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Hello all! This is my blog where I'll be posting all about newborn photography training, interviews with delegates and all sort of other interesting snippets!

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Newborn photography and staying positive

This post is all about newborn photography and staying positive. I teach many newborn photographers both in the UK and throughout the world. If you are a newborn photographer then you will not be photographing newborns at the moment, given the worldwide pandemic. I made the decision to temporarily close the studio. This was before the UK went on lockdown. Those that know me know that safety is my overriding principle in my studio and that includes any risk of infectious disease.

It’s easy as a photographer to sit and think “yikes – no work”. But actually you do have work! You have time now to do all the things for your business that you never had time to do before!

Staying positive can often require a mindset flip. I list some examples below.

  • instead of thinking “I have no work”, think “I do have work. I may not be shooting at the moment, but I can still be working on the backend of my business”
  • instead of thinking “I’m stuck inside and can’t go anywhere, think “I am in the best possible place and staying safe”
  • instead of thinking “I don’t know when this will end, everything is so uncertain”, think “things are uncertain but I can’t control that. What I can control is staying safe and listening to government advice to remain safe. This will pass.”

Take pleasure in the little things. I love to bake, so I will take time out of my day to bake a cake, or make some bread rolls. The simple things such as sunshine, the smell of fresh coffee, the new spring blooms can bring happiness if you stop for a while and just remain in the moment.

Be proactive. Now is the time to do a photography healthcheck on your business. Check your subscriptions – are you paying out for something you no longer use and don’t need? Look for offers – Adobe offers two months free when you go to cancel your membership. Light Blue Software are offering a 50% reduction on their subscriptions for those who need it, for three months.

HMRC are offering to pay self employed people 80% of their average net monthly earnings. This will be based over the past three years up to £2,500 per month for three months. This is available to those who earn no more than £50,000 per year net. HMRC will pay this directly into your bank account in one lump sum.

I run a Facebook group called Melanie East – The Art of the Newborn – if you are a newborn photographer and you would like to join then come on over. It’s a very friendly supportive group.

If you are interested in having me teach you newborn photography (art and/or business) at a later date, when all is calmer, or you would like some online remote mentoring then do get in touch by clicking here. Details on both can be found by clicking here. If you are a mama to be and you have landed on this blog post then you may like my other site – please click here for that.

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Coronavirus and Newborns

Coronavirus and Newborns. What an uncertain time and what a situation we are all in as photographers. Before the government put us in the UK on partial lockdown I had already made a decision to temporarily stop photographing newborns, older babies and children until the world is calmer. Those who know me know that safety is a huge value of mine. I never take any risks with newborn babies. I’m certainly not going to take a risk with an infectious disease. And particularly one when you can be asymptomatic and still contagious.

There are bookings in the diary for teaching newborn photographers. I made the decision to postpone those for the same reason. Coronavirus and newborns? Nope. I also of course have a duty of care to my photographer delegates and would never put them in a situation where they may catch an infectious disease. I am lucky in that every single newborn photographer I have booked in understands and respects my decision. And that is because they *also* take the safety of babies very seriously.

There is one common theme I have noticed about the photographers I teach. They are as passionate about newborn safety as I am. They want to learn how to photograph safely and to understand everything there is about a newborn baby. I love that. I received this from a newborn photographer I had to postpone because of the Coronavirus:

Thank you for getting in touch. I think your decision to postpone our training is very sensible and it reinforced to me one of the reasons why I chose you in the first place. You always put safety first before everything. Thank you for looking out for me and for the little babies…”

What a lovely note!

When people know your values, and they share the same values, they are naturally drawn to you. I am offering remote 1:1 mentoring for those who would like to learn with me. This isn’t a new thing – it’s been up and running for a good few months now. It’s something I offer for those who have either already been taught in person and wish to continue learning, or for those who live in another country, or for those who don’t need the “in person” training but would like to progress in terms of business or art (or both). Programs are tailor made. Do get in touch by clicking here if this is something which interests you. To read more about remote mentoring then please click here.

If you are a newborn photographer and you would like to join my Facebook group then please come along and join – available to photographers who do not live within a 50 mile radius of Bristol, UK. Click here to request to join and please answer the questions so that I may approve you!

New to Newborn Photography

It is my pleasure to feature my interview with Daniel Vaiman. I met Daniel when he came to me from Switzerland for a two day 1:1 masterclass. He was a delight to teach and is new to newborn photography. Daniel is a professional landscape photographer, musician, and teacher of music. He also runs landscape photography workshops. New to the field of newborn photography Daniel talks about his journey into the world of photography, and why he has chosen newborn photography.

