Category Archives: mentoring

In mid May 2017 I had the opportunity to work with Angie Knutson Photography during a 1:1 mentoring workshop held at my new studio. Angie has been an inspiration to me for quite some time and her work is simply beautiful. I saw that she was coming to Kentucky for another newborn workshop, so I messaged her right away to see if she’d be interested in stopping by my studio a few days before her workshop on the other side of the state. I figured who better to learn from? Plus I’d get to sharpen my newborn posing skills and have a chance to meet one of my photographer crushes. I’m totally on board with that! She got back to me quickly and said it was easy to add me to her schedule since she was driving to KY from MN anyhow. My excitement couldn’t be contained!! I know you girls out there know what I mean if you follow her work at all.

I’ve worked with infant babies for several years now and feel comfortable and confident with posing, but it’s always fun to learn new ways of doing things and adding a few new tricks to my repertoire. The minute you think you can’t learn something new or that there’s nothing out there that you need help with, then your work becomes stale and you can come off as arrogant. I’m far from that way of thinking. I believe you should continue your education and expand on your talents as much as possible. It’s also an excuse to meet some great mentors! I’ve trained with Rachel Vanoven (2014), Amy McDaniel (2015) and Sarah-Beth (2016) in previous years, with still many more wonderful artists out there that I’d love to work with someday.

I get asked the same question all the time. Who is the best person to mentor with and why? My answer is simple; save your money and spring for a one on one (or a 1:2) workshop with the mentor’s work that speaks to you the most. I chose the mentors that I’ve worked with in previous years for various reasons, but at the end of the day it was due to loving their work and wanting to be able to recreate the techniques they used. Rachel was the first newborn photographer that I started following in 2013 and have always been drawn to her work. She has beautiful warm images and flawless posing. Then I started seeing Dewdrops Photography by Amy McDaniel starting to show up in my newsfeed when Facebook added the function of seeing what your friends were liking. I instantly fell in love with her lighting. Although I loved Rachel’s lighting, she had a natural light studio and I only have the light available to use strobes, which is what Amy works with. Amy’s lighting is perfection and I even learned several new tricks to tweak the poses I already knew how to do. It’s a beautiful marriage of tips and tricks that you begin to be able to incorporate into your posing flow once you’ve had the opportunity to see how different mentors do things. It’s sort of like being at a round table of “The Best of the Best” in the industry and having everyone tell you how they do their poses, and you get to take the top pick of best tips and tricks away from the experience to better yourself and your abilities. Which is why I have no shame in continuing my education each year! In 2016, a last minute seat opened up for an outdoor family workshop with Sarah-Beth, and I had to jump on the minute I found out about it. Everything about her work draws you in. The light. The connection. The emotions. It’s all there and every image takes my breath away. Her way of getting families to connect with each other and the way she poses in an “unposed” manner just makes for some of the most heartfelt images I’ve ever seen.

During the workshop with Angie, our main focus was on lighting and maximizing poses in a newborn session to fill a gallery a little quicker. As we all know, being efficient is key when working with newborns in a hot studio and you’re sweating your butt off. lol. We started with a different posing flow than what I have been accustomed to, but it includes some genius posing tricks to save time and I’m all for that. It seems like everyone has their own favorite posing flow that works for them, but the way she showed me seemed like a no-brainer to switch to for the future. In a nutshell, her flow is a complete 180 from what I have always been taught previously; most mentors start on the beanbag with naked poses. Angie had me start with wrapped poses and works backwards in the flow to the beanbag. We also focused on different lighting techniques since Angie’s work is typically a lot more moodier and shadowy than mine. I love the look, but I’m not sure I am able to come completely to the “dark side” just yet. I still love my light and bright images as well, so I’ll be mixing in this newer technique in with my old ones.

Here are a few images from the 2 models we worked with. You should be able to notice some of the shadows that were incorporated into the lighting that we used during the one-on-one workshop. It requires a different light modifier than the one I own, so my version will not be as contrast-y as these in the future, but I’ll show an example in a minute of some post-workshop images with my take on the lighting.

