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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!

THE BLOG

What is creative newborn photography?

What is creative newborn photography? How can I be more creative in my work? Do I need to be creative? These are all questions that I get asked, hence this post.

Creative newborn photography is a term that I see used in a lot of newborn photography websites. There are some great creative newborn photographers out there – but it’s about so much more than just popping some flowers around a baby, albeit that always looks so pretty!

What does the term mean?

To my mind, being creative is about having an open mind. It’s about telling a story in your image. Creative use of light, textures and tones. Having a deep connection to your art, your subject and what you want to create. These are all elements that I believe are important when creating an image.

Digital Backgrounds

I never use any photographers’ digital backgrounds. Now please don’t misunderstand me – I think digital backgrounds are great – they certainly have their place and if you are working with a fussy baby – I am sure they can be an absolute life saver. The reason I don’t use them is simple – it’s somebody else’s creativity. Somebody else has thought up the concept and executed it. I want to produce authentic images that have been executed in studio by me. Where I make sure that I am thinking very carefully about the palette, tones and textures so that I can bring the whole image together. It’s important, of course, to ensure that the image works well within the client’s interior decor. Obviously it’s very important that I have thought about the light and the baby’s pose. I have thought about the story telling element and what we want to portray.

The client has usually had involvement. We may have discussed what it is that we wish to create, or sometimes the client wants me to come up with a concept and they don’t wish for involvement – although I have to say that is very rare.

Result

The image below was created by me in front of a client in my studio from scratch. The baby is one hundred percent safe and this is something that is vital. When I pose babies I think very carefully about their poses, risk to breathing, temperature, position and a whole host of other things which may affect baby. It is vital to remember that you are dealing with a precious miracle here, – not a doll.

creative newborn photography

Get in touch and let’s see how I can help you. If you feel that you’d like a week of learning how to be creative then the Art and Soul of Newborn Photography in Italy is for you! I can’t wait to hear from you! If you are a parent and you have come across this site and you would like me to photograph your baby then you need my other site here!

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Newborn photography training

Melanie East | In conversation with Pippa Brown

I have a series of interviews with newborn photographers who have invested in newborn photography training with me coming up.

I’m now going to introduce you to a very talented newborn photographer – a busy mother of two who decided to change career and become a newborn photographer. She first contacted me for newborn photography training just over two years ago, as she wanted a more flexible and creative career that she could work around her growing family. She has a degree in psychology and was previously a cognitive behavioural therapist working within the National Health Service helping those with anxiety and depression. She is married and a busy mother of two adorable young boys

When I first taught this lovely newborn photographer, she had never really even picked up a professional camera. I have therefore taught her right from the very beginning. Now, just two and a half years later she runs a profitable newborn photography business doing what she loves. The name of this talented newborn photographer? Pippa Brown. Pippa is evidence of what you can achieve when you invest in training, learn what is being taught, and implement what you have learned. She has returned to me several times for updated training to continue to refine her work and to ensure she keeps up to date with continuing professional development – something which is very important. Pippa is somebody who doesn’t want to waste time – indeed with a young growing family (and four dogs and a husband!) she doesn’t have time to waste! If she wants to learn something, she comes to me to be taught, goes back to her studio and immediately implements it. She is highly motivated to be the best she can be and to create the best for her clients.

I am very proud of Pippa and with the work she is producing for her clients.

Newborn Photography Training.  Melanie East interviews Pippa Brown



Why did you choose newborn photography as a career?

I wanted to be more creative and to have a business where I could work around my growing family.

What do you love about newborn photography?

I absolutely love everything to do with newborn photography. I love being able to capture a moment in time that is so short. I love dressing the babies in super soft outfits and making them look cute and cuddly. I love parents to have these images to look back on in years to come and reminisce about how small and precious they once were. I love being creative in the studio and planning. It may look easy but it is far from it.

Your favourite set up?

My favourite set up is baby on their back in a posing nest – you can see their beautiful features, tiny hands and tiny feet. They are are so flexible and are curled up as if still in the womb.