New to newborn photography

Daniel, thank you so much for being here. Are you able to please tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

Photography has “followed” me and interested me very much since we moved to Israel. I was almost 11 at the time. A friend of my parents gave me a very simple camera for my birthday. Of course I had no idea about any of the technical aspects of the camera but every year in Israel the whole class would go on a road trip. Always I took this camera with me. Also on other occasions I’d just take the camera and start clicking :). Much later on, the camera was changed for the mobile phone, then another phone. (Who remembers the Sony Cybershot? 🙂 ).

Then 10 years ago a simple DSLR and all the way up to 2 Mirrorless that I’m using now. Basically it was always more than just a hobby, but I could never afford a camera before. I am also a musician and music teacher and the music/piano was taking up all the “free” time from studies and later on from work. 6 years ago I succeeded in “breaking off” just doing piano and decided to seriously pursue photography. I started with Astro photography as the night sky has fascinated me since I can remember. Then I went on to Landscape photography as well and finally arrived at Newborn Photography.

What made you decide to specialise in newborn photography?

Well, when my girlfriend was pregnant, I started seeing more and more newborn photos. If you have an interest in reading up on information about Newborns, you are going to find newborn photos whether you actually want it or not! Funnily enough, I suddenly find myself not only reading up information about newborns (sleeping patterns, feeding patterns etc etc etc) but I was actually looking at newborn photos. Then I started researching more and more, watching some videos and newborn photography courses online.

Everyone always told me: find your niche, find your niche… well… I found my niche! Or better said my other niche. I decided to have 2 Niches: My first is that I run photography workshops in Iceland where I teach people Astrophotography and Landscape photography. My second niche is newborn photography and to have a newborn photography studio in the city where I live. 


As soon as I was clear about that, my girlfriend told me that I must look for a mentor to really teach me and to give me information about how it works. It’s not the same as to find a nice mountain in Iceland, fiddle with composition for 2 hours and get your sunset right. It is much more than that! Well, my girlfriend, she was right :). So then I started looking online. I was actually looking specifically in the UK as I’ve spent 6 years living there for my music studies. I went through many different websites until I came to Melanie’s website. Needless to say, this is the place to learn everything you need and want to learn about Newborn Photography! 

I believe newborn photography is a type of business which can be more stable than landscape photography. There are always people having babies. You can discover a country but it is always the same landscape somewhere. The newborn moments will never come back – and the babies will never look the same in a week, two weeks, three weeks etc. For the children to be able to look back on what they looked like – and also for the parents – the feeling that creates is what made me want to specialise. I also love the challenge.

Why did you choose Melanie to train you in the art, business and safety of newborn photography?

Looking through different websites, Melanie’s was the one that “spoke” to me most.  I was also very happy to see that there are no potato sack pose or hands holding the chin pose which so many photographers advertise on their main page. The tailored made tuition is worth investing in and Melanie’s explanation of what is going to be taught was both very clear and accommodating.

What did you learn from Melanie

I’ve learned a lot about the correct lighting, posing and the workflow in the studio. I also learned a lot about newborn post processing. Also, not to doubt yourself from the business side is something that I found invaluable ☺. As someone that comes from Landscape photography, patience is never a problem but the safety aspect of working with newborns is of utmost importance. This was extremely useful for me

How did you find Melanie’s teaching style? 

Extremely attentive to detail and always giving you the best knowledge possible. Melanie was calm and very productive at the same time. Being a teacher myself patience and dialogue are in fact the key points to teaching. Both were very present in Melanie’s style.

How do you feel you have grown in your knowledge and art?

I feel that what I’ve learned in person with Melanie is not something you can learn by yourself from YouTube or other online classes. While there is a lot of useful information out there, nothing can replace an in person tuition! The art of photographing and post processing of Melanie is very unique which was also part of what has caught my attention!

What would you tell others about Melanie East?

Being a teacher myself in the field of Music I can honestly say that Melanie has conquered and mastered both, being an amazing photographer and artist and just as amazing educator/tutor.

Each person learns at a different pace and is at a different stage in his/her art. It is not easy to accommodate yourself as a professional towards all these variables and this requires a lot of patience, talent and ability to explain. Melanie adapts her knowledge to accommodate your needs and pace of learning. She is attentive, patient, professional and very clear. You don’t feel rushed through. You observe, shoot, learn and ask any question you might have and she will answer them until you know you have your answer and you understood it fully.

If you haven’t yet attended any classes of Melanie (in group or 1:1), do it now! 

1:1 will give you a lot to start developing your own style and ideas.

Thank you so much Daniel. It was lovely to meet you and to keep in touch and I can’t wait to see what you produce. In the meantime, do have a look at Daniel’s beautiful landscape photography by clicking here.

