We're excited to share a lovely feature by Jessica Davis as Baby Week 2016 continues! Enjoy~
I’m a portrait photographer based in San Diego, specializing in maternity, newborn and family lifestyle photography. I've worked with kids my entire life and during my college years at Brooks Institute of Photography I was a nanny and a daycare assistant. I graduated with a BA in Portrait Photography and started photographing the families that I nannied for while in college.
Before photographing a newborn session, I make sure the studio is prepared so I can easily transition from station to station. I also make sure the room is well-heated and turn on a sound machine so the newborn is comfortable and can relax/fall asleep. The best recipe is a full tummy for baby, a warm room and calm mommy and photographer. In between posing I pop a pacifier in the baby's mouth which is also very helpful. Grumpy babies are usually a result of tummy problems so after they are fed I make sure they are kept upright and burped before going into a new pose. I make sure to be aware of what positions the baby prefers, there are definitely some babies who are more comfortable on their tummy or back which will dictate the poses I end up doing.
Safety is always my number one priority. I am up to date on all of my vaccines and so are my assistants. I make sure to thoroughly wash my hands often during the shoot. Some newborn poses are more challenging than others and I make sure to move slowly and be cautious of this while posing.
Being a newborn photographer comes with some learning curves, some of which I learned the hard way! After years of being peed/pooped on and having babies spoil their parents preferred outfits....I have opted for a simple diaper cover to avoid disruptions in posing and having to switch out setups.
Everyone has their own style/level of expertise but when it comes to newborn photography, I am a stickler for these three things:
Over use of props or themed outfits. The baby should be the focus of the photograph.
Taking the time for newborn hand placement. Spending a little more time in a pose helping to relax their hands makes a huge difference in the end result.
You don't need a fancy studio. The client’s home/baby nursery is often the best environment. Everyone is relaxed when they don't have to venture out of the house with a brand new baby.
I also incorporate in-persons sales into my business. I believe in owning/archiving your images in a beautiful coffee table album as an heirloom. My products are a la carte, the client has an in-studio appointment two weeks after the session to sit down and view/order products.
Looking back to when I started, I wish I had known to keep it simple. Clients homes usually provide you with everything you need as far as setting. It's easy to get caught up in the newborn prop world but my clients always prefer the simple clean portraits and so do I.
Check in tomorrow as we continue Baby Week 2016 and feature another one of our top baby photographers!
Portrait Photographer based in Sunny San Diego, CA. I shoot on location and at my modern natural light studio in the Cedros Design District. I specialize in Maternity, Newborn and Family Lifestyle Photography.
To view more of Jessica's work, visit her here.
Dear Ashley and Graham circa 2008,
Your business will not live and die by social media. You're going to be tempted to put more time into Facebook and Instagram than you do into in-person relationships because it will feel like that's what everyone else is doing; it will feel like the only way to keep up. Resist that temptation. Resist the urge to jump on the ever changing hamster wheel of social media. When you get on that hamster wheel it will feel like you're running as fast as you can and getting nowhere. And that's exactly where sinking unscheduled, unintentional time into social media will get you: nowhere.
Next to framed art, albums are a favorite, no-brainer product you should be offering every client. Albums are the one product that truly stands the test of time and will be treasured for generations to come. Not long ago, album design went a bit “photographers-gone-wild” with acrylic, metal, and even fur covers. Remember that panoramic ultra-wide album fad?
Luckily the tide has turned back to favoring a classic, luxury presentation.