Workshop Models: Posed by Angie Knutson Photography and shot by Myself.

newborn infant posed in bucketHeadband: Dear Felicity

Headband: Baby Bliss Props \ Rainbow Blanket and Felt Heart: Cwitchicoo

newborn infant in sleepy pose on light peach fabric

Bonnet: Beautiful Ewe

newborn infant wrapped and posed in a wooden bowl dressed in shades of blue

Bonnet: Jennifer Rittenberry

newborn infant wrapped and posed in a wooden bowl dressed in shades of blue

Bonnet: Jennifer Rittenberry

I really feel like Angie did a great job of explaining the wrapping techniques and transitions from each pose to the next, which is greatly beneficial in creating a beautiful and cohesive gallery in a shorter amount of time. Let’s face it. Some babies are just plain hard and these gorgeous wrap jobs will do the trick when coaxing them to sleep. lol. She was very patient and attentive to my shooting, which made it easy to make quick adjustments if I wasn’t in the perfect spot to get “the shot.” A few of these prop poses are a little more difficult to get in position to shoot at the right angle than what I thought prior to the workshop.

I’m happy with the results of the first couple of babies that have come into the studio after the workshop. Here are a few images post-workshop.

Headband & Pillow: Goodnightmoon Props

Sleepy Hat: Avonli Baby / Bear: Mary’s Knittin’

Headband: Goodnightmoon Props / Blanket: Art My Blanket

Headband: Goodnightmoon Props / Blanket: Art My Blanket

Headband: Vanilla Lullaby / Blanket: Cwitchicoo

Bonnet & Mini Layer: Mama Knits / Bed Prop: The Original Photoblocks


Just for a quick little comparison, here are few images pre and post workshop side by side:

If you’re looking for a professional newborn photographer to mentor with, I highly recommend a Newborn Posing Workshop with Angie Knutson. She was amazing and worth every penny. I love that she offers an online facebook community for continued education after the workshop is over, too. There are a lot of extremely talented photographers in the group and I love seeing all of the creativity that pours out of the women in there. Not to mention, we get to be the guinea pigs for all of her new actions and presets that get released in the future as well. Check her out and tell her I sent ya! ūüôā

More about the photographer:

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer, newborn session, maternity photos, baby pictures

Jennifer Rittenberry Photography is an award winning photographer based out of Mount Washington Kentucky. She has been photographing clients throughout the greater Louisville area since 2010 and recently acquired a brick and mortar studio space in the heart of downtown Mount Washington. Jennifer is passionate about her work and strives to achieve the highest level of excellence in her work, which has earned her a Click PRO status with Clickin Moms Magazine and elite membership with NAPCP. She is also a published artist in Beauty & Lifestyle Mommy Magazine and Newborn Photographer Magazine, as well as named 2016 Parent’s Choice Award winner for her fine art portraiture. In 2013, she focused her client base to Newborn and Maternity as she created a niche for herself after mentoring with four of the nation’s leading photographers in these industries. She has spent countless hours on continuing her education and sharpening her skills each year with the sole purpose of creating beautiful artwork for her clients to share with their families and preserve as precious heirlooms for generations to come. Located in Central Kentucky, her new studio is only 6 minutes from the Gene Snyder Freeway off the Bardstown exit, and only 3 minutes outside of Louisville. Jennifer Rittenberry Photography session fees can be found on the website but detailed pricing and availability may be requested by email using the contact form.

You are welcome to connect with Jennifer Rittenberry Photography by following my work on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER so you can be the first to know about any upcoming portrait specials, mini session events, and other news!

We have MOVED! As of May 1, 2017 we are now located at 1200 North Bardstown Road – Suite 1-A, Mount Washington, KY 40047. Get in touch at (502) 523-2180!

As you know from previous blog posts, I have been a longtime fan of Rachel Vanoven.  I have been following her since 2013, which is when I started my newborn photography journey, and have been blessed with learning from her e-workshops and in person mentoring in August 2014. I felt like I learned so much at the hands-on mentoring session and saw immediate results.  I think it is always fun to go back and see where you started to appreciate just how far you have come.