To find out more about learning with me, whether via in person 1:1, workshop or remotely, then please take a look here:

Training leads to success

Training leads to success

Training leads to success for newborn photographer Natalie Moss

It is known that training leads to success. This is something I tell newborn photographers all the time, because it’s true. Investing in training increases confidence once you implement what you have been taught. It increases ability and it should also increase profit. I teach many photographers who have gone on to win awards and/or qualify with leading photography associations. I love to teach but I absolutely really love seeing my photographer delegates succeed. I love to see them flourish and create their own style. Therefore, I am delighted to interview newborn photographer Natalie Moss on her award of Newborn Photographer of the Year 2019 from the Societies of Photographers.

Many congratulations Natalie on winning Newborn Photographer of the Year 2020 at The Societies of Photographers Awards.   What made you decide to become a newborn photographer?

Thanks so much.  I am absolutely delighted.  I’ve always loved photography, particularly shooting portraits and it was actually a friend that first suggested newborn photography to me.  After meeting you at a conference, he rang me that night and said that he thought I would love the idea of newborn work. I attended your training and immediately fell in love with newborn photography.  Not only do I love babies, but, I love to capture this special time.  The birth of a baby is magical and I feel lucky to photograph the love, journey and story of a new family.  

What was your previous career and how long have you been a newborn photographer? 

Although part of my degree was in Photography and I always dreamt of being a photographer. When I left university I actually ended up in Event Marketing and in 2006 I left the corporate world when I had my second child. Initially I began working in nursery photography but started newborn photography in 2014 when I undertook my first training course with you.  

What is it that appeals to you most about newborn photography and what made you decide to specialise in that particular genre? 

I love capturing the love, journey and story of a new family.  Working with newborns is very special (especially all the cuddles I get), and I like the emotion of this work – delicate, soft and pure.   

What made you decide to choose that particular image to enter?

I loved the simplicity of the shot and the way it captured the feeling of family unity.  Nothing distracts from the newborn and it’s all about them. The way the little one is smiling and holding his mother’s hand encapsulates the feeling of the love of a new family. Every time I look at this image it makes me smile, so I was hoping it would have the same effect for others viewing this image.  

It definitely does. It’s really delightful and is beautiful in every way.  The lighting, sympathetic editing, expression, emotive element and composition is super.   I particularly love the unfussy element to it – with attention drawn to exactly where it should be – the baby.     Tell our readers about your style of newborn photography.

I try to have a very simple, timeless and natural style.  Muted colours if any, and props that do not distract from the focus of the baby.  Over the years my style has naturally developed and something that has always been key for me is to create images with a timeless feel.  Ones you can look over in years to come and they will still look just as beautiful. 

Your favourite lens?

The Canon 24-70. f2.8

I have trained you a couple of times over the years in the art of newborn photography – can you tell our readers why you feel professional development is important? 

I really do believe you can never stop learning new things.  It is important to me to never get complacent – I want to push myself to always improve my work, be creative and learn new things.  My work has changed and improved so much since I began my journey and this is through training and hard work.  Good training is vital.  

To clarify for those who may not realise, this image is shot on a beanbag for safety.   This shows that you can create the most beautiful artistic images without compromising baby safety.  What is your safety message to newborn photographers?

Yes, this shot is done on a beanbag for safety.  Safety is paramount in newborn photography and should always be the number one priority when photographing babies.  No newborn should ever be put at risk for an image. With the ever growing popularity in newborn photography and the rise in number of newborn photographers, it is key to have the correct and appropriate training.

What would you say to newborn photographers who are just starting out? 

Make sure you invest in good quality training! And never give up on your dream!

Natalie – you absolutely deserved to win and it has been super to watch your journey. Many congratulations again. Here is Natalie’s absolutely beautiful image. Be sure to check out her work by clicking here

Melanie East Newborn photography training


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The art and business of newborn photography

In conversation with – Deana Davis

It was my absolute pleasure to interview the wonderful Deana Davis who is a highly talented newborn photographer based in Hertfordshire. She is mother to three gorgeous children and runs her newborn photography business full time. She is now an associate in newborn photography with a national photography association. I have taught Deana for the last few years in the art and business of newborn photography. Deana is a highly motivated photographer who has a clear passion for her work. She also believes in the importance of continued professional development. Deana’s work has a very clear style. It is refined, beautifully lit and posed. Most importantly, she always puts safety before any shot. In this interview she explains why she became a newborn photographer and how continued professional development has assisted her to get to where she is today. Deana is a fabulous example of how implementation of what she learned has improved her work and business. I have absolutely loved seeing Deana progress over the years and helping her on her successful journey.

Deana – thank you so much for joining me on this interview about your business and training in the art and business of newborn photography. Can you tell our readers a little about you – what did you do before you became a newborn photographer?

I worked in the tyre trade for quite a few years. It was a very male dominated environment at the time. I had to stand my ground to be accepted as knowing what I was doing and having the knowledge. I did it though, – I went from no one really wanting to deal with me, to clients only wanting to deal with me.

