As 2012 has come to an end, many professional photographers are gearing up for 2013 and what this new year will bring. That means planning out the course of our businesses, wherever we hope that may take us. For many of us, continuing our education is a major part of our businesses. Every year there is more to learn, and setting aside the time and money towards furthering our education is completely integral to growing our business. As newborn photographers, there is always a new pose, new technique, new challenge that we may want to master and workshops are a great way to learn.
Image by Tamsen Donker – Creative Clicks Photography
We have been asked by readers for advice, information and reviews on workshops and we’d love to help. Thanks for sending us your questions – we’ll always try to answer them as best we can!
When deciding on a workshop, it’s important to decide on what you want to learn first…
- What will most benefit you in your business? What do you feel you need that extra help with?
Next, will you attend an in-person or online workshop?…
- Workshops can vary a lot in price and in content. Obviously the in-person workshops are more spendy, as there is travel, lodging, rentals and food costs on top of the actual workshop fee. If you are fortunate, you may find that a workshop is traveling to your area, which is a nice bonus! In-person workshops are nice in that you can see the teacher in their space, watch how they calm and pose the babies, and maybe get some hands on time posing or photographing the babies yourself as well. Often the workshop teacher will spend some time going over processing and editing as well, and may share some business information, pricing etc. if they are so inclined. Online workshop fees are often quite a bit cheaper, don’t involve any extra costs, and can be done on your own time, meaning no downtime from your regular work. PDF’s and videos are often provided to the students, as well as Q&A time with the teacher. If you are unable to travel, or are looking for help simply with processing, editing or workflow, online is the way to go!
Next, who is the best teacher for you?
- When selecting the workshop it is very important that you remember a few key factors. You’ll want to choose someone whose work inspires you, and who has mastered the style that appeals to you, whether in posing or editing. The teacher should be experienced – learning from a photographer who teaches only things she has learned from other workshops will not benefit you. That teacher will not know or understand why she is doing things a certain way, only that so-and-so told her that was the way to do it… and that will not help you to understand why you should be doing it that way as well! Lastly, the photographer should be a good teacher. While there are many professionals who are very talented photographers, are great at editing, and excel in their business practices, they may not be good teachers. Reading reviews and asking previous attendees of the workshops will give you a good understanding of the teachers ability.
Last but not least, price.
- Most photographers I have talked to have all said the same thing: don’t cheap out! The more expensive workshops tend come with more knowledge, talent and experience behind the price tag. Don’t make a decision you’ll regret. Spend your money wisely – there are workshops that are overpriced, definitely. But choosing to do one fabulous but expensive workshop over a variety of cheap workshops will get you farther in the long run.
A few other factors to consider when you are choosing a workshop.
- Does the teacher shoot with natural light or studio lights? If you only shoot studio, you may want to only consider a teacher who does the same type of lighting as you.
- Will there be any hands on experience? Can you also take images of the models?
- Goodies – some workshops provide really fun and beautiful gift bags to the attendees!
- Food – will meals or snacks be provided? It’s often a long day, and food and drinks are necessary. Also, will dietary restrictions be considered?
- Group size – will you be 1-on-1 or will it be a large group size? Smaller groups give you more time to ask questions but larger groups mean the price is usually a little lower.
- If you have a decent sized studio, sometimes you can ask the teacher to host a workshop in your studio, thus saving travel costs and also saving part or all of the workshop fee!
Image by Jennifer Blakeley –Jennifer Blakeley Photography
We’ve rounded up a list of newborn photographers who offer in-person or online workshops and have linked them up below. Continue reading below for personal workshop reviews!
