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Read our interview with newborn photographer Nikki Loehr. Nikki was an instructor at our Photography workshop in San Antonio, and prides herself on the creativity she uses during photography shoots. LORI: Hi Nikki.  Thanks so much for taking time away from your busy schedule for this interview and to join us in San Antonio next month.  Would you mind telling us first how you got started in newborn photography?  Is this something you always knew you wanted to do? NIKKI:  I have ALWAYS loved photography and taking pictures of just about everything.  Before I had kids, I had dogs (which were puppies to start out with) and I took thousands of pictures of them.  So the progression to babies was seamless. I have supervised photography for years, so when I had my first child and was making a career transition, it was my peers that encouraged me to pursue a career in photography. LORI: So what does a typical day for you look like?  Is this an “in and out job” or are you pretty much in the family’s home all day? NIKKI: A typical day can last anything from 45 minutes to four hours…I am always prepared for four hours because each baby is unique. I have perfected my baby whispering, so I rarely have a four-hour shoot anymore. LORI: Now, I know you have a studio.  But do you need one to be a newborn photographer? NIKKI: Actually, no.  I do 90% of my newborn shoots at the person’s home.  I like to photograph them in the first 10 days, and sometimes, moms and dads are a little stressed out during this period…so I make it as easy as possible by going to their home.  I only need a little space to work in and, sometimes, I work outside, like on the porch if it is 80 degrees or above.  Babies like it warm, and they really seem to love the outdoors. LORI: Do you use a lot of props? NIKKI:  The creative is my strong suit.  I love to do one “signature” shot which always includes lots of props.  The rest are the baby usually undressed and sometimes with a unique hat. LORI: What do you think it takes to be a good newborn photographer? NIKKI: Patience.  If you’re stressed, nervous or tense, the baby will feed off of that. LORI: What kind of equipment do you need? NIKKI: I use natural light about 95% of the time.  So, having a reflector is helpful in a low light situation.  Of course, you want a digital SLR, the best one you can afford and also the best lens you can afford.   An affordable option is fixed lenses, such as the 50mm and 85mm. I use Canon equipment.  I suggest staying with the major brands, and it’s easier to find gently-used equipment. LORI: I can’t let you go without talking about money really quick.  Can you give us an idea about how much new parents spend on pictures of their newborn, or how much you expect to make per client and how many clients you typically get in a month? NIKKI: My average newborn sale is $1,550, but sales can range up to $5,000. The minimum clients can spend with us is $900.  I only photograph five newborns a month.  I used to do as many as 10, but it seems they were all being born at the same time!  So I cut it back.  And the funny thing is…all five are usually born in the same week.  Not sure what’s going on there! LORI: Thanks Nikki.  I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio. Click here to read an article by Nikki and see some of her photographs. [Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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