Page 1

Editor - Creative Director Anamaria Brandt Graphic Design Kelli Campbell TAOPAN TEAM STAFF


Aoife Millea

Lizzy McMillan, Momento Studios

From the editor The Holidays are here! We release this issue on the US Christmas Eve as a Special Edition to celebrate this amazing Holiday Season. We will soon enter into a New Year of promises, resolutions, ideas and of course budgets. We wanted to take time out and produce a special edition of the Magazine to showcase the gorgeous Holiday images that were gracing our Social Media timelines. We reached out to our Community and asked them to send in their best work and ideas to showcase the Season and we are thrilled with the result.

This Issue is loaded with imagery that might just put a smile on your face as you turn the pages. It is also a great copy to have for inspiration next year!

This Issue s Cover image is by Aoife Millea, a Photographer from Ireland. I know you will be captivated by her gorgeous work throughout this Issue.

We look forward to your feedback! Ana Brandt

IMAGE MAKERS We are so grateful to those who contributed images and articles to this Magazine. This list is of those who contributed the images you see throughout the pages.

Zo e H i i g l i L if e by Z o e H iigli S tu dio z o e h i i gl i s t u di o .co m

Abbie Fox
 Alicia Atkins Alina Crainic Aly Elliott Amanda Hamlin Amy Stephens - Crib Tales Photography Ana Brandt Angi Randall Ann Bowers Ann Edmonds Annie Smack Aoife Millea - Cleare Photography Bellies N Babies Bethany Raven Bezanson Photography Blazing Sky Photography Brandi Core Cathy Murai Charmaine Cantwell Christina Forehand CoCo Inspirations Photography Crystal Tucker Daniel McElmury Photography Danielle Van Wetering 
 Dolci Momenti Photography? Emilia Gray 
 Emma Masterston Ever After Photography Face to Face Photography by Br Heather Best Photography Holly Fleming Jessica Heksem Judy Reinford Karen Rohlman Karine Barbeau
 Karrie Roberts Katrina Lawton Khara O'Neil Kimberly Justus Kristen Radicelli Laetitia Murray Laura King Leah Islinger Photography Little Love Photography Lizzy McMillan Love Photography by Cara LuAnn Warner-Prokos Madijax Images by Lisa Marie Malgorzata Konieczny Melissa Landres Melissa Nasky Michelle Miale
 Michelle Mojica Michelle Ramer Misti Finn Monika Golebiowska Natalie McDermott Natalie Shimizu Natasha Dewing Nichole Jean Photography Nicole Enjoli Nikki Lenae Oxana Lazareva Paige Laro Photography Pam Johnston Peggy Lee Picture Your Birth & Julian Marks Photography Rhiannon Byler Robyn Chubey Rochelle Shucart RyeTan Photos & Creations by Tiffany Sara Davis Serenity lane - Southern Grace Studios Shannon Bower Stephanie Kewish Therena Carlin Violet LuVin Whitney Jeleniewski William Esposito Zoe Hiigli

ARTICLE CONTRIBUTORS Cr ystal Col lura Natalie McDermott Melissa Landres Therena Carlin Amy Stephens Natasha Dewing

Cathy Murai

Emma Masterston

Ana Brandt

Kimberly Justus

Michelle Ramer

Michelle Ramer

Michelle Ramer

Shannon Bower

Michelle Miale

Karine Barbeau

Ana Brandt

Ana Brandt

Face to Face Photography by Bri

Face to Face Photography by Bri

Jessica Heksem

S o u t h e r n G r a ce S t u di o s w w w .so u the rngrace stu dio m

Love Photography by Cara

Abbie Fox

Shannon Bower

Shannon Bower

Nicole Enjoli

Laura King

Bethany Raven

Michelle Mojica Photography

Emma Masterson

Amanda Hamlin

Little Love Photography

Little Love Photography

Angi Randall

Angi Randall

Cathy Murai

Angi Randall

Holly Fleming

Rhiannon Byler

Melissa Nasky w w w .baby m o nste rp ho to grap m

Abbie Fox

RyeTan Photos & Creations by Tiffany

L u Ann W arne r- P ro k o s w w w .w arne rp ro k o sp ho to grap m

L ae titia Mu rray laetitiamu

Christina Fo re hand

CAVU Photography Whitney Jeleniewski

Whitney Jeleniewski

Whitney Jeleniewski

Alina Crainic

Nikki Lenae

Heather Best Photography

Madijax Images by Lisa Marie

Misti Finn

Nichole Jean Photography

Bezanson Photography

Katrina Lawton

Leah Islinger Photography

Natasha Dewing from Simply Natural Photography gives 5 tips.

