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Interview with Jody Ann Crane | GBPW Episode 165

3 min read

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Quick summary

Newborn photographer Jody Ann Crane has been taking photos for over 20 years. She has built a successful business while raising four children and educating other photographers. In this episode, Jody talks about her experience with the business side of things, how to take newborn photographs safely, how to communicate with clients, and much more.

Jody Ann Crane.

I really try to be relaxed. I try to keep things very simple in the way that I communicate with my clients.

Jody Ann Crane

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studio newborn photo by Jody Ann Crane

In this episode, I speak with Canadian newborn and family photographer Jody Ann Crane. Jody takes beautiful photographs of babies in creative studio spaces and candid photos of families outdoors. Her images are the perfect mix of sweetness and professionalism.

We talk about:

  • Newborn photography tips
  • How to keep children entertained during family photoshoots
  • The top photography business mistakes to avoid

& much more!

This was a very eye-opening interview! If you’re interested in business, technical tips, studio photography advice, and the art of newborn photography, you’ll love listening to this conversation. Jody openly talks about the mistakes that she has made in her business and generously shares photography tips with the listeners.

Here is a preview of our conversation with Jody Ann Crane.

newborn photography by Jody Ann Crane

Q: How can someone become a newborn photographer?

Jody Ann Crane: There is no real requirement. Even just in our industry, people can just pick up a camera, start shooting, and start saying that they’re in business.

Newborns are very fragile. There’s the safety aspect in regards to their physiology, but there are things that can be happening internally that we don’t know and we don’t necessarily recognise.

One of the biggest things that is necessary before even getting into opening the business is getting the proper training. Because we live in such a wonderful world and so much has changed with social media, there is the ability to get that training.

Safety is just so crucial. There’s so much we need to know about reading them. Just do your research.

outdoor family photo by Jody Ann Crane

Q: What are the biggest business mistakes that photographers make in newborn photography?

Jody Ann Crane: Well, I’ve probably made most of them!

Most photographers start doing photography for creative reasons, and not necessarily business first. So a lot of times, we do things backwards. I’m not going to tell anybody to make sure that they have a business plan, because I definitely didn’t do that properly, but it is helpful. Those things also change. I changed what I wanted to shoot.

The biggest thing is not pricing correctly. You can charge whatever you want. You can build your business however you want and you can shoot whatever you want. But when you’re charging too little, you’re devaluing yourself. Your time is money, especially if you’re stepping away from things that you love or stepping away from your family. That costs something. There are lots of places where you can figure out pricing. Google is your friend.

I like to educate clients that I’m a full service photographer. There’s so much more feeling when you’re offering them something tangible in their hands instead of just locking away a USB in a drawer or loading something on your computer and never looking at it again.

photo of newborn baby surrounded by lavender

Q: What should everyone know about natural light?

Jody Ann Crane: Don’t overcomplicate it. It can be really simple. You don’t need to know everything, but you should be able to master what you’re shooting and know how to shoot in different lighting situations.

You don’t have to literally dive into every single possible scenario. I shoot at specific times of the day when I’m doing natural light because that’s when I know I have the best control.

I love to have control, so when I’m doing my family sessions, I shoot at a specific time of day. My favourite is the golden hour, which is a couple of hours before sunset. That can be tricky here because we live in a place where sunset is very, very late in the summer. I have to adjust that at times.

Because of that, I’ve taken a lot of training in shooting backlit because I want that golden sunlight behind them. Understanding how to light for the background as well as your client is important.


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Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.
Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.

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