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