Baby As Art, in person with Carrie Sandoval and Brittany Woodall
Kelley Ryden and Tracy Raver, in person
Keri Meyers, in person
Baby Vogue, in person with Stephanie Robin Photography & Jillian Kirby
Heather Rivlin, in person
Newborn Safety and Posing, with Stephanie Robin online through Learn Shoot Inspire
Newborn Goodness, in person with Laura Brett
The Newborn Experience, in person with Allison Peck and Melissa Wells
Pure Baby Workshops, in person with Robin Long
Son Kissed Photography, in person with Kristen Mackey
Newborn Sessions: Start to Finish, with Sarah Ulrich online through Learn Shoot Inspire
The Newborn Guide, by Ashley Skjaveland
Amber Shereen, in person
“In May of 2011 I spent the weekend with Amber Shereen and 4 other professional photographers. To say it was time well spent would be an understatement. Seeing how another professional keeps a precious new life content and cozy, in the most perfect light and in safe posing situations was money well spent. Amber was calm, knowledgeable, and willing to answer any questions we had. She tried her best to pose each baby in the positions we as photographers, wanted to learn. If one was unwilling, Amber was kind and gentle with these precious babes, leading them into another position they seemed comfortable in instead. She is a wonderful newborn photographer, a natural. I highly recommend her.”
Amber Shereen Photography: http://www.ambershereen.com/
Review from Karen Byker, LPPO
Reflections of Life Photography
“I attended an in-person workshop in California with Baby as Art and 4 other professional photographers in June of 2011. It was an investment for my business and the experience of a lifetime. Visiting their (tiny) natural light studio and seeing how they were able to best use their space inspired me, giving me the confidence that I would also be able to create beautiful work in my very small studio. Carrie and Brittany shared everything- their vendors for props and blankets, their best posing tips, their camera settings, their marketing plans, their pricing and products, as well as their processing and editing. We all received a beautiful book with their images, as well as a printed review of their editing workflow. They were able and willing to answer any questions we had. We were all given time to photograph each baby in each pose that they showed us. At the end of the day, they also took the time to critique 10 images from each attendee. I highly recommend their workshop.”
Baby as Art: http://www.babyasart.com/
Review from Tamsen Donker
Creative Clicks Photography
“In July of 2011 I traveled to Duvall Washington for a 2 day, 1:1 mentoring with Keri Meyers. During the two days with Keri, in her quaint natural light studio – I learned a mountain of information that I was then able to apply to my newborn sessions moving forward. Keri covered posing, safe and easy transitioning, color theory, soothing techniques, wrapping, and editing. I can’t say enough about Keri, she is such a nice woman and was an open book during my mentoring – answering all of my questions with thoughtful and insightful answers. Although Keri is a natural light photographer, and I myself use studio lights only – I chose Keri as my mentor because I admire her posing and the clean look of her photographs – learning to pose correctly and safely was most important to me personally and I felt that Keri was the right fit for my style. From my experience, I highly recommend Keri’s mentoring to anyone looking to better their newborn photography skills.”
Keri Meyers Photography: http://www.kerimeyersphotography.com/
Review from Jennifer Blakeley, LPPO
Jennifer Blakeley Photography
“This past summer I hosted the Baby as Art Canada Workshop here at my studio in Welland, Ontario. Carrie Sandoval and Brittney Woodall of Baby as Art are the most renowned newborn photographers in the industry. Over the course of four days, and two separate workshops, attendees from all over the world including the U.S., Canada, England, Scotland, Australia and Japan travelled to Niagara for the opportunity to learn from Carrie and Britt. It was an incredible experience, not only learning from Baby as Art but spending time with like minded photographers from all over the world!
I consider myself a seasoned photographer, with 8 years experience photographing those wee bundles of joy. So why would I want to attend a newborn photography workshop? As with any other profession, it is important to continually learn and grow. Not only did I gain valuable tips and tricks in posing newborns, my passion for newborn photography was renewed and my spirits rekindled.
A good workshop will broaden your knowledge technically and creatively. It will push your creative limits and provide the opportunity to try new lighting and posing techniques. We never stop learning. Education keeps us fresh and inspired.”
Review from Daniela Berkhout
Daniela Berkhout Photography
Written by: Tamsen Donker – Creative Clicks Photography