1. A nice big soft light and reflector on the opposite sides are all you need for newborn photography and most small group portraiture...flat light is never a good thing so you want a balanced shadow going on in your images. 2. Keeping your lens wide open will allow for a lower ISO, resulting in less grain in your images. 3. Focus point is everything so practice practice practice! And it always helps to focus on the eye closest to you. 4. For large groups shoot at higher f-stops to ensure that even those in the back are in focus...and focus in the middle of the group before recomposing. 5. If you get the light right in the camera, there is next to no editing needed.  I will 
 always try to shoot a little on the underexposed side as it is easier to add light than to take it away.

Natasha Dewing

Annie Smack Little Peanut Photography

Pam Johnston Pam Johnston Photography

W W W . TA O P A N O N L I N E . C O M

Melissa L andres w w w .m e lissalandre m

Picture Your Birth & Julian Marks Photography

As Photographers, our quest for perfection often overshadows the realism of the fact that Art takes time to develop. No one just picks up a camera and has the perfect baby pose, or the best lighting. It can take months, years and hundreds of photo sessions to even acquire or find a style that is technically on point. Once a Photographer hones their style, and perfects their lighting - their early amateur photos often go by the wayside. We rarely dig out our first year images, which leaves new Photographers coming up behind us 
 wondering if we were - well - just always this good. Natalie recently confessed in our TAoPaN Facebook group of finally finding her style, and then {gasp} posted her before photos to show us just exactly how far she has come. We asked her to share what she has learned in an effort to help those who are still on their early paths to finding their own greatness. Natalie McDermott

The Before

Everyone starts somewhere. I just happened to start somewhere near the bottom with natural newborn photography talent. But I didn’t let that stop me. These 10 steps were crucial to be becoming a better newborn photographer though I suspect these same tips could be applied towards anything you want to be better in at life.

1. I was awful.
 2. I realized that I was awful.
 3. I had the inner drive and motivation to be better, to be great, to soak in everything and be amazing (not there yet-still working on that!)
 4. I watched YouTube videos. Many of them. I think I watched every single Ana Brandt video she has out there plus any others I could find 
 (specifically on posing at first). 
 5. I also watched any Creative Live video I could find. (These videos are amazing and can be free if you catch them at the right time!)
 6. I practiced a lot. Seriously. Anyone that I knew that was having a baby I asked, no practically begged to photograph their newborns. What was crucial here was that I did this within a short amount of time. A skill is mastered much more quickly when practiced numerous times within a small amount of time.

7. After each session, I tried to focus on only one thing to fix for the next session. I decided it was going to be way too hard to try to nail everything from posing to lighting, to editing, to backdrops and the list only goes on! So I found a basic flow posing routine that worked with my style. I knew there were certain shots that I just adored and wanted every mom to have so that’s where I started. My sessions would have 3 or 4 beanbag poses and 1 prop pose and that’s it. It still took me 2-3 hours to complete a session. But I was learning. I did this same routine for the next 5 or so newborns and worked only on these until I felt that I had mastered the skill. Then I worked on something else and added that to my routine. Now I can usually get 6 or so poses on the bean bag (but with a variety of angles which equals 9 or so different shots), 2-3 prop photos (depending on baby’s personality) and family shots all within an hour and a half to two hours (again, depending on baby). I do plan to try to get this time cut down as well but that will also come with time.
 8. I took the time to reflect. I needed to be open and honest about my work so after every session I 
 reviewed the images and found one thing to fix for the next time. Maybe I wasn’t satisfied with my bum up pose-the elbow and knee should have been touching! Or my lighting looks flat, how can I fix that? But I didn’t add anything new until I felt that I had mastered my basic routine. I only wanted to think about one thing while doing the rest that had come naturally at that point. I will probably be in this stage forever as I do not think I will ever quit learning, just improving.

