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  • May 24, 2017

    Are Newborn Photos Worth It? 4 Questions, Answered

    Almost 5 years ago, I was eagerly anticipating the birth of my first child. I’d prepped everything, my suitcase was ready, and I’d booked a photographer months before for her special newborn session. I couldn’t wait! A week after she was born, I was so excited the day had arrived for her session and I worked with a wonderful newborn photographer who truly seemed to spin magic as she posed my precious baby, added headbands, and positioned her with various props. I was in love with the photos and the experience, and decided then that, one day, I’d take my photography hobby to the next level and become a newborn photographer to provide experiences just like that to future families.

    Fast forward to today and I’m now 35 weeks pregnant with our fourth and last child, our third little boy. I have followed my dream to become a newborn photographer and absolutely love preserving those special memories for my clients. Every time I see one of those tiny babies, just a few days old, I am so awestruck at their little features and movements. I am also completely humbled and honored to have been chosen by a family to capture these special moments that pass all too quickly.

    Yet there is one thing, one question that I’ve encountered over the years as both a mom and now a professional photographer that I never anticipated. I’ve met numerous expecting parents who ask, “Why bother with newborn photos? The babies are too young to smile or interact with anyone and they don’t even look like ‘themselves’ as they change so much during the first year.”

    Whoa. I’d never even had those thoughts or questions before! Maybe I’ve always been a bit biased since I’ve been passionate about photography for a long time. For me, there is never a question of, “Do I take a photo of this?” Ask my husband or my kids and they will say I run and grab my camera way too often! For me, it is about remembering a moment for what it is, and the pure enjoyment later that comes with viewing those photos again.
    But the question, I’ve learned, does have some merit and deserves an answer. And with the initial question of worth, there is a slew of other questions that accompany it. I feel it’s time to address these and get to the foundation of why I see value in newborn photos, and why I strongly believe every family should do them. Let’s dig in to these questions!

    1. Are newborn photos worth it?
    YES! (Again I know I’m biased but hear me out.) That newborn time is so very short and precious. They can only curl up like that and sleep that deeply for a brief window after birth. It’s an incredible time when they are so tiny they fit in a bucket! It’s not long before they get the special baby chunk and they can’t curl up like a newborn. They become more aware of their environment and find it difficult to sleep during a session.

    It’s also your new family’s first days with an additional little blessing and emotions are high. Some of my favorite photos are actually ones with new parents when I ask them to snuggle close to their baby. The expressions are pure joy and awe, something you can’t just create. Or to watch a parent as I take photos of just the siblings together and see them well up with emotion at those photos of all of their kids together for the first time.

    So, YES, these are important times to preserve memories. I haven’t met a family yet who regretted having a newborn session.

    2. The baby doesn’t even look like “themselves” until they get older so why not just wait for their first birthday?
    As a mom myself, I know for a fact how much kids change over a few weeks, months, and years. It’s mind-blowing just how much one tiny newborn can morph into a little person with a big personality by only their first birthday. Me, I strive to capture each stage, including the newborn stage. And if you truly want more traditional baby photos, I encourage parents to consider milestone packages where a photographer documents a baby’s first year. Yet I always find value in knowing where a person started, and newborn photos offer great perspective on just how MUCH growth occurred that first year so you can appreciate each milestone fully.

    3. Why do they cost so much? Baby sessions are cheaper …
    This one can be tricky to explain, but having been on both sides of newborn photos (including as a parent, before studying to become a professional photographer), I hope I can offer honest perspective. The first part of this question involves the photographer. Professional newborn photographers spend countless hours perfecting their craft and honing this niche skill. There is time invested in personal development, practicing posing with models, learning the intricacies of their camera, knowledge of lighting, even more education if using studio lighting, etc. And on top of it all they must be aware of newborn safety so the infants are never put in a position that could cause harm, create circulation problems while in a certain pose, or become overheated.

    The second part of this involves, you guessed it, the props. I’ll admit it, I have a serious weakness when it comes to props. I love new backgrounds, baskets, wraps, etc. and find it hard to stop myself at times for buying something I love in every color of the rainbow. And it all adds up to studio expenses. BUT, it’s a huge benefit to you, the parent, who books a session with a professional newborn photographer.

    You just have to show up and bring the baby!

