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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  • Jul 23, 2018

    3 Reasons I Truly Love Being a Professional Family Photographer

    I am Mary Okner of Mary Bea Photography. I am based in San Jose, CA and photograph families up and down the San Francisco Bay Area as well as around the country. I’d like to share with you a little bit about myself and 3 reasons why I absolutely love being a family photographer!

    Growing up, I always dreamed about my adult life and how fantastic it was going to be. Even my teachers told my mom that I was going to be a great adult. Clearly, academics were not my forte. I am dyslexic and while that does mean I learn differently it also means my creativity is nearly endless — be it my imagination, my photographic eye, or my needle pointing hobby … each of these things feed my soul!

    I am so lucky to be able to use my unique perspective to artistically tell the stories of families and their unique relationships, and document their children’s growth. That is reason number 1 why I truly love what I do.

    I consider myself fortunate to be able to say I do what I love, and mean it. As the saying goes, “If you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life,” and I am blessed to say that is true for me. When I was asked to do a photography session for some close family friends on a family vacation, not only did I not hesitate to say yes, but I was thrilled to do so!

    The flexibility to work anywhere, especially while on vacation (Really, who else can say they love getting to work while on vacation?) is reason number 2 why I truly love what I do.

    At the end of this photo session, the sun hadn’t quite set but I knew we had a ton of fantastic images. I took this opportunity to break out my Sweet 35 Lensbaby lens that I brought with me to play around with and experiment a little. Taking every opportunity to stretch my creativity even farther feels like such a treat to me; it was the icing on the cake to an already fantastic family photo session on the beach.

    The ability to constantly push myself creatively … be it through double exposure, free lensing, specialty lenses or my newest challenge of underwater photography … is reason number 3 why I truly love what I do.

    I hope you enjoy seeing these images as much as I loved creating them. Thanks for taking the time to check out my work!

    About the Contributor: Mary Okner, the artist behind Mary Bea Photography. Mary is a San Francisco Bay Area photographer specializing in child and family photography, focusing on cute candid images with an emphasis on celebratory experiences.

  • Jul 18, 2018

    9 Tips for a Successful Session with a Toddler

    You probably had photos taken of your baby, but now you are a parent of a toddler! We all know how fun toddlers are: opinionated, full of energy, playful, but also full of emotions, testing boundaries and challenging. They are fun but they are also a lot of work. Sometimes we dread going anywhere with our toddlers, anticipating a potential meltdown. The thought of a family session can be very daunting and stressful. Many parents decide to skip it and wait until their kids get to that age (if ever) where they can stand still and smile perfectly.

    As a family photographer, I am here to tell you that YOU SHOULD NOT SKIP THESE SESSIONS! Toddlers are challenging but they also are the subjects of some of the best photos I have taken or seen. The most honest and true photos are when I get down to toddler level and have fun with them. I follow them on their imagination adventure and then if there is a tantrum I patiently wait and afterwards we continue as if nothing happened.

    Here are 9 tips for making your photography session with a toddler successful:

    1. Do your research. Make sure your photographer has an ample amount of experience photographing toddlers.

    2. It is also important to choose a location carefully. Let’s face it, our toddlers are on the move. They are tiny explorers and containing them is not a task you can easily accomplish.

    3. Do not skip a nap for your session. Naps are crucial to your child’s mental disposition. A nap can mean the difference between a perfect angel and a whiny zombie child.

    4. Dress your toddler appropriately for the session. This one seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many times my little clients showed up in a beautiful summer dress and shiny shoes they’ve never worn, on a very cold day. The Bay Area is full of micro-climates and dressing accordingly (with layers) is so important. Also, comfortable clothes for running and playing are absolutely necessary. We all want your child to be happy, and proper clothing is a first step that is fairly easy to accomplish. Also, breaking in a new pair of shoes is not recommended for photo sessions!

