The spark was lit after I took a mentoring class with one of my personal favorite photographers, Lindsay Beagle of Pics and Giggles Photography. I ended up having a one-on-one mentoring session, a serendipitous event resulting from the winter weather. I spent the entire day asking anything and everything I could think of relating to photography and starting a business. (So much had changed since my college photography classes and days spent in the darkroom.) I was like a sponge, absorbing the entire experience. It was such an amazing day!!! At the end of the class, Lindsay encouraged me to set up some of my own sessions and put myself out there. (This was something that was already in the back of my mind but a little encouragement was all I needed to move forward.) I left that day feeling like a kid at Christmas! My mind was racing about my next steps.
Still on the high I experienced from an incredible day with my mentor, I gathered up my courage and asked my friends if they would allow me to take pictures of their twins after the birth. Yes, you read that right! I decided my first ever photography session was going to be with newborn twins!!! I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I had over a month to figure it out and prepare!
During the next month, I bought equipment and props, watched tons of videos, read everything I could, and studied other newborn photographers’ work. A whole new world was opening up to me. The night before the shoot, I practiced setting up my equipment and put together different set ups. Then I got all my stuff together, checking and double checking to make sure I didn’t forget anything. I was getting so nervous! What if the babies screamed the whole time? What if I didn’t get any decent pictures? Ahhh!!!
The day of the shoot finally arrived! My friends must have thought I was moving in, with all the stuff I brought! As the babies were being fed, I set up my equipment and props. Then the time came to start photographing these two beautiful babies! Once I started shooting, I could feel myself relaxing. I loved this! The babies were great! Yes, I did get peed and pooped on, but that’s all part of dealing with naked newborns!
Most importantly, I ended up capturing these precious images:
Looking back, I wish I would have tried more poses because the twins were great sleepy babies. I was nervous to move them too much and wake them up. You have to start somewhere, and I was pleased with the results of my first “official” shoot. Most importantly, my friends were too.
I knew after that session that I was hooked. And so began Jessica Stopper Photography….
I look forward to sharing more stories with you about my photographic journey.