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    You found me! I started business in September 2009 after working with newborns for 6 months but wanting something more. I wanted the freedom to flex my creative muscle and also do more than just newborns! Almost 5 years later I'm back at where I started, specializing in newborns but adding kids and families in there too :) I have retired from weddings and occasionally mentor or teach a workshop by request. Ever since the day I started, even before calling myself a business, I have worked at bettering myself through various mediums of continuing education in my field. I believe that no matter how long you've been perfecting your craft, no matter who you are, you are never done learning, and you will never know everything :)

    I'm a mother to 4 beautiful little girls, and have been married to my high school sweetheart since July 2009. I am a mother, and I am a photographer. But I am not a "mom with a camera". I am a photographer who also has children ;) I take my job- my CAREER, very seriously and respect the industry in everything I do. I'm also a pretty bad blogger, so that will explain why it's constantly out of date, but I try!! :) Visit my website or connect with me on Facebook to stay up to date with session sneak peeks and vital information. Thanks for stopping by!


NYC/Philly Area Newborn Photography Workshop {Little Falls, NJ Newborn Posing and More Workshop July 2015}

Can you believe that 2014 is already over HALF over?! It feels like we just started, and were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our 4th beautiful little girl- and now 2014 has came, saw, and almost conquered…so that means it’s already time to start scheduling 2015 classes!

I polled you guys and you answered- and LOUDLY! So Jersey, I’m coming to you! With 4 kids and a limited time that I can travel without constantly leaving them and my husband alone (family is important to me) I have to compromise when it come sot locations. NYC, Philadelphia and Boston were all polled for but this was the best compromise I could make for all 3:)
There was pretty high demand, but at this time I have only opened one class. Each class is limited to 5 photographers to create an intimate and nurturing learning environment. No fighting with anywhere from 7-11 other photographers to see, hear and be heard- yes, I have seen other classes advertised before with 12 photographers and ONE teacher- to me that’s crazy! With my 5:1 workshops, you’re promised to get the time and attention you need to truly LEARN, and walk away exhilarated and ready to apply new techniques to your business as you see fit!

2015 workshop tuition has been set at $1000.00. This rate has been carefully calculated not only based on travel costs, studio rental, meals and included take-home items, but the value of the education itself. You will be learning EVERYTHING I have learned the hard way through blood, sweat and tears over what will be 6 YEARS of being in business. We will be shooting 2 full-length newborn sessions!

This workshop has been set for: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 at 8am. 

At: Neil van Niekerk studio in Little Falls, NJ.
Classes will last approximately 10 hours.

There is a $400 nonrefundable retainer to book your seat- the remaining balance will be due 1 month before your class- June 28th, 2015. Payments will be accepted via Paypal!

North Baltimore, OH Newborn Posing Workshops {Newborn Workshops Ohio March 2015}

So I Built This Studio…

and have hosted a handful of workshops since- both 1:1 and group setting.

Can I just say that it’s ABOUT TIME?! For the first 2 1/2 years of teaching workshops, I did them inside my home, where I normally photographed newborns. It was crowded, my kids didn’t always stay away (they saw it as a group of ladies who were just DYING to play with them) and not going to lie- the biggest amazing window in my house was in my dining room, right by the ONLY bathroom. Traffic, traffic, traffic. Ever since building this studio (it’s modest, but it makes me happy!!), I want to shoot in it every stinkin day!

I polled you guys and you answered- so I’m scheduling a workshop here at my studio, for March 7, 2014!

This workshop is limited to 5 photographers to create an intimate and nurturing learning environment. No fighting with anywhere from 7-11 other photographers to see, hear and be heard- yes, I have seen other classes advertised before with 12 photographers and ONE teacher- to me that’s crazy! With my 5:1 workshops, you’re promised to get the time and attention you need to truly LEARN, and walk away exhilarated and ready to apply new techniques to your business as you see fit!

1-day tuition is set at $900. You will be learning EVERYTHING I have learned the hard way through blood, sweat and tears over what will be 6 YEARS of being in business. We will be shooting 2 full-length newborn sessions from start to finish, having lunch, business chat (I’m an open book!), post-processing, etc.

The workshop date has been set for:
Saturday, March 7th at 8:30am

Class is approx 10 hours and will be located at my studio in North Baltimore, OH

There is a $400 nonrefundable retainer to book your seat- the remaining balance will be due 1 month before your class- February 7th, 2015. Payments will be accepted via Paypal!

*The only restriction on these workshops that others do not have, is that you must live/operate outside of an 80 mile radius of 45872 (North Baltimore, OH.) I’ll be happy to mentor other photographers in light, photoshop, or teach folks how to use their DSLR:)But I am unable to teach everything I know in newborn photography and business to my local colleagues in order to protect my business income, and my family. Portraits are my livelihood:)Thank you for understand this requirement!

