So by now you know that my two biggest things are newborn safety and continuing education! (If it’s good for doctors, teachers, and nurses–it’s good for me!) In fact, this past weekend I received my re-certification for adult and infant CPR/AED/First Aid training! I firmly believe that those who are working with children in any capacity should have the basic knowledge and skill to help if there is -God forbid- an emergency. And after reading my last post, I’m sure none of this comes as a surprise to you!
I wanted to share my experience learning from Amy McDaniel of Dewdrops Photography. Amy is one of the industry leaders in newborn photography. She’s sought out for her skill and instruction and has taught all over the world–and she’s just really down to earth and easy to learn from!
I had 3 particular things I wanted to focus on and take away from this workshop–spoiler alert: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED–plus just general learning and focusing on creating images strategically and maximizing the most out of each pose!
Amy opened the day having us introduce ourselves but thankfully we didn’t have to do the whole “first day of high school” thing that just devolves into nervous muttering. It was a small group which is the absolute best for learning. We were all very considerate of the other participants and I really appreciated the sense of camaraderie that Amy created in the group. There was NO ego. I loved that we could ask ANY question and receive an honest and well thought out answer. So many artists are amazing at what they do but cannot translate that talent into teaching others; Amy is one of the few that can intuitively share her gift with you and help you figure out how to find your own style!
I’ll admit, I went in wanting 100% direction. I wanted her to adjust EVERYTHING for me and make my images look just like hers…She’d take a shot, show us what she did, then have us line up and take the same shot. Sometimes she’d adjust an angle or a setting, but for the most part she just said, “Oh that’s lovely!” I think she could tell that I was becoming anxious about not receiving further instruction and she said to me “Do you like that shot? Cause that’s what matters. If you think it’s beautiful, then it’s beautiful.” Which I just found SO refreshing and honestly, quite empowering. She would step in and adjust if there was something blatantly wrong with an image, or a simple angle change that could make the whole thing better, but really she wanted us to create work that resonated with us. Which is the hallmark of an amazing teacher. She could’ve spent the day making us clones of her, but instead she fostered our inner creatives and brought out our own style and helped us develop further as artists!
I’ve seen this wrapping technique popping up all over my community and oh-my-lanta was I desperate to learn it! Especially since the times I’d spent practicing on my own didn’t quite turn out the way I’d hoped! Before I could even mention it, Amy said she’d be teaching us this technique, which had me further impressed. She is up to date on the industry trends and updates her teaching to reflect what’s currently in style. (And because I haven’t flat out mentioned it yet, let me say, this workshop was WORTH EVERY PENNY. Amy is so personable and fun to be around, I’m planning to do a one-on-one mentorship with her in the future!)
There was a BIG step to this wrap that I was completely missing, and now that I know it, I can’t wait to incorporate it! I will now be offering it in my Petite Newborn Package, so get ready mamas!
I also learned a new pose (well really it’s not new but it’s updated and fresh and currently ALL.THE.RAGE. ) and I was able to actually replicate it in my most recent session! Amy encouraged us to take behind the scenes photos and even let us record the workshop. We are all in a Facebook group together and have shared the videos together. It’s been so nice to be plugged into a small community and Amy checks in and is still accessible to us after the workshop which is a lovely bonus!
As with any good workshop, there’s always some swag involved. Amy very kindly gifted us two headbands from two of my favorite vendors Vanilla Lullaby and Baby Bliss Props!
Now I couldn’t end this post without sharing some of the new items I picked up in the states for the studio! I realized I was a bit lacking in my items for little boys so I made sure to rectify that this go round. I got several pants and shorties, along with some matching sleeping caps! They are so sweet and I can’t wait to use them in a session! I also got several new props (including that honey bucket shown above) so be sure to check out my Facebook page to see when the new props are shown in sessions!
Have you attended any newborn photography workshops? Do you have any questions about the workshop that I didn’t cover? Be sure to comment below!