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

I chose to train with Melanie because I was so impressed with her beautiful work. I came across her work on Google when I started to research newborn photography training. I can honestly say I am so glad I came across her website. Most importantly I could see the emphasis she put across on how imperative newborn safety is while handling babies. Being a complete novice, to be honest, I had no idea which is why I was so glad to have trained with Melanie who teaches safety first beyond anything else.

Why did you book?

I booked because I loved her work. It looked so refined and stood out to me. She was also interested in what *I* wanted and needed to learn when first starting out. I’d never even used or held a professional camera.

What have you learned from Melanie in terms of your photography?

I have learned an incredible amount from Melanie. She has taught me how to pose babies safely, wrap babies (which is something I really struggled with at the start). She has taught me a lot about lighting subjects which again is a very tricky aspect of the job.

What have you learned from Melanie in terms of business?

Melanie taught me how to run a profitable business and how to attract new clients. She has given ongoing support since I first trained with her giving constructive critique which in turn has helped improve my work no end.

Why do you believe continued professional training is important?

I’ve trained with Melanie multiple times – it’s important to train more than once because in any job you would receive regular training. It’s important not to become complacent or get into bad habits. There are always new things I want to learn and improve.

What would you tell others about Melanie’s training?

I would definitely recommend Melanie to anyone looking to work with newborns. Her teaching style is unique and solely focuses on what you want to learn. I honestly don’t think I’d be as successful as I am now just two and a half years down the line, if it wasn’t for her training and advice.

Please check out Pippa’s lovely work by clicking here.

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Newborn photography tuition – Refinement

I very recently carried out a newborn photography tuition session on refinement. This was a 1:1 for a photographer who has already achieved her licenciate qualification with one of the professional photography bodies. She wanted to me to teach her how to refine her skills so that she can learn how to take her work to the next level. I absolutely love it when photographers contact me to learn and particularly to refine their work. The licentiate qualification is an important step – it means you provide work of a sellable quality. However, you shouldn’t stop there! Pushing yourself in terms of always wanting to do better and provide better for your clients is always a great thing.

I consulted with my delegate and I went through her licentiate panel with her. I was easily able to see what is needed to get her to that next level and we will be working together to get her there. She has booked in another 1:1 with me for three months to allow her to practice what she has learned so far, and then refine further together.

We covered lighting refinement – how to shape the light, posing refinement, angle refinement, and wrapping refinement. These were the four key areas I identified for newborn photography tuition where this delegate needed more assistance.

Here is one of the images from the day. We had a lovely baby girl model for us. (Image posed, lit and photographed by me)

The delegate had a shoot the very next day after her tuition day with me and emailed to say:

“OMG Melanie! I learned so much from you!…”

Emails like that absolutely make my day, not only because I know I have taught properly and effectively, but also that I have a delegate who clearly implements what she is taught – and delegates like that make my heart sing! I was thrilled that this delegate could see a very clear difference in her work so quickly. I know she will go on to great things. She has the desire, the motivation and she’s hungry for it.

Later that day, I went through business with her as requested. I found some key areas which can be improved, and she’s already in the stages of implementing them.

This photographer was ready to commit to further enhancing her work, and her business. And in turn that will lead to more confidence which leads to a more profitable business.

Are you ready to do the same? Have a look at my info page to see what might be right for you and then contact me to arrange your date. I can’t wait to help you grow in your art and in your business.

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Newborn Safety – newborn photography tuition.

Newborn safety is one of my values, and anybody who has trained with me, will know that I put the safety of the baby before *any* shot.

You would think that newborn safety would be at the forefront of every newborn photographer’s mind wouldn’t you?

Sadly, that is not always the case. Many photographers who photograph newborn babies have either not undertaking adequate safety training on how to handle, pose and look after newborn babies, or they have undertaken training but safety has not been a key module of the teaching. This needs to change. I am so upset at some of the teaching I see being given to newborn photographers, where safety of the baby is disregarded, or where the teacher is not *adequately* considering the safety of the baby. I am always appalled when I see some of the unsafe practices newborn photographers are carrying out when photographing.

Examples of this include :

-baby left unattended in props while photographer takes a “behind the scenes” video for instagram.

-baby left unsupported in props

-baby balanced precariously in a bucket or other prop without a spotter/helper supporting the baby’s head. Babies startle – they can very quickly fall.