    5. A full stomach prior to the session makes everyone happy. This doesn’t only apply to the toddler. As a parent I am often very busy and I tend to forget to eat, especially when preparing for a family outing. Make taking care of yourself a priority, too.

    6. Reschedule the session at the first sign of sickness. Toddlers pick up germs easily and can be sick at random times throughout the year. If they’re feeling under the weather, they could be slightly more irritable then usual and their noses may be running like a faucet. As a family photographer, I am always ready to accommodate such circumstances. I want great photos as much as the client, so it’s better for everyone to shoot during a time when everyone is well.

    7. A little (bribe, if necessary) goes a long way. I use M&Ms with my boy and you would be surprised how much happiness one can radiate when thinking about that little colorful M&M candy. In all seriousness it can be candy, a toy from a prize box, or even a healthy snack — whatever will motivate your little subjects.

    8. When it comes to choosing a location for your session, think like a toddler. Toddlers trip and fall easily. For example, having a shoot near a cliff is a very bad idea. An equally bad idea is to photograph at a park with a playground in open view, unless you are willing to capture images at the playground. If you are running out of ideas or you are unsure of where to bring your family for a session, you can always ask your photographer to give suggestions or advice on where to have your outdoor session.

    9. Let go of your expectations. Natural and candid photos are often the most beautiful. In fact, the beauty of toddler photography is that posed is almost impossible. True and honest is what you will get.

    About the Contributor: Hello! My name is Bojana. I am a lifestyle photographer located in the San Francisco Bay Area. I specialize in newborn, maternity, child and family photography. I use only natural light to produce organic, pure and timeless images.

  • Jul 11, 2018

    July 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring 2018 International Image Competition Winners!

    This month’s issue of Inspired features our February 2018 International Image Competition Winners! Click here to read their exclusive interviews, learn more about the 2018 Best New Emerging Child Photographer, and see the photos we have featured this month from our #napcp hashtag on Instagram.

    Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients.


    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 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 two kids. When she is not working, you can find her photographing or doing multiple home improvement projects.

  • Jul 02, 2018

    The Inspired by NAPCP Gallery Event is Now Open for Submissions!

    There’s nothing quite like a print competition. And we’re once again giving photographers the opportunity to experience a new aspect of their artistry in this way. Announcing the Second Annual Inspired by NAPCP Gallery Event! A creative competition and gallery reception.

    Through this event we hope you are inspired to take time to develop your skills. We certainly are! We feel it is especially important to give our member and non-member photographers alike the opportunity to explore creativity in new ways.

    Right now the NAPCP team is hard at work planning your Inspired Gallery Event and would love to see your work entered. Please click here for registration and more details about submitting your work into this singular competition!

    This competition is open to non-members! Remember, a limited number of 100 images will be selected for inclusion into the gallery event. You do not have to be present at the Gallery Event to enter or win.

    It means the world to us to be able to provide you with this opportunity again! We look forward to 2018 being another amazing year for NAPCP!

    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.

  • Jun 29, 2018

    The Most Beautiful Celtic Themed Motherhood Photography Session

    It was over a year ago when I first met the beautiful mother (Lindsay) who was the focus of this photography session.  We met at the Rock Your Bump trade show that I had the pleasure of being a vendor at in April of 2017.  Lindsay came to me with the vision to capture the end of her breastfeeding journey with her youngest daughter.  Lindsay also explained that she wanted to capture – what she coined – a ‘Celtic breastfeeding family photography session’ right here in Red Deer, Alberta.  Now, while I am known for fine art creative photography, this caught me off guard just a little.  I had never seen a Celtic breastfeeding photography session before and had no idea what that really meant – but through the consultation process, I saw Lindsay’s vision and why the theme was so important to her.  From there we planned what you see a very small sample of here (there were 90+ photos at the end for her to select from).

