I know life has slowed down dramatically for all of us since the COVID-19 panic began almost a month ago. My days certainly look different: instead of planning sessions with clients and preparing for maternity or newborn photos, I’m spending all day, every day with my girls.
I’m thankful for this extra time with them…but I can safely say the experiment in homeschooling has been a lot more challenging than I ever expected!
Blogging for ShootProof!
One thing that has kept me going while I’m not photographing mamas and babies is blogging all things photography over at the ShootProof blog.
ShootProof is a photo gallery delivery service for professional photographers. It’s how we get your lovely photos to your inbox! ShootProof is one of many companies out there who give photographers and their clients an easy, seamless experience to upload, review and download images. They also run a super popular blog for all kinds of photographers to stay in-the-know about trends and tips.
Earlier this year they were on the hunt for bloggers to share industry tips and suggestions for hobbyists and photographers with new businesses. I was thrilled to join their team of writers in the spring, just before the COVID-19 shutdown meant I wouldn’t be shooting sessions for a while.
Just this week my blog post on photographing in low light was posted (you can see the header photo above!), and earlier this year I shared five tips every new photographer should know. Sometimes ShootProof uses my photos; other times, it’s my content paired with images from another talented pro.
In the coming weeks, ShootProof will share posts I wrote on 10 ways to keep your photo biz business moving during COVID-19 and tips for launching a photography business. I’m also working on content related to documentary-style photo sessions, which will run at some point this year! I’m planning on contributing two-four posts monthly, and they’ll run according to the ShootProof editorial calendar.
A sweet nursery feature over at Something Turquoise!
I’ve been waiting quite a while to share this blog post! Last October I photographed the Revels family, including mom, dad and newborn Leo. His Star Wars-themed nursery was nothing short of incredible; I knew there had to be an editor out there who would go nuts over it!
I shared session photos with the ladies who run Something Turquoise and they were impressed with Leo’s magical room too! Their editorial calendar was full until spring 2020 (even though I pitched them in October 2019!) so we had to wait several months for the photos and blog post to go live.
Mama Alix shared the inspiration behind Leo’s nursery, as well as the process of preparing this special space for him. What an honor for her to see all that hard work be shared with the world in this blog post! I was equally proud for such a popular blog to showcase this sweet session of Leo and his family.
My DIY newborn photos guide is making the rounds online!
A recent challenge for my business during COVID-19 is figuring out how I can take newborn photos when state and local business restrictions prevent me from going into client homes right now. In the grand scheme of life, amidst all of the layoffs and furloughs that are hurting families, I recognize that this is a minor issue.
However, I also know how disappointing it is for my mamas to let go of having “fresh baby” newborn photos taken. Life looks nothing like how any of us planned; I have two mamas due this week, and I wish I were just waiting by the phone to hear the babies were here so we could schedule in-home sessions right away.
I spent a couple of weeks wracking my brain trying to figure out how I could give my mamas some semblance of a normal session while honoring stay-at-home guidelines.
Then, a lightbulb went off: I could simply walk them through a newborn mini session via Zoom or FaceTime!
I used a DIY newborn guide created by Milk & Honey Photography and personalized it with some of my own content and my photos. This was how The Newborn Experience: Before & After was born!
How The Newborn Experience: Before & After works
I’ve broken up a regular in-home session into two parts. Before we shoot the in-home session, I set up a Zoom or FaceTime call with my clients. With me giving instruction in real time, we go through the DIY newborn photos guide together. I am there watching and assisting with posing, lighting, etc. via Zoom while mom or dad take photos with their phone or camera.
Clients have the option of sending me the photos they take and I will edit and return free of charge.
Then, after business restrictions are lifted, we’ll schedule the in-home session as planned!
There are quite a few advantages to this, even if it is unconventional:
- my clients still get “fresh baby” newborn photos!!
- they get those “fresh baby” photos without the headache or stress of taking them without guidance or help
- my DIY guide gives plenty of tips and posing inspiration for parents to use during our video chat and as baby grows!!
- hardly any of my colleagues are taking newborn bookings right now. The newborn stage is so fleeting! Instead of not getting any polished, lovely photos the first six weeks or so, my clients will have gorgeous snaps to share with loved ones now and after our in-home session.
- I will shoot an in-home session for everyone who books now with me, even if business restrictions are in place for several more weeks!
- All of my clients have access to exclusive offers and savings from vendors like Parabo Press & Basic Invite!
This DIY newborn photo guide available here has been SUCH a hit with expectant and new parents! It’s been shared all over social media and downloaded from my own website by many families who want beautiful newborn images!
I know it takes a lot of trust to try something so different, but I’m confident I can help clients take lovely photos of their newborns via video chat. After all, I’ve successfully taught classes to people brand new to photography, on top of my 6.5 years in business myself. There are a few key secrets to taking super sweet baby photos that dramatically improve your images, and I’m sharing all of that during these Zoom & FaceTime sessions!
Even more exciting news!
I’m also using this downtime to figure out what will benefit my business the most once life is (somewhat) back to normal and I can begin scheduling again.
Just last week I ordered a brand new maternity gown for my client closet – it’s absolutely breath-taking in person!
This soft pink was unavailable for several weeks and I was so bummed, thinking I’d missed my chance to add it to my client closet. Then, an email arrived saying it was back in stock, and I ordered this gorgeous gown that very second!
I love the dramatic sleeves and delicate lace, in addition to the way it flows over a mama’s pregnancy curves. I can’t wait to try it out during a maternity session as soon as biz restrictions are lifted.
I’ve also got my eye on a stunning dark green velvet gown that would be beyond ideal for winter maternity sessions!!
I’m also working on a special client gift that I think every mama will love!!!
I don’t want to give away too much here, but I want to ensure my clients can celebrate their babies with beautiful photos even after their sessions with me are wrapped up! This gift will help make that a reality!
Life everyone else, I’m so hopeful that we can return to normal quickly. I want to get back to designing beautiful sessions for my clients and delivering incredible images to celebrate pregnancy and new babies. I’m looking forward to spoiling pregnant mamas and families with new babies with lovely photos soon!