We just love photography interviews here on the CMblog and today we have Kelly Brown here, a newborn photographer from Australia. Kelly has a gorgeous yet simple style with her newborn portraits and we are thrilled to have the chance to ask her a few questions!
an interview with kelly brown
Hi, Kelly, and thank you for joining us here today! First of all, we’d love to hear a little about your story and where your love of photography comes from!
Hi, thank you so much for having me. Well, I live in Brisbane Australia with my husband and 3 beautiful children. My oldest daughter is 9 and the twins are 6. I have always loved photography but it was after the arrival of my first baby that I simply couldn’t stop taking photos of her! My husband was so encouraging and suggested that I study photography and not long after I started Little Pieces Photographing.
Of all the photography genres out there, you chose newborn photography. Can you tell us a little about why newborns have your heart?
After photographing other genres for a few years and even working for a wedding photographer, it didn’t take long to realise how much more excited I became before every newborn session. But I believe it was when my twins arrived unexpectedly, just before 32wks, and they had to spend 6 ½ weeks in Special Care. It was there, surrounded everyday by so many precious little babies, that I knew I wanted to specialise in that field.
It is such a privilege being asked to photograph someone’s brand new baby. And the look on their faces when they see their images is simply the best reward.
What piece of advice would you offer to those interested in getting into newborn photography?
I would definitely recommend attending a mentoring session with someone who has been photographing babies for a long time and is very safety conscious. Or watching CreativeLIVE this week. And remember to have lots of patience.
Would you have any specific advice for those photographing multiples?
With every multiple session I try to get a least 2 -3 set ups of the babies together and then concentrate on photographing them separately. When they’re all asleep that’s when I will photograph them together.
Your lighting is soft and beautiful. Do you use natural or artificial light? Or maybe a little of both?
Thank you. I only use natural light. I have a large South East facing window with a sheer curtain to diffuse the light. I like to position my bag and props on an angle towards the light so it falls beautifully across the babies face.
Blogging can be a great and important tool for a business but many people struggle with keeping up with their blogs. How do you keep up with blogging and keeping your facebook fans up to date? Do you have help in the office?
I try to blog at least 5 images from every session as soon as I’ve finished editing that gallery. And at the end of each session I edit one image to post on my facebook page so they can share it with their friends and family. I find this is a great way of attracting more traffic through my page and it also gets the parents really excited to see more. I’ve gotten a little behind on my blogging lately but will catch up soon.
You often have parents in the photos with the newborns but many moms don’t feel up to having their portrait taken so soon after delivery. Is this something they often want or do you do some persuading?
There are definitely some moms who need a little more persuading then others and I reassure them how beautiful they are and how important this time is and try to make them as relaxed as possible, putting the focus on the baby. I personally love the parent images and when they see the finished product they do too.
Newborn photography can be difficult to learn. What has been your best form of education when it comes to taking gorgeous baby portraits?
I was able to attend a newborn workshop early on and really got a lot out of it. I think it’s really important to understand babies and the environment they come from to get the most out of a session. And to practice…I have a doll that I used to practice on all the time.
Speaking of education, you’ll be teaching a newborn course at CreativeLive later this week (May 9-11 for those of you wondering). Would you please tell us a little about what you’ll be teaching?
Over the three days, I will be teaching everything there is to know about working with babies. How to create the perfect environment for a newborn session, understanding babies and the environment they come from, how to interact and gain trust with clients, safety when working with babies and why it’s so important, using props, marketing and products, and I will be photographing six newborn sessions LIVE showing how to pose newborns and newborns with their family members.
And one last question before we let you go…you attended WPPI this year and won first place in both the Portrait Group Category and the Portrait Individual Category. To you, what is the importance in entering photography competitions?
I love entering photography competitions; it really makes me strive to continually create a higher quality of photographic work. And as much as I love photographing newborns I find entering the awards a way to really get creative and work on personal projects. Every year I get more inspired by the work that is produced and on display by so many amazing photographers.
Thank you, Kelly, for spending some time with us today and sharing your insights with us!
Would you like to see even more of Kelly’s wonderful photography? Make sure you visit her website, blog, and facebook to view his images. Don’t forget to also follow her on twitter, pinterest, and instagram! Also, make sure to check out her Creative Live newborn course!