Introducing: Rachael Venema Photography

How long have you been in the business?

5 years.

Can you tell us about this first picture?

This one was my first newborn session in 2012. I knew I loved newborns and wanted to photograph them. A friend let me practice and take some photos of her newborn son. I didn’t realize at that time how much I had to learn about newborn portrait photography. At the time, I thought these had turned out pretty good.

studio lighting


Now that you are more experienced, when you look at this first picture, what would you say is wrong with it?

I see so much that could be improved with this photo. The white balance is way off, so the baby looks blue as does the white backdrop. I should have shot at an aperture of F 2.8 instead of an F 4.0, so that the focus would go to the baby’s face and the backdrop would be less in focus. The posing could be so much better, and also the angle in which I took the photo. The lighting is coming from the wrong direction so it does not fall down the baby’s body as it should. My editing needs a bit of work, too. Baby’s skin should have been smoothed a bit, and the skin tone is way off.

Can you tell us about this second picture?

This newborn photo shows my most recent work in 2017. I’ve now learned studio lighting, so I can control the way my light flows. I also have mentored under another newborn photographer, so I have learned posing techniques and safety precautions when photographing newborns. I’ve invested in studio props and posing bean bags to be able to photograph newborns in a more beautiful way.

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What is one of the biggest things that contributed to your growth as a Photographer?

Learning studio lighting and being mentored by another newborn photographer. Learning lighting allows me to control my light and shadows, and get exactly the look I want in camera, so that I don’t have to do a ton of editing afterwards. Also, learning posing techniques with someone right there coaching me, has given me the valuable techniques needed to get beautiful newborn portraits.

Thank you for sharing, Rachael! Beautiful improvement.

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