It started with me reading a newborn editing book when I was just starting out with newborn photography — I was reading through and got to a section about remembrance photography. I actually didn’t even know remembrance photography existed, and found it emotionally overwhelming to even think about. I knew I wanted to help, but wasn’t sure I could do it. I spoke to my husband and gave myself a year before putting in my application. I was so excited to be accepted but also found myself never wanting that call. My area coordinator, Shelly, is amazing … she probably didn’t realize how nervous I was for the first session, but she truly helped me more than she knows. I can’t say I actually have passion for this type of photography, but I love giving something to parents, at such a difficult time in their lives. We really need a lot more photographers to give their skills and time to this cause.

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    Layla Zakaria is a Katy and Houston family photographer, specializing in newborns and children. Layla also photographs events.

    Located in Cinco Ranch, Katy, TX, and serving the local Katy area, Sugar Land, and Houston, Layla Zakaria is a member of NAPCP, photographer for Katy Magazine, remembrance photographer for NILMDTS, and has had her work published in numerous magazines and advertisements.

    For more from Layla, and for inquiries, visit Layla’s website, and Like LZ Moments Photography on Facebook.

     

    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 17, 2016

    New in the Store: Spring Marketing Postcard Pack!

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    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 can be uploaded and ordered through Artifact Uprising here! Artifact Uprising is also extending a special discount code for 10% off your next order (included in your download folder)!

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    A couple of especially fabulous features of this product are that each postcard may feature a separate client, and you have plenty of room to hand-write a call-to-action to each individual client. This provides a fully custom experience for your clients — something we are proud the member photographers of NAPCP are known for!

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    Not a photographer? These postcard packs are also ideal for sending mid-year updates and summer greetings to family and friends. In the digital age, paper, ‘snail mail’ communication is cherished, and you can be sure that your NAPCP + Artifact Uprising will be of keepsake quality. (And let’s be honest, the design will impress, too!) Although not all text is editable, our design team has included phrasing that will easily fit a family’s use. A guideline to using Photoshop masks is included in your purchase, allowing you to make your packs as beautiful as can be!

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    Click here to get your Spring Marketing Postcard Pack!

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

    About the Contributor: Alice is a passionate creative who loves photographing childhood, planning meaningful events, and dreaming big. Kyu is a an entrepreneur who believes in living a life full of integrity and serving others. Since starting Alice Park Photography in 2006, Alice and Kyu's business has blossomed into one of the premier boutique studios in Buckhead and the Atlanta area. They consider themselves to be especially blessed having the freedom to run a business they love while raising their two young children, Lyon and Elise. In 2009, the couple’s love for the photography industry sparked them to create the National Association of Professional Child Photographers (NAPCP) – bringing together a community of passionate artists committed to growth in their craft and this unique industry. The thriving organization is their way of giving back to the global network of specialized child photographers that have supported Alice and Kyu so kindly over the years.

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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 […]