Newborn photographer, Melissa J, hosted a few aspiring artists in her Colorado Springs studio this summer. The weekend’s checklist: learn, shoot, & be inspired.
I was walking toward the studio, trying to gather my thoughts and rev myself up for a weekend of intense learning and work. I was nervous, since I’ve never done a newborn workshop before, and I tend to feel intimidated when I’m around other photographers who are brilliant and talented and experienced. I get worried that my inexperience will show, or that part of the learning will involve me learning about how much I still have to learn. And that can be overwhelming.
But then this voice said to me, “Hey! You’re a photographer!” And I was like, “Yeah, self, you’re right! I AM a photographer! I can do this! It will be great!” Then I heard it again. “Hey!! You! You look like a photographer!” And I realized it was not a voice in my head that I was hearing – it was coming from a sweet, friendly looking lady walking behind me. It was Melissa. She smiled, we chatted on the way up to her studio, and I immediately felt at ease.
But enough about me and my self-talk. 🙂
The weekend really was intense in some ways. The passion that Melissa has for her profession, her craft, and her itty-bitty clients is incredibly intense, in a really approachable, unobtrusive kind of way. And the jealously I felt towards her stash of newborn hats and headbands and teeny-tiny hand-stitched pants was definitely intense. I WANT ALL THE THINGS! Also intense – the amount of sweat going on after 12+ hours in a VERY WARM studio. Ha! But other than that, really, the weekend was calm and easy. Probably because that’s how Melissa is. She’s low key. She’s honest. She’s chill. All while being this super talented photographer with so much knowledge and so much willingness to share it with people.
We watched her work with her newborns, and we listened as she talked about her techniques and strategies. Let me tell you – posing and photographing newborns is not easy. At all. But this baby-whisperer-photographer-lady makes it look like a walk in the park. We had the opportunity to try our hand at it as she stood close-by, gently suggesting things to do or ways to change our approach. She made us lunch. She let us ask questions. She encouraged us to talk to each other about our businesses, our fears, and our roadblocks. She made it possible for me to form friendships with other photographers whom I admire and whom I reach out to now for help and advice. And like I said, she did this all with a quiet calmness that is pretty darn endearing.
I think what I liked best about the workshop was the opportunity it gave me to get to know other budding photographers and to learn from someone who was a budding photographer not that long ago. It’s cool to realize that she had a talent and a passion (and a pretty awesome business sense) and she made it work. She made it work REALLY WELL. Which is inspiring. Despite my fears of inadequacy, the weekend reminded me that I am good at what I do. And it showed me that there’s this huge potential to get even better.
And if you want to see more of my newborn work, look here!