I wanted to share my newborn photography past and present with you. This “before” photo is in a world all on its own and is what prompted me to really learn the art of professional newborn photography.¬† This photo is what I’d like to refer to as a result of hiring an untrained non-newborn photographer, such as myself at the time.¬† I had no clue how to¬†pose a baby¬†and got all of my setup ideas from Pinterest.¬† (All of you newborn photogs out there just cringed, didn’t you?)¬† I also didn’t have a clue on how to edit newborn skin or even shoot with a pro¬†digital camera.¬† Heck, I wasn’t even shooting in RAW!¬† I had so much to learn!¬†¬†It’s a fact that unless you are hiring a newborn professional for your baby’s photos,¬†then it is very¬†likely your photographer could produce something along these lines in the photo below simply because they just don’t know better and haven’t been trained properly in this skill.¬†¬†I can¬†confidently say that I was extremely embarrassed for myself and my client with the product I was delivering in this photo.

This was taken in may 2013 prior to any newborn training.

“BEFORE”¬† This was taken in May 2013 prior to any newborn training.

Fast forward through a year’s worth of practice and training through the online workshop.¬† I was feeling more confident in my posing, but still was missing something, so I went to Rachel’s in-person mentoring workshop.¬† The results from those 2 days were really gratifying for me as I stated in my previous blog post.

2015-06-30_0002

SEPT 2014 | Post In-Person Mentoring workshop with Rachel Vanoven.

I continued to get comfortable with all of the new skills from the workshop and honing in on my craft.¬† However, there was still something that¬†always evaded me.¬† You see, Rachel shot only natural light at the time and I operate with strobes for all of my studio sessions.¬† I was achieving the end results that I wanted to see in photos, but it was taking forever to do this is post.¬† I could spend countless hours editing a session to perfection before I sent it off to¬† a client.¬† I just couldn’t get my lighting perfect in camera and it was costing me time away from family and a lot of precious sleep!¬† A few examples below from a session in April 2015:

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer | Jennifer Rittenberry Photography | www.jlritt.com

APRIL 2015 – My progress throughout the following year after attending Rachel Vanoven’s in person mentoring workshop.

Fast forward yet again to June 2015.¬† The cr√®me de la cr√®me of studio light newborn photographers opened up a mentoring spot for me and I pounced on the opportunity.¬† I cannot express the amount of “ah ha” moments that I had when I attended the workshop at Dewdrops Photography.¬† Amy is a lighting magician!¬† Below are a few shots from the mentoring session and every setup¬†required very minimal editing due to nailing the light properly in camera.

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer | Jennifer Rittenberry Photography | www.jlritt.com

June 2015 – Mentoring session at Dewdrops Photography. Posed and styled by Amy McDaniel. Shot and edited by myself.

The following week after I got home from the mentoring with Dewdrops Photography, a set of twin girls that were on my schedule decided to make their entrance into the world a little early.  I felt like I really cut down a lot on my editing time in post after this session and am excited to continue developing my new lighting skills.  Below is just a teaser from the twins session.  More will come in the next blog post to show off these two little beauties!

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer | Jennifer Rittenberry Photography | www.jlritt.com

Long story short, I am always looking for new ways to add skills to my newborn repertoire.¬† The more that I learn, the more that I can give that knowledge back to my clients in the form of art.¬† Nothing excites me more than to hear the gasps of excitement when new moms and dads see their gallery for the first time, or to see the comments posted on the photos of their new baby from ecstatic friends and family fawning over their child.¬†¬†I hope this recap of my history and progress on how I got from that awful “before” photo to this most recent session has actually helped someone.¬† Whether that be a respective client trying to¬†narrow down the huge field of photographers out there and settling on the perfect one, or if it’s a fellow photographer trying to take their artistry to the next level.¬† We all start somewhere and there is a photographer out there for everyone.¬† I just hope that I can be a part of your journey in some small way; photographing your baby or cheering¬†on my tog¬†peeps¬† <3

I cherish each and every little baby that comes into my studio and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one.¬† Bring them all to me!¬† And send your pregnant friends my way, too!¬†¬†Tell them to BOOK WHILE YOU’RE STILL PREGNANT!¬† Another blog post coming on that soon!

For more information about booking a newborn session with my studio, please click here!  All of my session rates are published on my website and can be found by clicking here and going to the investment tab.  If you have questions, please feel free to drop me an email at hello@jlritt.com.

Jennifer Rittenberry Photography specializes in newborn, baby, family, child and maternity photography in Louisville, Kentucky and surrounding areas including but not limited to Mount Washington.

