June was the last time I used the studio space in Waterford. Although, I loved having a professional space, I just wasn't booking any clients. I had my fair share of model calls and plenty of practice, but something had to change. I was throwing away money.
As a business owner, you are constantly trying to improve. Whether it be with research, skill, technique, strategy....and in a VERY saturated industry....try to be different. I started to think...
"What can I do different?"
"What can I do that will help my clients, and make things easier for them?"
This is, however, a SERVICE industry to YOU!!!! I am here to make you happy!
I asked a few previous clients if they would have prefered their session be done in their homes, where baby, Mom and Dad might feel a little more comfortable?
Quite a few agreed that it would be better! (Wheels continue to spin...)
I was a little pressed for time too (so it felt) I was moving everything back into my home, when the point was to move OUT because I was slowly turning my entire home into studio space! I still have most of my props tucked away in my shed, but I want my newborn sessions to be a bit more simple. Simple and natural!
It wasn't until I had my best friend over for dinner a few weeks ago. We were catching up, drinking some wine, laughing, talking about guys, work, and just some much deserved GIRL TALK
I don't remember how it came about (I blame the wine!) but somehow we started talking about my business (which really is NO surprise, I am always talking/thinking about my business!) and I asked something along the lines of how she would prefer her newborn sessions to be like? The second.....I mean seriously, THE SECOND....she started talking about how she loved a more...
look, a light bulb went off. I felt so inspired, so motivated to try something new. When she looks back at her baby photos, she sees photos of more natural like poses...Mom holding baby, parents feeding her, holding her, kissing her.....
It inspired an idea!!! It answered SO MANY questions I had!!! Thank you best friend!!!
Natural would fit more my style. Natural would fit more into my branding. I love the nature like elements I would add too my previous newborn sessions, but I wanted to take it a step further....
Newborns in Nature was BORN! (Pun intended!)
I wanted something done in nature. Mom to wear a pretty dress. Natural like poses in a beautiful setting! I wanted to create something that IS more convenient for the new, busy mom. When you do research looking for your newborn photographer...how many stress the importance of photographing baby within the first two weeks? I will admit, even I would....but it never sat right with me. I never like it. I always accepted the challenge of an older baby. A friend of mine came to me once and told me that photographers would actually TURN HER AWAY because her baby was "too old". Gosh, that made me so sad!! (Wheels are still turning) How nice would it be for new moms not to worry about photos during the first two weeks? Instead, you could focus on getting a schedule down, figuring out the best routine, learning your baby's cues, and getting used to each other? I want to take that one stress away from Mom because we ALL deserve beautiful moments with our babies! It shouldn't matter about age! Age is just a number right?
Anyways, the next order of business was to secure a model. Find someone who not only just had a baby (Duh, right haha!) but was beautiful and willing to buy a beautiful new floral dress (I have one just like this one, but blue. I wore it to my cousin's wedding back in June!) My friend Kristie recommended a friend, her name is Katie and she is gorgeous!!! She found the most prefect dress too, and if I had only received my pop up changing tent in time, we would have changed into another beautiful dress she bought for herself and the shoot as well (Curse you Amazon!)
Then I had to set out and find a location! I turned to Google and decided to take the camera and just go on a random adventure. I ended up finding a BEAUTIFUL little waterfall area, and I just about fell in LOVE!!!!! This is now my spot. I picture so many family sessions here....newborns, children.....pfft even bride/groom if we happen to be nearby! I am obsessed with nature and waterfalls....just wait till my styled wedding shoot in August!
SO....why am I no longer doing studio sessions, and offering newborns in nature??
GREAT question!!! ....because:
1) Natural takes less time than in studio posing, which means newborn session fees are now $150 ($100 savings!!!) spending 3+ hours in a studio can be a bit draining on everyone, and I don't want that for anyone! I want a happy baby!
2) Baby is calmer! Unless, baby is hungry he/she will be much calmer safe in Mom and Dads arms. It is so much easier to feed baby in your arms too. Breastfeeding photos are so beautiful, and of course I always ask permission before I snap away! (Trust me, you will want me too!!)
3) More natural. Did you know baby girl, Vayda here is a month old!? See!! Age doesn't matter AND all poses are more natural. Babies are only so squishy UP TO 2 weeks for all those bendy, cute poses....but no worries now right? I will NEVER turn babies away because of age!
4) Newborn in Nature sessions can be done with other family members like Dad and siblings. It's included and SO BEAUTIFUL!
5) Less time, lower session fees mean MORE MONEY for you to spend on prints, products, and USB! Printing is the whole point, and seeing them all over your walls is the goal!
So, what do you think? As a mother, how do YOU envision your newborn in nature session?