My biggest professional goal of 2016 was to mentor with an accomplished newborn photographer and further expand my newborn photography skills. I didn’t take choosing the mentor lightly. Just as Eagle River and Anchorage photographers each have their own unique styles; photography mentors have their own well developed styles and unique process to creating art. My goal was to find a professional newborn photographer mentor who taught an efficient process, used light beautifully and effectively, suited my photographic style, and who had a warm-hearted passion for mentoring. I found all that I dreamed of in Bianca Hubble of Photography by Axsys Design.
The first difference I noticed between THIS workshop and others, is that Bianca called me right away. This demonstrated to me that she knows exactly how to connect with clients and provide great customer service, which is something I strive to give the families that I work with. I immediately confirmed the booking and started counting down to the Anchorage, Alaska Newborn Photographer Workshop.
Day one of the workshop was all about business, lighting, and session preparation. We talked pricing, marking, and client communication over dinner, as all of us Anchorage, Eagle River, and Wasilla newborn photographers got to know each other and Bianca, our mentor. Back at the studio, we learned Bianca’s efficient posing workflow, camera settings, lighting, tricks of the trade, and personal business practices. Before leaving from our first session we got hands-on with session prep, and helped set up for the first newborn babies of the workshop.
On day two, Bianca began the day by demonstrating her workflow with two little boys who happened to be cousins. Having two newborn models to work with allowed her to keep her posing flow and our learning experience going. During her workflow, Bianca showed us how to get our images to look amazing straight out of camera (SOOC) using proper lighting and exposure, and by shooting at just the right angle. She had us photograph each of the poses that she set up, critiquing our angles and exposure. This right here is what I had hoped to get out of a newborn photographer workshop! I was amazed at how stunning my photographs were without any editing whatsoever. The following images are examples of my SOOC images from the workshop. They have beautiful lighting, accurate skin tones, stunning angles, and very little background to edit. I never before felt confident in showing my newborn clients the unedited photographs for ordering appointments because newborn skin tones can be so dramatic under studio strobes, but now I would be able to have parents back to see their images before editing them and cut out hours of time in my workflow. Seriously, these are just beautiful and all SOOC!
After a quick lunch break, it was our turn to practice the newborn poses taught by Photography by Axsys Design. We began with parent poses, each of us being able to direct either a mother or father for warm, loving poses with their newborn. Bianca was right there to help us perfect those poses. Then we moved to the bean bag. Rather than follow the posing flow exactly, Bianca asked us to work on a pose that we wanted to perfect in order to make the best use of our time. For me, that was the taco pose shown below. I just love how this pose brings all of the itty-bitty fingers and toes up under the newborn’s chin so that all things sweet and perfect are right there together in a stunning photograph. We each took turns working on the different poses with whichever baby of the afternoon was most sleepy at the time. We had three newborns to work with for the hands-on portion, including a set of twins. Bianca is a wildly talented multiples photographer and we were fortunate to work with her in posing twins.
My newborn workshop experience with Photography by Axsys Design is one that will stay with me throughout my career as a newborn photographer. I am so very fortunate that Bianca decided to come to Anchorage, Alaska and offer this workshop. Since my time with her, I’ve shot more varied angles in my newborn sessions, captured beautifully lit newborn portraits, added several new poses to my bean bag work flow and bucket shots, and began proofing newborn sessions with gorgeous straight out of camera images. What more could I ask for? Bianca is amazing! If you have a passion for artful newborn photography and are looking for a mentor, please check out the newborn workshop with Photography by Axsys Design. My soul is literally dancing for having learned from Bianca Hubble!