I love your perseverance and motivation. What made you decide to become a newborn photographer?

I have always been fascinated by photographs. To me it’s like a little bit of magic. I actually took my first baby photograph when I was about 11 – with an absolute rubbish camera, the bed and a shawl. Never planned on being a newborn photographer. I had a semi decent camera and when I had my first baby, Ella, I was obsessed. I just couldn’t believe I had managed to produce such a beautiful baby and I could not stop looking at her. Sometimes I remember feeling panicked that I would forget every little detail so I started photographing her nearly every day. I then stumbled across a newborn photograph in a magazine – an article all about newborn photography. At that time I thought it was the most beautiful image I had ever seen – and I said to myself right then – I am going to learn how to do that and I did.

Why did you choose Melanie East to train you in the art and business of newborn photography?

I actually stumbled across Melanie, having not long started. To be honest, I had booked a newborn training day with another photographer simply because I had been to a trade show and was given info on it.  I had not long joined a national photography association and they were advertising a workshop with Melanie. Even though at the time I thought “well I have just been on a workshop”, I liked what I was seeing. I will never forget that day – the first time I met Melanie. That day, I sat down and looked at her beautiful set up and light set up and it was a huge light bulb moment for me. This was it, this was what I wanted to achieve, not the run of the mill basics but this.


After that day, I booked a 1:1 with Melanie. I then attended three of her Italian workshops. I also booked a business workshop with her.

Why did you book?

Well, I only ever booked newborn training with Melanie after that one workshop. Why? Because everything about her style was what I loved. I loved the way she taught. The lighting – she actually helped me see the light, which was that missing component to my work.  The safety aspects – things you wouldn’t even think about. Aftercare and support and I know that Melanie actually *cared* about my business. I wasn’t just another photographer, she wanted me to succeed and I can’t thank her enough for believing.

Did you notice a continued improvement after each training with Melanie?

Omg absolutely. I took what I had learned and implemented it straight away. It doesn’t matter how much you think you know, you always improve and learn something new – I certainly did. Honestly the best decision I ever made for my business 

What have you learned from Melanie?

I have learnt so much from all the training in the art and business of newborn photography I have had with Melanie. The light was a massive thing for me. I already knew my style – what I liked and Melanie helped me enhance that and truly bring out my creative side. Also, I also learned how to create a smooth workflow, remain calm and keep baby calm and comfortable. I’ve also learned confidence. Confidence is key. The business side of it was something I was not the best at, but again I have learned what I need to be doing to run a successful business. I have learned how to stand out and how to provide amazing experience from beginning to end. I just feel like I can see now – I know what I need to be doing.

How do you feel you have grown in terms of your photography since training with Melanie?

OMG – where do I start? I can’t quite believe that I am at this point now – producing the best work I have ever produced. Not only that but I know exactly where my business is going and what I want to achieve. I am confident, I believe and I am excited about what the future holds. Really I honestly swear by the fact that training every year has got me to this point. I have invested in myself even when there were times I couldn’t really afford it, but I can’t tell you how much it has paid off and how all the training has been worth every penny.

Why do you think continued professional development is important in the world of photography?

Because we never stop learning and the minute we do, we don’t progress. I wouldn’t be doing what I am today if I had just stopped learning. How can you progress if you stop? I have done quite a lot of training and have every intention of continuing to do so. Quite a few people say to me “More training? Why are you doing that? You don’t need it.” That just makes me laugh because it’s the continued training that has got me to where I am today. Every year my business and my work gets better and every year I train. Coincidence? Absolutely not. If I want to grow as a business and creatively I have to keep learning & trying. 

Would you recommend Melanie’s training to other newborn photographers?

Yes I would. Melanie’s training is perfect for every level – from completely beginners to experienced. It will give you the knowledge and tools, the confidence, passion and drive to succeed in your business.

What would you say to others about Melanie’s newborn photography training?

If you are serious about your business, just do it.

Thank you so very much Deana. It’s such a pleasure having witnessed your journey as a newborn photographer. I love the work you produce and your clear motivation, passion and confidence. I’d like to thank you for trusting me to teach you over the years.

I love to see newborn photographers thrive, just like Deana. If you feel that I am the newborn photography trainer for you, then please click here to view what I can do for you.

And to finish – here is one of Deana’s beautiful images from her associate panel. Be sure to check out her website by clicking here

the art and business of newborn photography with Melanie East

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WHERE I'M TEACHING

Melanie East is a specialist newborn photography trainer and newborn safety expert. Her belief is that newborn safety should come before any shot, and that taking risks with newborn babies is unnecessary. Melanie is a published author on the subject of newborn photography and teaches newborn photographers throughout the world.

FOLLOW ME

T. 07590 813858

 

E. melanie@theartofthenewborn.co.uk