Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending Rachel Vanoven’s Newborn Workshop in Jacksonville. I was the designated baby-spotter and master blanket holder.I, along with Rachel, and 8 other photographers made for a room full. Rachel made sure that we had the perfect learning environment. The room was the perfect temp and had beautiful, large windows that allowed for awesome natural light. She made sure that we were able to see, from start to finish, how she conducts a session. From the way she sets up styles for each session to her interaction with the parents, to soothing the little one, to posing, and finally editing, she showed it all. Not only did we see how every little placement of Rachel’s hands made a difference in posing, but she also setup the perfect composition, even telling us what the settings were on her camera. She made sure that we would walk away from her workshop having seen it “all.”
Rachel didn’t “give away” any deep, dark secrets. First, the workshop isn’t free. Second, Rachel is teaching what she has learned over several years of hands on experience. Having peeked at her Posing Guide, I can tell you that it gives you a jump start for your newborn photography. It is filled with many helpful hints for working with parents, soothing and posing babes, and even her vendor list. Having made many wrong prop purchases over the years, I could have easily saved the cost of Rachel’s guide and then some.
Now, did I walk away from this workshop being able to conduct a session from start to finish AND produce the same results as Rachel?!? Absolutely not! We will all still have to practice, practice, and practice some more. I will still have to shoot on my own without Rachel’s guidance, but I did learn some invaluable information. Workshops are building blocks. You walk away with what you put in it. They are awesome tools to “light your path.” If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend attending one. If not, for a fraction of the workshop cost, you can’t go wrong with her posing guide, either.
P.S. Yes, I am aware that I sound like an infomercial. haha! But, I believe in giving credit where credit is due. Rachel has a great thing going and lucky for us, she has a teaching heart!