You may have already realized this but I am extremely honest with myself. I would not have been able to grow this much if I wasn’t. If I didn’t see a problem or a need to improve, I would have continued to send awful photographs and I would not be where I am today. I also participate in many Facebook 
 constructive criticism groups. I have to open myself up to others as well because I may not always be able to find the solution and sometimes I don’t even see the problem to begin with. It has been 
 extremely helpful to have places to go to (where people that don’t know and love me) will give their honest feedback. It may hurt at times (I have cried over CC’s-mainly in the beginning), but you cannot move forward without getting feedback.

Stephanie Kewish

Crystal Collura has entered her 6th year of providing Santa Sessions for her clients. By creating sets and designs each year with new ideas, her clients have a tradition that they can return annually for as part of their Holiday Memories. We asked Crystal to briey explain her Santa sessions and share some of her gorgeous Holiday Images. Cr y stal Co llu ra w w w .do lcim o m e ntip ho to grap m

My Clients normally book in October. 80% of them are returning and the other 20% are new clients. This is my second year adding Mrs. Claus. Adding Mrs. Claus was one of the best decisions I made. She is so sweet with the babies and if a child ends up not liking Santa, she is there to take them into the bedroom and read Twas the Night Before Christmas to them. Parents are then still able to get some magical photos. The screaming child on Santa's lap is always an optional photo and sometimes well cherished.

I have a elf helper that greets all the children when they arrive. He also entertains them until it is their turn. It really helps the kids anxiety of seeing Santa. He gives each child a treat bag of goodies when they leave.

My advice to other photographers looking to offer a Santa experience in their studio would be to make sure you find a Santa that loves children and knows what you expect of Him in the photos. Looking like the "real Santa" is always a plus too!

Decor to me is huge. My style is soft. I love white. So I try to stay with a nice classic Christmas in my front room every year. I also incorporate a lot of white in my bedroom along with sparkle. When choosing white, it gives your clients the freedom to dress their children up or bring them in PJ's. My clients do both.

When incorporating Santa sessions, see what others in your area are doing and try to do something different. Think of a way you can stand out and make the session a magical experience. The kids will remember this experience so try to think of the experience through their eyes. Decor is huge! It can be pricey too, so I recommend shopping the sales after the holiday for the following year - especially for trees. I have 3 giant white trees in my studio.

Also, If you can keep the same Santa, that is always a plus. Many of my clients who have been coming for years tell me their children really believe that "my" Santa is the "real" Santa and he doesn't look like the others. Thats a big plus and the children look forward to seeing him every year which equals a guaranteed booking!

Do lci Mo me nti

Melissa L andres w w w .m e lissalandre m

Zoe Hiigli L if e by Z o e H iigli S tu dio z o e h i i gl i s t u di o .co m

William Esposito

Violet Lufkin Violet Lufkin Photography

Sara Davis
 Arastan Photography

Ana Brandt

Oxana Lazareva

Laetitia Murray

Laetitia Murray

Aly Elliott

Paige Laro Photography

Natalie Shimizu

Crystal Tucker

Charmaine Cantwell

Bellies N Babies

Daniel McElmury Photography danielmcelmuryphotography.comÂ

Annie Smack Little Peanut Photography

Blazing Sky Photography

Peggy Lee

Bellies N Babies

Crystal Tucker

Safety First! Crystal used fake lights in the image above. Check out our Safety Checklist in this Issue.

Malgorzata Konieczny

Emilia Gray of Onesies & Co Portrait Photography

Sara Davis

Melissa L andres w w w .m e lissalandre m

Cathy Murai

Karen Rohlman

Also known as BTS {Behind the Scenes} Photographers crave the real raw images and delight in the result of hard work and creativity. Each Issue we will show some BTS images. This Issue, we enjoy the work from Therena Carlin.

Getting ready for Christmas photo sessions does not mean you have to break your bank in the process. You can easily add that special “holiday touch” with a few simple props you may already have lying around the house, or buy for a reasonable price at local stores. 
 As a photographer that is just starting out there are already so many things you feel you just MUST get in order to be recognized as a professional, but sometimes simplicity is the best way to go. Aim for props that you can use in more than just your Christmas shoots. Especially if you are just starting out. Invest instead in education on proper lighting or posing and you will find that even the simplest set-ups will impress your clients.

For my set up in this image I used a vinyl cloth as a backdrop – you can buy these in the upholstery section at most fabric stores. Choose one that has very little glare to reduce the need to even the background in post processing. I use this backdrop in every single photoshoot, and it cost me about $20-40 CAD. You want at least 2.5-3 meters in length so you can use it in multiple scenarios. The nice thing about this cloth is that it is strong and won’t tear on you if you use it as a floor.