 

I’m excited to share my experience as a Louisville KY Newborn Photographer and¬†first post-workshop session¬†with a super squishy newborn named Cora!¬† She was one of my best sleepers ever to come¬†into the studio (even to date)!¬† I was feeling quite a fair amount of added confidence in my abilities after the workshop and was ready to tackle this session like no other.¬† From the ever-intimidating womb pose,¬†bean bag work flow,¬†creative styling and giving a better overall experience to my clients.¬† We had a great session with a TON of gorgeous images, but a few of my favorites are shown below.

I have had¬†a really hard time trying to pick a favorite from this session because there are so many stunners to choose from, so I’m curious to know which one is yours and why?!¬† Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll tell you which one I settled on finally!

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer | Jennifer Rittenberry Photography | www.jlritt.com

Pink Mini Blanket from one of my all time favorite vendors Mama Knits¬†& Tieback is from My Darling Emma.¬† I just adore her sweet little face and you can truly see how flexible she was while in this “womb pose.”

 

Bonnet from http://www.beautifulewe.bigcartel.com

Simple bonnet above from Beautiful Ewe.  I love all of her stuff; every bonnet fits like magic!  The gorgeous head wrap below can be found at Luneberry; high quality newborn head jewelry <3

Headband from www.luneberry.bigcartel.com

SERIOUSLY LOVE BOTH OF THESE VENDORS: Bonnet from https://www.etsy.com/shop/Tanyastangles & Glam Layer from https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtMyBlanket

Glam Layer from Art My Blanket, wrap Amos and Sawyer and bonnet Tanyas Tangles.

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer | Jennifer Rittenberry Photography | www.jlritt.com

Straw Fluff is by Oh So Fleeting.  I think bowl is my favorite new prop, too!

SERIOUSLY LOVE BOTH OF THESE VENDORS: Bonnet from https://www.etsy.com/shop/Tanyastangles & Glam Layer from https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtMyBlanket

SERIOUSLY LOVE BOTH OF THESE VENDORS: Bonnet from Tanyas Tangles & Glam Layer from Art My Blanket

 Glam Layer from https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtMyBlanket & Tieback from www.mydarlingemma.bigcartel.com

Glam Layer from Art My Blanket & Tieback from My Darling Emma.

3P9B5581

3P9B5612  3P9B5551

Are you ready to BOOK YOUR NEWBORN SESSION¬†with Jennifer Rittenberry Photography? ūüôā

Jennifer Rittenberry Photography specializes in newborn, baby, family, child and maternity photography in Louisville, Kentucky and surrounding areas including but not limited to Mount Washington.

Jennifer Rittenberry Photography  HOME PAGE

This is my story of becoming a Louisville KY Newborn Photographer.¬† I am way behind on the blog bandwagon, but am so happy to finally be taking this plunge.¬† I hope it will find new readers to educate and new clients to fall in love with my artwork!¬† The best thing to do is to just dive right in head first, right? lol.¬† The biggest thing you’ll probably notice about me right away is that I am an open book.¬† I love sharing my photography to anyone that will be my captive audience.¬† I am a newborn photographer in Mount Washington, KY – which is just a hop, skip and a jump from Louisville.¬† I actually grew up there and still commute back and forth everyday!

I strongly believe newborn photography is a specialized art that requires the proper training, safety techniques and extreme patience to provide the professional results that clients ooh and ahhh over.¬† I hear people saying all the time “oh your job must be so easy since all they do is sleep.”¬† I promise you, you are way underestimating the power of a new mom’s smell of breastmilk to their hungry newborn or the comfort that it provides them while nursing.¬† I promise you, every baby is different and each one has their own little quirks; some love to be posed on their bellies, and some prefer only their backs (especially the gassy ones).¬† Sleepy and super squishy poseable babies are the product¬†of proper prep for their newborn session!¬† That’s a whole other discussion.

I got into newborn photography on a whim after seeing some gorgeous photos pop up in my newsfeed – while at home recovering from a minor surgery – so I had lots of time to stalk said photographer’s photos and familiarize myself with her page.¬† Rachel Vanoven Photography.¬† Hmmm, “her work is pretty awesome,” I thought to myself, so I started watching her in my feeds every day.¬† I had nothing better to do at the time, so I figured why not.¬† HA!

