Photography Workshop 2011 part 1

Back in February, I had the honor of attending a limited photography workshop hosted by two of Birmingham’s most talented photographers, Grethel Van Epps and Ashley Warren. It was an all day workshop at Ashley’s studio place. The focus on the workshop was to  educate us on how to start a photography business as well as get some hands on experience with a newborn and families. The experience was amazing and I loved every moment of it. I learned a lot and even though I’m not planning on opening a photography business anytime soon (I lack basic photography know how, equipment funding, and editing skills), at least I have a better foundation and understanding for if that time does come. My primary focus was to learn everything I could from the best and get some hands on experience working with newborns and families.

Our first photo session of the day was with a beautiful baby boy. He was absolutely adorable and the perfect little subject. Check out the list below for some newborn photography tips that you may find helpful. Note: These tips are not directly from our workbooks because I did not feel right reproducing an exact list from their handbook but these are pretty common knowledge and can find these by googling newborn photography tips

1. Best to photograph a newborn before they are 3 weeks old.

2. If you are going to be indoors using natural light, you can photograph late in morning early afternoon by a window.

3. Plan to have baby fed right before taking photos (they will be sleepy and less fussy…usually)

4. Find a heating pad and heating fan to place near baby

5. Helpful to have a very stuffed bean bag or nest as well as a Boppy pillow to prop baby up on

6. Find some nice textured blankets

7. Have someone around to help you and be next to the baby if you have to move around a lot just to be safe.

(I’ll give some more tips next to some of the photos…)

I copied all of my photos onto a disk to edit in my laptop and of course, after I edited them, I could not get them to copy onto a new disk. Remember when I said I still lack basic photography know how? Yah… I still need to work on saving edited copies onto cd, lol.

Since I am a slacker and waited until the last-minute to write this post, I am going to post my non-edited versions of the photo so you can still see some of what we did in the class and how the above tips helped to create a beautiful photo… edited or not.

Ok, notice below the cord… there is a heating pad on a comfortable setting (please check temperature prior to lying baby down) with a boppy pillow and blanket laying over it. The large open window is to the left. They had some equipment that held up the blanket but if on a budget like myself… you could always have someone hold up the blanket behind it or rig it up with clothes pins. Be creative!

Experiment with different angles. I used my 50mm lens for this shot and did not use any flash.

For the next series of photos, we were taught how to “prop” a baby. Again, they used the Boppy pillow and manipulated the babies arms in a folded position. It’s ok to use pacifiers etc. to calm baby or keep him happy. When you  have everything situated, slowly ease the paci from baby and hopefully he will stay in the calm peaceful pose for you! In the photo below, Grethel, wearing the glasses, supports the babies head to keep it in the upright position so Ashley can take photos (she later edits the finger out of the poses. I don’t know how to do that yet but will hopefully learn soon.) Arrghh… I’m having difficulty getting the photo load after the paci shot…sorry… lunch almost over so not going to waste any more time trying to get it in the right spot…

I snapped this photo of Grethel trying to soothe the baby prior to round two of photos. I just have to brag on Grethel for a moment. I urge you to check out her blog and read her past personal posts…especially the ones where she talks about becoming a US citizen. She is truly an inspiration and just plain amazing. She is a full-time mom to three beautiful children and pregnant with her 4th and still works non-stop photographing children, families, and holding workshops. I wish I had her energy and skills! Anyway, I love this photo.

For the below photo… a baby bottle was given right before the shot 🙂 When they become fussy… hold them, soothe them, and then feed them some more!

 Ok… so, I don’t think it was really me who couldn’t get the photos to burn properly on the disk… I think it was the disk, because I’m having trouble even opening up my original photos. I was going to post a few mommy and baby shots, but none of the other photos are opening up… Arrghhhhh…. sorry guys!

Anyway, I’m excited to put the above tips and things that I learned back in February to use soon except my baby subject won’t be a couple of days old… more like weeks. So, it should be interesting but will try to make it work!

After our morning newborn photography shoot, we spent the next few hours going over the business end of photography. Once that was finished, we headed outdoors to meet the family we would be photographing next. I will save those photos and tips for another post. I will make sure I have my editing/copying files kinks out-of-the-way first.

I apologize for waiting until the last-minute to complete this post because I can’t show you the finished look but even with my finished look… there was still a finger in one of two of them (I haven’t had the time to ask a friend on how to edit the finger out of the photo but once I do… oh, it’s on!).

Hope this helps someone in some way! The past two weeks have been amazing. There has been a lot going on and I FINALLY have some fun things to post about over the next few days! Hope everyone had a great weekend and has a fantastic week.


Since I am not buying soda at work and for the house anymore… I’m using the money saved on soda and getting the INTERNET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay! Super excited. No more rushed posts on lunch or on my 5/10 minute break… So give me a few more days for everything to arrive and get installed and I will be posting on a more regular basis!

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4 Responses to Photography Workshop 2011 part 1

  1. Dianna says:

    That last photo is….unbelievable! So cute! Folks weren’t taking pics like this when my son was a baby!
    So glad you’re getting internet – I know you’re excited!

    • Yes! Super excited! I have been reading your posts everyday when they are sent to my e-mail but for some reason your blog is the only one that is blocked (out of all random internet security checks, they probably caught me reading yours at work or something and blocked me, lol… that is the only thing I can think of. Weird!)
      Anyway, I can finally feel normal again and back on track tonight when I go home to the internet! 🙂 It’s just been way too crazy at work and today on lunch they thought building was on fire so fire deparment called out… so no time to post with all the excitement and firemen 😉 I’ll be back on track with blogging hopefully tonight or tomorrow!
      BTW, how on earth do you blog everyday and post great posts at that? You’re inspirational, all I can say!

  2. What a great workshop opportunity! I am drawn to the natural photos, such as the one of Grethel and baby… those are the ones I love. I look forward to your upcoming photos!
    Glad you are getting the internet!

  3. Thank you!!.. beautiful post!!.. I’m glad you had a good time at the workshop! we for sure enjoyed having you with us.. and special thanks for the shout out!.. <3<3 totally put a smile on my heart.

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