-baby posed too close to the edge of a prop/the beanbag

-baby wrapped in too many layers resulting in a thermoregulation risk

-baby posed in the froggy pose which may result in hip and airway issues. This pose is not considered safe by a consultant paediatrician, even when carried out as a composite.

-baby posed in the “potato sack” pose, which can lead to airway and thermoregulation issues

-room is too hot or too cold

-baby’s head is not supported when in a forward facing pose.

The list goes on and on – these are the main examples of where photographers are not working with baby safety at the forefront of their mind.

One of the issues, as I see it, is that photographers are copying other photographers, or they are learning online, from trainers who do not carry out the safest practices. They think “well they do it, so it must be safe”. And the problem here is, – it isn’t always safe.

I am working with a consultant paediatrician and together our aim is to change the industry, to change these unsafe working practices and to educate photographers *properly* on how newborn babies should be treated during newborn photography sessions. We will educate on the risks, what to look out for and what not to do. We firmly believe that taking *any* risk with a newborn baby is not acceptable.

Another issue is the practice of *some* associations to fly over newborn trainers from another country, based only on their Instagram following, to teach UK photographers. No regard is being given as to whether that trainer is working completely safety. Don’t even start me on the giving of awards and qualifications to newborn photographers when those doling out the awards have absolutely no idea whether the baby was safely posed.

I have offered to talk to associations absolutely free of charge on *what* they should be looking for and *how* to choose a newborn photography trainer. Already one association has taken me up on that. I can’t wait to work with more.

It’s quite simple – photographers owe a duty of care to their tiny clients. If they breach that duty, and that breach results in harm, then the photographer will be found to be negligent. They will be sued. They can say goodbye to their reputation and their career. But more important than that – they will have harmed a newborn baby. And *that* is absolutely unforgivable.

If you are interested in having me speak for your association, or to have me train *you*, then please get in touch with me via my website. If you have landed on this website and would like me to photograph your baby, child or family then you need my other site – which you can find right here.

newborn photography safety training
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Newborn photography workshops v 1:1 training

Hello! I thought I’d explain some differences between newborn photography workshops and 1:1 training, so that you can decide which is best for you. This is a question I am often asked, so where better place to discuss it than here?

I carry out both newborn photography workshops and 1:1 training. Newborn workshops are group workshops which I run in my studio in Bristol and are limited to just four delegates. The reason I limit the numbers so hugely is because it is vital to me that each delegates gains a huge amount from my teaching. With my workshops you are not just another face in the room. I see workshops for 20 photographers or so, and I wonder how much of a benefit that really is to the paid delegate. How much attention can that delegate really get? Is there the opportunity for that delegate to have their shooting angles checked or their exposures checked? Is there the opportunity for that delegate to properly feel as if they are getting the large amount of attention they deserve?

One of my values when I teach photographers is to ensure that they receive more than they ever thought they would. I want my delegates to feel that they are important to me, that I care about their progress and that I give them the care and attention they deserve during their day(s) with me. I want them to leave inspired and excited about the changes they can make to both their art and (if they have booked business training), their business. I want them to feel that no question is a stupid question. That they can ask me anything relevant, and be guaranteed a straight answer.

My newborn workshops typically cover lighting, safety and posing in the morning, and business in the afternoon.

When attending a workshop with me, the only requirement I have is a willingness to learn, and an understanding of ISO, aperture and shutter speed.

My 1:1 teaching days are just that – One to one. Just you and me. These have great benefits. One of which is that we can go at exactly your pace. Everybody has their own learning style, and not everybody learns in the same manner. I take the time to find out which learning style suits you, and then teach accordingly. The day is completely tailor made to your exact requirements. This might be lighting refinement (or learning lighting from scratch). It might be posing refinement. It might be wrapping. It might be beanbag work or prop work. It might be creativity and finding your style. It might be editing or business. Whatever it is, my 1:1 days are there to suit your exact requirements.

Whichever you choose – all delegates receive a certificate of training from me.

To find out more about my workshops and 1:1 please click here.

If you live more than 40 miles away from Bristol and you are interested in newborn photography training then come along and join my Facebook group.

newborn photography workshops

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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