Once I had recovered, I got the notion to give it a whirl and try my hand at a newborn session.¬† I mean hey, how hard could it be?¬† EPIC FAIL.¬† (sorry baby cousin Drayden, I promise I didn’t know any better than to pose you with that dog bone!)¬† But I wasn’t ready to give up.¬† It only made me that much more determined to master this art.¬† What’s this?¬† Rachel is offering a Newborn EWorkshop where I can learn all of her secrets?¬† Thank you please, I’ll buy that!¬† So there I was, studying every video and document bundled into this awesomesauce of a workshop and it was all there for my enjoyment to review any time that I needed a refresher.

Fast forward, the next baby in my family was born a couple of months later, and boy was I ready for him!¬† I studied up, took notes, watched the videos again and prayed for success.¬† The session came and went, yet again another let down.¬† I was missing one key ingredient, heat!¬† I didn’t have it warm enough to keep this naked baby asleep! Doh!¬† Another week passed by and they were back again (thank God they are family!)

Finally, success! Small success, but any success is good success in my book.  It meant I was growing and I loved being able to put my new tools to work.  Over the next year I begged every friend I could find to let me work with their newborn.  Lots of sweat and lots of tears shed over that time.  I kept practicing and staying active in our eworkshop group to continuously learn and improve my craft; praying that the light bulb would just go off one day and everything would just start clicking.  I felt like I was doing everything right, but something was still missing.

I have to give a little sidebar here to my husband.¬† He watched me start this newborn journey and silently kept nudging me to keep going.¬†¬†“You’re not ¬†a quitter,” he’d say.¬† “You’re too passionate to give up.”¬† Then Rachel posted info about an upcoming in person workshop.¬† TWO FULL DAYS OF NOTHING¬†BUT BABIES!¬† (you can too!)¬†Um yes please!¬† He signed me up and said “Happy Birthday!”¬† It just so happened that the 2nd day of the workshop was actually on my birthday.¬† Kismet!

This past August I got to meet her.  *THE* Rachel Vanoven.  Baby Whisperer in the flesh.  I felt like I was meeting some kind of a celebrity!  But she was just as down to earth and laid back as she portrays herself online.  Full of passion and every bit of the genuine spirit that I had come to admire over the last year.

I learned SO much at that 2 day workshop that I can even put it into words. Newborn safety, posing, work flow, creating my own style, marketing, editing and I could go on…. The photos below show just how much she taught me in that short amount of time.

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer | Jennifer Rittenberry Photography | www.jlritt.com

Posed & Styled by: Rachel Vanoven, Captured & Edited by: Jennifer Rittenberry

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer | Jennifer Rittenberry Photography | www.jlritt.com

Posed & Styled by: Rachel Vanoven, Captured & Edited by: Jennifer Rittenberry

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer | Jennifer Rittenberry Photography | www.jlritt.com

Posed & Styled by: Rachel Vanoven, Captured & Edited by: Jennifer Rittenberry

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer | Jennifer Rittenberry Photography | www.jlritt.com

Posed & Styled by: Rachel Vanoven, Captured & Edited by: Jennifer Rittenberry

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer | Jennifer Rittenberry Photography | www.jlritt.com

Posed & Styled by: Rachel Vanoven, Captured & Edited by: Jennifer Rittenberry

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer | Jennifer Rittenberry Photography | www.jlritt.com

Posed & Styled by: Rachel Vanoven, Captured & Edited by: Jennifer Rittenberry

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer | Jennifer Rittenberry Photography | www.jlritt.com

Posed & Styled by: Rachel Vanoven, Captured & Edited by: Jennifer Rittenberry

Louisville KY Newborn Photographer | Jennifer Rittenberry Photography | www.jlritt.com

Posed & Styled by: Rachel Vanoven, Captured & Edited by: Jennifer Rittenberry

Above all else, she inspired me to just be myself with¬†this business.¬† I want my clients to book me for¬†the passion that I have¬†for newborns, my skillset¬†and my integrity as a professional.¬†¬†All that being said, PICK ME as your newborn photographer!¬† I promise you that you won’t regret it!

Jennifer Rittenberry Photography specializes in newborn, baby, family, child and maternity photography in Louisville, Kentucky and surrounding areas including but not limited to Mount Washington.