    Creative fine art photography sessions can also come with specific props that I provide.  This session begged for floral crowns.  If you know my work, you know that I LOVE floral crowns and babies adorned with flowers.  I get giddy just thinking about them and the crowns you see in these images came from Earthy Accents in Bentley, Alberta.  It is seriously one of the best little flower shops in Alberta and they always create exactly what I am looking for when I decide last moment that “this” is what I need.  Go say “Hi” and tell Leslie (the gorgeous owner) that you saw her work here – it will make her day!

    Motherhood photography has been an amazing niche to fall into with my family photography business. Motherhood is a period of life to be celebrated and remembered, while your baby (or babies) are still little. This motherhood photography session was the second fine art motherhood session that I have shot in two years (both in Central Alberta), and created imagery around that is both beautiful and in my opinion – of heirloom quality. Creating images that tickle the soul and capture the imagination is the most exciting aspect of creative fine art photography, and this motherhood photography session was no exception. The visual connections between a mother and child is a privilege to capture, and it goes without saying that the passion a mother has for her kids is just breathtaking to photograph.

    The very best part of these sessions is allowing the family photography session to flow naturally. I run all of my sessions with the hope to be done 1-2 hours from start time – longer than the average family photography session. With all the preparation involved in a creative fine art photography session, it would be a waste to rush the photography and not let moments like these images depict form naturally. From a perfectly plump baby (I seriously couldn’t get over the rolls on that sweet darling – my babies were all very petite) to a perfectly confident and assured little girl their interactions with their momma were 100% genuine, authentic and real. Very little of this session was posed – and even that is a stretch as far as a description. I asked Lindsay to stand in certain spots so that the sun could be perfect for the images and lo and behold – the moments created themselves. Perfect pictures to top off a perfect and inspiring evening in Central Alberta.

    When you look at a motherhood photography session, it would likely be easy to fall in love with all the pictures. I sure can – the look in the children’s eyes as they gaze at their mother. The look in the mother’s eyes as she admires every inch of the child(ren) that she created in her body. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about all the feels that you can get when you witness love in all of its glory …

    But wait.

    It all can’t be that easy? Was there a difficult part of this session that seemed flawless from start to finish? All fantastic shoots have their challenges and for this one – like all photography sessions, there are always a couple of little things that throw a wrench into the game. The first in this case? Thistle. That silly prickly weed that is always flourishing around the ground in Alberta in the middle of summer. It is a hazard for the littles, and for the bigs as Lindsay and I trounced through tons of it to find the perfect light and location for these images.

    I will add one more thing too … mosquitoes. There are always millions of mosquitoes in Alberta in the summertime.

    About the Contributor: Hello! I have been a photographer for over 10 years now and have been photographing children almost exclusively for the past Five years. I have a 7-year-old son and 5-year-old Girl/Boy/Girl triplets that keep me busy and always inspired.

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  • August 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Heather Crowder!

    Our August issue of Inspired features Heather Crowder of Heather Crowder Photography Studio! Read her exclusive interview, get your FREE printable lunch box notes, and see which photos we have featured this month #napcp hashtag on Instagram. Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients. Save

  • July 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring 2018 International Image Competition Winners!

    This month’s issue of Inspired features our February 2018 International Image Competition Winners! Click here to read their exclusive interviews, learn more about the 2018 Best New Emerging Child Photographer, and see the photos we have featured this month from our #napcp hashtag on Instagram. Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your […]

  • June 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Lena Antaramian!

    This month’s issue of Inspired features Lena Antaramian of Live Love Laugh Photos! Click here to read Lena’s exclusive interview, see all of the Semifinalists in the Best New Emerging Child Photographer Contest, and see which photos we have featured this month from our June hashtag on Instagram. Print your copy of Inspired straight from […]

  • May 2018 Inspired Magazine: Featuring Marena Rudy!

    This month’s issue of Inspired features Marena Rudy of Marena Beck Photography! Click here to read Marena’s exclusive interview, learn all about our upcoming contests and events, and see which photos we have featured this month from our May hashtag on Instagram. Print your copy of Inspired straight from MagCloud! Share your favorite pieces with […]