The next piece of equipment is purely optional as you can easily get away without the fake floor and just use the vinyl backdrop, but for some variety I used a light coloured vinyl flooring to add some dimension and texture to the scene. I bought it at a local hardware store – you only need one box of flooring planks, and they cost between $20-50 depending on the colour you choose. 
 The baby is placed in a large flat bottomed plastic bucket wrapped in wool roving, and weighed down by a weight for safety. I used a flat round exercise weight; which you can buy at any store that sells exercise equipment for about $5-10. The bucket was bought at an antique store as a part of another prop; and cost me $10. You can use any large plastic bowl or bucket that is roughly 6 inches deep and 12-15 inches in diameter. Underneath the wool roving I have carefully placed two cloth diaper inserts to make the edge where the baby’s head lies nice and soft. You can use face-cloths or small towels which you already have around the house. 
 The wool roving came from a specialty vendor “Oh so Fleeting” ( and it cost me $13 US. It is re-usable in other photo sessions so the investment was for more than a one-time use. 
 The mohair wrap will probably be your biggest investment, unless you know how to knit! I knit this one myself with a silk-alpaca wool blend (~$5-15 per skein) or you can buy them from various great vendors out there for anything from $30-75. 
 The seasonal props all came from things I use in my own seasonal home decorating. The deer was bought from a local grocery store after Christmas 2 years ago, and cost me $5 (regularly $15); the acorns came from the forest, the twine was re-used from a vendor’s wrapping and the star cost $5 at Canadian Tire. You probably already have plenty of seasonal props you can add to your own scenes without spending a penny! The possibilities are endless. 
 I use natural light and my home studio, so this can easily be done by anyone; whether you own a studio or work out of clients’ homes. For less than $150 you can have a beautiful set-up, which will last you year round and still allow you to capture beautiful seasonal pictures. Simplicity can be beautiful and timeless. Invest in your education and you will see magic happen right in front of your lens! Therena Carlin, Therena C. Art & Photography

Unique Handmade Newborn Photography Props - Felted Nest of Curls Blankets Felted Layers - Dream Blankets - Loose Curls – Handmade Bonnets

Images by Ana Brandt

15% OFF your order

enter the code during checkout



Ann Edmonds

The tree in this Image was made by Ann Edmonds. She describes…

I had a vision in my head and found items I could use at a second hand shop. I bought a second hand artificial tree. Stripped the branches off and kept the metal base. Spray painted it brown. Added the grapevine wreathes that I already had a stash of. The top of the artificial tree is in the other photo, on the fire truck. I clearly remember Ana Brandt saying in another course, a few years ago, to buy used items to build up your business and I've been doing that ever since. I now have a great way to store my wreathes.

Ann Edmonds Ann Edmonds Photography

Robyn Chubey

Judy Reinford

Alicia Atkins

Rochelle Shucart

The Rabbits Thicket By Karrie Roberts

Khara O'NeilÂ

Natasha Dewing


When I watched Ana Brandt on Creative Live last year one of the things that stuck with me the most was her commentary that we as photographers need to stop 
 scarring parents by not taking in newborn clients simply because baby is over 2 weeks. I've now set the expectation with new clients that ideally the first 2 weeks is best, but I can and will photograph any baby who comes to my studio looking for his/her close up! The first two weeks of new parents' lives is hectic and crazy, and if you add on delivery complications then sometimes the first 2 weeks just won't work. I was thrilled to have this precious 2 month old little girl in my studio. She smiled and coo'd and eventually drifted off for a short sleep. I captured all the moments in between. This is one of my favorites. Thank you Ana for encouraging me to welcome all babies into my studio!

Crib Tales Photography

Kristen Radicelli

Brandi Core

CoCo Inspirations Photography

Danielle van Wetering The Netherlands

Monika Golebiowska

Ever After Photography LV

Aoife Millea

Profile for Ana Brandt

TAOPAN Holiday Issue 2015  

TAoPaN - The Art of Pregnancy and Newborn supports Photographers in the related specialty. This Holiday Issue features 75 photographers from...

TAOPAN Holiday Issue 2015  

TAoPaN - The Art of Pregnancy and Newborn supports Photographers in the related specialty. This Holiday Issue features 75 photographers from...

Profile for taopan