Guest Blogger

Behind the Scenes with Katie Hardy!

Today we have a special guest blog post by Katie Hardy who was generous enough to give us a behind the scenes look at how she prepares and how she sets up her newborn workflow in her studio!



I started Katie O Hardy Photography in 2008. I began specializing in newborns and babies almost 2 years ago. I photograph all my newborns between 7-9 days old in my “newborn room”. It’s a smaller room off the main waiting/main shooting area. Here, I am able to keep my room warmer and quiet while parents can enjoy the tv and cooler air in the waiting area. I have a parent assist or use my assistant for “tricky poses”.  I use an Alien Bee 400 strobe light with a 50×50 Westcott softbox.

katie hardy studio

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The Importance of Storytelling

This is a wonderful guest post by Ashlyn Dawson on the importance of getting to know your clients and creating a unique story for them through your work!


Have you ever heard someone use the term “shoot with the end in mind”? When I first started out on this journey, I didn’t really understand what that meant. My biggest and best selling items are albums. They’re such a beautiful way of showing off your clients images. Although my albums were beautiful and the images within them were beautiful, they were still missing something. A story.  And as I became a more experienced photographer I began to understand how important it was to tell a story with my images. As photographers, it is our job to tell a story with our images.  It’s our job to capture the story of each session and of each family in an intimate and memorable way. If you’re like me, storytelling doesn’t come naturally, but here are some tips that can help you get started!

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Creating Your Studio Space

This is a guest blog post by Erin Potter, owner of Captures by Erin located in Fort Worth, Texas.  Thank you, Erin, for an exclusive look inside your immaculate studio!


Captures by Erin


When creating an inviting space for your littlest clients, you should thoughtfully consider several factors.  Is it comfortable for mom and dad, soothing to the baby,  and practical for you as a photographer?  Size does not matter!  Utilizing those factors while making the most of the square footage you have is key!

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The 3 Most Important Newborn Photography Props You Will Buy

There is a lot of talk about newborn photography props! There are also a lot of props out there to choose from. However, you don’t hear as much talk about the props that you don’t necessarily see. That is what I’m going to talk to you about today. There are three important unseen newborn props that I bring to every session – backdrop stand, beanbag, and heater. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when purchasing one of these important props.

Backdrop Stand – You have LOTS of options when it comes to backdrop stands. You can also spend anywhere from $10 to $200. My personal opinion is you don’t need to spend a ton of money here, just get something that works for you. Here are a few ideas for backdrop stands.

  • Tri-fold Poster Board – Yes, a backdrop stand can be this simple and inexpensive. When I first started newborn photography, this is what I used for my first few sessions. I didn’t want to invest a lot of money and this worked perfectly!
  • PVC Pipe Box Stand – You can make these yourself or purchase one from Etsy (Shameless plug – I sell them on Etsy). This is my favorite thing to use as you can use it with a beanbag and have the backdrop fabric pulled nice and tight or you can remove the beanbag and have a basket set-up (see image).
  • Medal Stand – If a PVC made stand is not professional looking enough for you, then the other option is a medal stand. These come in lots of varieties and just about any of them will work. The one drawback to using a regular photography stand is that you have nowhere to pin the sides of your fabric to. This leads to wrinkled fabric and a little more post processing.

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Newborn Pullbacks and Tips with Michelle Thompson

My name is Michelle Thompson, I started my photography business on Jan 1st of 2011. When I started my business I had already known that I wanted to specialize in newborns so of course I had to beg all of my friends to let me take photos of their newborn. Now unlike some, I did A LOT of research on Newborn photography before I had my first session. I remember oogling over Keri Meyers’ beautifully perfected photos and wondering about all of the technical things such as which lens, natural light or studio light, what do you put under blankets, ISO settings?? And yes, I have no shame in admitting that I was even one to ask big photogs silly questions that they had been asked 14 times per day, we’ve all have been there right?

Welp ONE MONTH after I started my business I had my first Newborn session! Pictured below are two photos from my VERY FIRST NEWBORN SESSION. Original edits and all. Not too shabby right? Now I’m not going to sit here and say the WHOLE session looked like these two, (and sure his lips were a little mushed into the blanket) but I was pretty proud and I WAS HOOKED!

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