    Yes, your time is so important and I know how amazing it is to walk into a studio and have that photographer be completely ready, providing everything you could need for a session. It may mean the session costs more, but you don’t have to shop for props, outfits, or anything in advance, and have the luxury of simply showing up for gorgeous pictures.

    4. Why should I pay more for a “professional” when I see so many other photographers offering newborn sessions at a fraction of the cost?
    This goes back to what I mentioned in the last question. A professional photographer has dedicated time, money, and energy to perfecting their craft. They are aware of and have experience in newborn safety. They offer a professional product, from digital editing to partnering with labs for high quality professional grade prints. There is merit in working with someone who values their work enough to charge accordingly and who I can trust with my child and the photography investment.

    I hope that delving into these questions has led to a better understanding of why I personally value newborn photos, and increased your awareness of all the nuances that accompany a newborn session. More than that, I hope it encourages you to seek out an experienced newborn photographer who can work his or her “magic” and preserve these incredibly special memories for your family.

     

    Jennifer Jackson, of Jennifer Lynn Photography, is an award-winning photographer in the Denver metro area of Aurora, Colorado. She specializes in custom portrait photography for newborns, babies, children, and families. Jennifer offers outdoor sessions for families and graduating seniors on location at scenic areas in Aurora, Centennial, Parker, and the surrounding Denver metro area. She is proud to be an experienced and trained newborn photographer, offering newborn and baby milestone sessions for baby’s first year, at her home studio. Jennifer is truly passionate about preserving memories for families that they can treasure for years to come.

    For more from Jennifer Lynn Photography, and for booking inquiries, please visit Jennifer’s website, Like her Facebook page, and Follow her on Instagram.

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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.

  • May 17, 2017

    The Light That Guides Me: A Toronto Lighthouse Session

    Inspiration:
    It’s cliche to say that my children are my inspiration, but it’s also true. They ARE my inspiration. But not quite all the time. There are the grumpy, tantrum, meltdown times when I’ll be honest, they don’t inspire me! But in this particular evening’s session, everything fell into place and the results touch my heart. I would be remiss not to mention that a falling late afternoon sun and a multi-layered petti-skirt actually DO inspire me ALL THE TIME.

    Favourite Element:
    Two elements: the sunlight and the emotional connections. These two elements are what I hope and aim to weave into every single one of my sessions. Both of them make me feel lit up inside and when I capture them, especially at the same time, I am beyond thrilled. Light diffused through trees onto two little siblings loving on each other; priceless.

    Biggest Challenge:
    As I alluded to above – my biggest challenge was shooting my own children. Shooting your own children is a whole different kettle of fish than shooting clients – there is no one else to ‘get them to cooperate’, there is a lot of moaning about ‘having to look at the camera again’, and there is the requirement that you actually parent at the same time as shooting, instead of getting lost in your creative mind. Tough stuff, but so worth it when the stars align and everyone stays happy the whole time.

    Final Thoughts:
    Shooting this session and printing the results for a wall collage were the epitome of the perfect portrait experience for me, and that rising feeling in my heart that results is what I aspire to provide to every client. I feel so lucky and thankful for the opportunity to bring this joy to others and I hope I can repeat it for my own family every now and then too.

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    About the Contributor: Heather is an internationally renowned family, baby and child photographer offering a luxurious and complete experience for those looking to capture and preserve their memories. She is also a connoisseur of coffee, bicycles and warm socks.

  • May 16, 2017

    May Inspired Magazine: Featuring the Inspired Gallery Event Winners!

    Click here to read our May magazine featuring the winners of our Inspired Gallery Event!

    Don’t forget, Inspired is now printable! Print your copy straight from MagCloud, and share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients.

     

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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.

