Every year, photographers, especially wedding photographers have an “off” or “slow” season, and in Texas that runs generally from December until February. During this time, we work on our marketing items, revisit pricing and other administrative items and remind our friends and family that we exist 🙂
This past year, I decided to split specialize in maternity and newborns as well as weddings. I’m so absolutely proud of how well this division of my business is doing! Things don’t just happen, you make them happen. During my slow months, not only have I worked on the items mentioned above, I also had the opportunity to really focus on my little clients! I’ve been working my tail off on studying posing, lighting and all things baby! While the YouTube videos and online workshops have been wonderful, I really wanted to do a one-on-one mentorship with an established newborn photographer.
Randomly, I found Alicia Poreda’s work on Facebook (www.aliciaporeda.com). She is located in Colorado Springs, CO. Shortly after, I saw that she was offering mentoring! Not only was her work absolutely beautiful, her pricing was quite reasonable too! I was so excited at the possibility 🙂 I checked into flights and hotels and the next thing you knew, I was headed to Colorado!
We started our morning with Alicia showing me her beautiful basement studio and she provided me with a notebook that summarized her session methodology. We started to go through the notebook covering her pre-session items such as studio and parent preparation. I found that I was on the right track with how I was set up, but I also received a few pointers too.
Then, we had our first model show up. For the first part of the day, Alicia went through her pose flow, and photo angles, which were two things I said that I could really improve on to become more efficient in my sessions. During this part, she explained what she was doing and I was her assistant. I also learned several baby calming techniques (this alone was worth the trip). After this session, we took a break for lunch and chatted a bit about the morning.
For the afternoon session, we reversed things and I was the photographer and Alicia helped me. First, I have never learned to shoot in Kelvin. This immediately helped with white balance consistency and accuracy in my images.
For the posing, for some positions, she helped me refine what I had already been doing, and others that were completely new and quite advanced, she helped me learn them safely. This part I was really impressed with, because we had a very touchy baby and it would have been easy for me to give up and for her to take over, but she never did. She insisted that I do the posing, even if she had to give me a hand. Our little guy had several complete meltdowns, and she had me sooth him, which gave me more confidence in knowing I could handle it (especially another photographer’s model).
Last, we went through some parent posing and some editing techniques. With parent posing, I am fairly comfortable, but she showed me a couple of new poses that I hadn’t tried before. For editing, I can say that I am VERY proficient in Photoshop and she still taught me something (puppet warping) that I hadn’t figured out yet.
Alicia was absolutely wonderful at teaching the session at my level. We didn’t cover items that I had said that I was very comfortable with, and she didn’t speak down to me or treat me like I was lesser than her at any point. She completely customized the class to what I had said I wanted to work on in my pre-session questionnaire. I tend to have a hard time focusing if I am bored and at no point did this happen, even with only 1.5 hrs of sleep because of some travel issues (don’t get me started on that!)
Oh, and last… She sent me home with a goodie bag from some of the absolute top vendors in the industry! You can never have too many props, right?? I highly recommend Alicia’s work and her mentoring session 🙂 I definitely feel that visiting her took my work to the next level, as you can see from all the beautiful images in this post (these are just a small amount of what I took during our day). If you have any specific questions, please feel free to send me a message!