July 29, 2014 - 10:33 am

Kathryn Bessette - Hi Amy, I just applied for your newborn workshop and am just making sure you received it. It didnt show a verification page after I hit submit, it just sent me back to you main page so Im just making sure. Thank you,

Aria, 6 Week Old Newborn Session – 8 weeks premature {Ohio Newborn Preemie Photographer}

I came across Aria when her auntie, of The Bees Knees, had emailed me asking if I would consider photographing a particular sign she crafted- it said “You Are My Sunshine”. She was trying to raise money for her sister, who had just had her first child, 8 weeks prematurely, and help her out a bit. I told her I’d be happy to photograph the sign and hopefully get her more sales, but that I’d also love to extend a complimentary newborn session to baby Aria too!

Mama was thrilled, and we set something up for my next available. At 3 weeks old, Aria was released from the hospital and at 6 weeks old, and less than 6lbs,  she came to hang out with me for a bit! She was the EASIEST baby I’ve ever had, and the session was done in about an hour and a half.

It’s been a while since I’ve held a babe that itty bitty, and she was just delicious putty in my hands:)Her head of hair killed me! Congrats mama, and Aria- I’m so happy everything worked out for you and that you are thriving beautifully:)

1:1 Newborn Mentoring With Shannon {Newborn Mentoring Workshop Photography}

Back in November, I taught 2 newborn workshops in Dallas at my friend/mentoree Erica’s home. The classes went great and I had an amazing time in Dallas also shooting a birth of another workshop attendee (this gal came to class and gave birth 2 days later!) and Erica’s maternity session! Babies everywhere:)

Shannon was supposed to come but had to back out of class- she decided to transfer her fee to 1:1 mentoring in Ohio this summer. She has family here, so traveling wasn’t an issue as they were coming to visit anyway!

We had a great day with 2 babes- first a fidgeting but adorable little man, Braxton, and second a beautiful little girl, Layla. Check them out:)Thank you again parents, for bringing these sweet babies to us!


Visit Shannon on Facebook!

For information on workshops or 1:1 newborn mentoring, visit my website here.

Why Do I Have To Apply For A Workshop? {Newborn Workshops}

As of the time I’m writing this post, all 2015 workshop applications have been reviewed and replied to. Please note that unless you have zero experience with a DSLR or you still shoot on auto using the “spray and pray” method, you’re not likely to be turned away. I don’t require you to be in business for so many years. But I do require the application not only to collect vital information but to make sure that someone who just picked up a camera yesterday and doesn’t have any idea what they’re doing, isnt wasting money on a more advanced workshop than they just are ready for. This unfortunately is NOT a “mom with camera” class- it’s a formal workshop designed for photographers or aspiring photographers.  These applications also keep things fair for everybody else attending- you don’t have to have any experience with newborn photography. I think that investing in your education and your craft before jumping into an aspect of a business is AWESOME. It doesn’t matter how many newborns you have or have not photographed. What does matter is that in terms of shooting in manual mode and knowing what an aperture is and knowing the difference between a prime lens and zoom, you are up to speed and not just playing guesswork. Its nearly impossible to follow along with a class this advanced if you are still fumbling around with a new camera and not even knowing how to make your image darker or brighter, let alone change your depth of field to keep more or less items in focus, change your focus point, or white balance. I’ll speak about shutter speeds, ISO, changing your aperture this way or that way for depth of field adjustment- and if you’re looking at me like deer in headlights, completely lost- you won’t be prepared to absorb the info that I’m giving to you. You’ll walk away from class overwhelmed, disappointed, and unable to move forward in the newborn industry because you just weren’t ready to go there yet. Shooting in manual and FLUENTLY knowing your gear and lenses is a requirement. If you don’t at least know why the 70-200mm 2.8 zoom is better than the 55-200mm 3.5-5.6 kit lens, you’re not likely fluent enough in camera gear to move onto a posing workshop. This is NOT snobby. Or rude. Or a dig. It’s real, hard truth. Please, don’t waste your money. Invest in your business wisely. I bet you never thought that I would call a workshop “wasting your money”- BUT- if you’re not ready for the class, that’s all it will be. A denied application isn’t meant to be embarrassing. I’m not going to TELL people. Trust. It’s between you and I.

Applications are reviewed in order they come in, but approval does not mean that you’re guaranteed a seat for as long as it takes you to come up with the deposit. Just like any workshop, the deposit is still required immediately to book your seat and show commitment. I just require an application first in order to make sure that no one is wasting their money attending a workshop they are not ready for. Many photographers don’t do this so it may not be mainstream and something you are used to. I would rather turn someone away this time around than allow them to waste their money on a class they are not necessarily ready for.