  • May 15, 2017

    Photos: The Mothers of NAPCP

    The annual NAPCP Mother’s Day feature shows off the moms of NAPCP — and the amazing relationships formed between NAPCP members. You’ll find inspiration for your next photo shoot, along with many talented photographers with whom you can book your session, right here … no matter your style. We won’t say a word if you Pin all of them …

    Jennifer Kapala, of Jennifer Kapala Photography

    Deanne Mroz, of Deanne Mroz Photography

    Photo credit: One For The Wall Photography | Lauren Lawrence, of Lauren Lawrence Photography

    Jennifer Jackson, of Jennifer Lynn Photography

    Barb Toyama

    Photo credit: Kristen Montgomery | Weslie Woodley, of Weslie Woodley Photography

    Katherine Jackson, of The Mirrored Image

    Willy Wilson, of Life Unstill Photography

    Photo credit: Alex Christine Photography | Ute-Christin Cowan, of Ute-Christin Photography

    Photo credit: Angie Monson, of Simplicity Photography | Stephanie Neal, of Stephanie Neal Photography

    Marielen Cestari, of Mari Cestari Photography

    Crystal James, of Tiny Heart Studios

    Photo credit: Brooke Whitney Photography | Ashley Berrie, of Ashley Berrie Photography

    Photo credit: Emily Vaccaro, of Photography by Emily Payne | Sara Jennings, of Sara Jennings Photography

    Photo credit: Jessica Jane Photography | Jamie Sapp

    Photo credit: Lisa Turner Photography | Katie Mitchell

    Amy Law, of Little Stories

    Photo credit: Lindsey McDonald, Photographer | Barbara Liszcz, of My 3 Girls Photography

    Stephanie Clement, of Stephanie Clement Photography

    Alice Park, of Alice Park Photography, Park Studios

    Lisa Dowty, of Lisa Turner Photography

    Click through to the NAPCP Member Directory to find an amazing NAPCP member photographer near you. We sincerely hope each and every one of you had a beautiful Mother’s Day weekend!

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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.

  • May 11, 2017

    A Strawberry Boho Baby Session

    Inspiration :
    Those sought-after warm days after a long winter! Nothing says “It’s finally spring!” like a relaxing, sun-drenched day and a crate of strawberries.

    Favorite Element :
    When looking for the perfect location for this session, I wanted to keep in mind the elements that make springtime so beautiful. Warm natural light, tall uncut grass, and blooming flowers. I found everything I was hoping for under a large Flowering Dogwood tree. It supplied us with the perfect amount of light, shade, and bits of color from its white blooms!

    Biggest Challenge :
    Here in Kentucky, the weather can be a bit indecisive. Two days before Keagan’s shoot, it was 40 degrees and cloudy. We were worried – especially since this entire session was planned around being outdoors! The morning of her shoot, we were graced with 70 degrees and bright, beautiful skies! We felt extra lucky that day!

    Final Thoughts :
    I had the most joyous feeling when finishing this session. Keagan’s mom’s reaction to seeing the photos for the first time totally pulled at my heart. I was reminded and inspired to continue booking and planning sessions that were true and dear to not only my client’s hearts, but to mine as well.

     

    Brianna Bird is an award winning, full time portrait and wedding photographer, located in the Louisville, Kentucky area. She absolutely loves her career! A few of her other favorite things are handwritten letters, greenhouses, her childhood photo albums, grilled cheese, Wyoming, clients who become friends, anything lavender, kindness, and black dresses.

    For more from Brianna, and for inquiries, please visit her website, Like her Facebook page, and Follow her on Instagram.

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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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  • June Inspired Magazine: Featuring the First Half 2017 Image Competition Winners!

    Click here to read our June magazine featuring the winners our First Half 2017 Image Competition as well as our 25 Semifinalists for the 2017 Best New Emerging Child Photographer Contest! Don’t forget, Inspired is now printable! Print your copy straight from MagCloud, and share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients.   Save

  • Summer Birthday Pack: Printables, DIYs and so much more!

    Summer is officially upon us folks! Time to soak up some sun, enjoy the longer days and hunker down for the wave of birthday invites to soon flood your inbox. But fear not! If you have been tasked with planning an epic summer fling, it just so happens that we have an equally epic birthday kit perfect for […]

  • May Inspired Magazine: Featuring the Inspired Gallery Event Winners!

    Click here to read our May magazine featuring the winners of our Inspired Gallery Event! Don’t forget, Inspired is now printable! Print your copy straight from MagCloud, and share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients.   Save Save

  • Announcing the Inspired Gallery Event Winners!

    Hello friends! After much excitement and anticipation, we are absolutely thrilled to announce the winners of our Inspired by NAPCP Gallery Event. In contrast to our bi-annual International Image Competitions, the NAPCP Inspired Gallery Event was creative in nature and gave both members and non-members the chance to place in one of three categories — […]