For every application that comes through, I visit the Facebook page or website that they sent me and review current work. I thoroughly evaluate- am I going to come back and say “well you’re doing this this and this wrong.”- NO. Any opinions I have, I keep to myself- and who is to say MY opinion is the only one that is right? No judgey mcjudgersons here. What I do though, is that if someone is approved and books a seat- I make notes to myself so that at workshop time, I know how to best HELP each person, individually, become better and achieve. A little word- please don’t say on the application that you know how to shoot in manual if you don’t yet. It’s okay if you’re still learning. It’s OKAY. EVERYONE starts out learning.  But trust me when I say that I can look at someone’s work and tell if they are shooting in manual or if they are still guessing in auto. If all of your images are consistently out of focus or blurry as well, that will be an immediate red flag to me that no, you don’t understand manual (mainly shutter speed!) yet and that’s okay – but I will recommend a class on DSLR use/shooting in manual first before ever proceeding to a newborn workshop.

Not only  is the workshop material vast and detailed and sometimes complicated, but these babies are so precious. You need to be able to give them your absolute utmost attention at all times and if you are busy trying to figure out a camera that you’re not comfortable with yet, you’re not focusing on the safety of that infant.  If your brain is spending the entire workshop worrying about how long you’re making everybody else wait to get the shot because you are stressed out that your images are not looking right and you don’t know how to fix them, or you are getting inconsistent results by shooting in auto mode and not understanding why, your brain is not able to focus on and absorb all of the information that I will be teaching that day and you will essentially flush $1000 down the drain.  Y’all, this is why I require an application. It’s not an “exclusivity thing.” I take on people with 10 years in business and people with zero. You don’t have to be rich, pretty, or already a “rockstar” (hate that term) photographer to attend a workshop. BUT- if all I cared about was money and took ANYBODY, not caring whether or not they walked away with a quality education, then nobody is benefiting from that, especially the industry-except maybe a money hungry “teacher” who doesn’t care. And that’s NOT me. The photographers I work WITH are most important to me in these workshops- but my reputation is on the line too!

The application isn’t complicated-it asks basic personal info, and then things like how many years you have been in business- how long you have shot newborns- what kind of gear you are using (so i know to recommend a prime lens for the workshop or not mostly), and a couple of short-answer questions regarding your experience level with newborns and what you are hoping to take away from this workshop. These things also help me determine if I personally think this class is right for you- if your answer is “i want to become amazing overnight” then i’ll stop you right there. If it’s something more like “Confidence in posing, recommendations on how to achieve great looking skin tones and editing help”- then OF course this class will be perfect for you!

Please, only apply for a workshop if you’re actually serious- when someone applies and is approved, I send them right back a booking link. Seats are limited, so if you aren’t actually planning on booking, it’s not beneficial to either of us to waste time with an application. I would LOVE to have you- but your benefit is most important to me as well- I want you to walk away on a high-satisfied fully with your investment in your business and education. So while applications aren’t an “exclusivity thing”- they are important to make sure that everyone attending is truly ready to take this next step. That’s all:)

If you’d like to chat about 1:1 mentoring for DSLR 101/shooting in manual via Skype, it’s a 3 hour/$350 class, and is conducted live with just you and I. Shoot me an email at and we’ll get you set up:)There’s a 50% deposit required on all Skype sessions. There is NO shame to just starting out and not being able to shoot in manual yet. There’s NO shame in still having a lot to learn first- just wait for a newborn class NEXT year- and in the meantime, rock that camera girl! It took me probably the first 4-5 months in biz to really learn manual- yeah, I’m embarrassed to admit that. It’s a tough thing to wrap your head around at first but once you get it, it’ll never be something you forget, ever again. It really is “easy” once you get it but in the beginning- it’s tough as nails! Many of the people (some photogs, some just mamas!) who have attended the DSLR 101 classes I used to teach said that it gave them so many real “ah-ha” moments- something that reading a book just couldn’t do- but being with someone who could explain things in detail, show you, and stop to answer questions- changed everything.

I really hope to see many of you at the 2015 newborn workshops- and if not, maybe I’ll see you in a Skype chat!:)

Click here for info on Skype

Click here for info on 1:1 newborn mentoring in my studio (North Baltimore, OH)

Click here for info on 2015 newborn workshop DETAILS

Click here for a list of 2015 newborn workshops that have been set up so far

For EXTREMELY detailed blog posts on these classes and WHY ACP newborn workshops are the bomb click the following links to visit each class on the blog:

Houston, TX- January 17 or 18th 2015

Nashville, TN – June 5th, 2015

Manassas, VA (Washington DC)- June 25th, 2015

North Baltimore, OH (my studio) – March 7, 2015 and May 2, 2015


Thanks guys!



July 23, 2014 - 6:48 pm

Kate Fretland - Exactly!!!! Early in my career I spent big bucks on a weekend workshop and was soooo out of my league, camera wise, lens wise, photoshop basics & even basic computer stuff. It was sooo sad for me that I wasted so much $ and left feeling so discouraged and that all the info dispersed May as well have been in another language. Good call.