Hello world! Meet your Grand Rapids Newborn Photographer

A Fun Fact Friday post to get to know a bit more about your newborn photographer, Jackie, and my art!

Sweet newborn smiling in Grand Rapids

Last Friday I was inspired by a local Grand Rapids balloon artist to post 10 fun facts about me as a newborn photographer in Grand Rapids, MI and my art. It was so much fun and will definitely be a more frequent event over in my instagram stories(If you aren’t following me over on instagram and facebook, you’re missing out on all the cute newborn content!). I thought for my very first blog post, it would be fun to repost the questions and answers here! Without further ado….

10 fun facts about Jackie at Honeywild Photography

1. What is your favorite image you have taken?

Picking just one fave pic from each session? Impossible! I love so many moments from every shoot! But if I had to choose, it might be this one.

Little cowboy: Newborn sleeping soundly on a little bed.

It was a tough gig, a real marathon session, and getting the exact shot mom and dad wanted felt touch-and-go. But then, by some miracle (or maybe baby boy just knew what they wanted), he settled at just the right moment for me to pose and snap the perfect pic for Mom and Dad. I only got two shots before he woke up and called it quits, but hey, that’s the fun of it, right? You never know what magic the next session will bring! If you were to ask me this same question next week, I would more than likely have a different answer for you. 😂

2. How would you describe your style?

I think this is a two part question, because I feel like I’m still in the process of developing my style. I’d say my style is all about keeping it simple, cozy, with a bit of pop. Although my current style is really close to my ultimate goal, want to work towards more true-to-life skin tones( Shooting and editing newborn skin can be tricky to get right, but I’m up for the challenge!), and I’m itching to throw in more texture elements in my setups. I’m all about the natural, earthy feel!

Sweet sleepy grand rapids newborn

3. How did you get into Newborn Photography or Photography in general?

I LOVE this question, but also makes me feel a bit vulnerable answering it. Short answer, my oldest son set me on this trajectory almost 18 years ago.

My oldest Will as a newborn (and one year old). He was born in 2006!

I was a young when I had my son between my sophomore and junior years in college. As you can imagine I did not have a lot in the way of funds for basically anything, but especially a newborn session with a professional photographer. Even though I was young I desperately wanted to feel a part of this new “mom club” that I had just joined. One of the things I felt was sort of a right of passage in to this club was newborn pictures. Of course there was no way I could afford them, so I went without using an old point and shoot canon camera to do my best. To this day it still really bums me out that I don’t have any professional pictures of him as a newborn. Eventually, I saved up for a beginner dslr and spent the next 17 years learning all I could. It wasn’t until my last baby was born that I found my passion for newborn photography specifically. I have spent the last few years quite literally obsessed with learning everything I could about this genre of photography and continue to be obsessed with being the best newborn photographer I can be.

Grand Rapids senior getting ready to graduate
My oldest son 17 years later.

4. Are there any personal projects/photography skills you would like to learn?

Absolutely! I’m working hard to create space in my schedule to crate (if that makes sense). I love going over every detail, and studying classic works of art, specifically renaissance paintings. Before I started photography professionally I used to recreate paintings from some of the old masters, and photograph them. The process to recreate one painting took a bit of work and time to complete starting by studying the art piece, planning every detail, and bribing my kids to participate, but it was so creatively satisfying. I’m really drawn to Madonna and Child paintings, and I would loved to apply some of my current knowledge of how to manipulate light and get back in to recreating some more.

One of my favorite recreations of “Girl with a Pearl Earing” of my daughter

5. Have you received any feedback from clients or mentors that has helped shape your work?

Another really good question. I’ve received plenty of feedback that has made an impact on my work, but a lot of where my work is today comes down to two distinct pieces of feedback/advice. The first came from a client in the early days of offering newborn photography professionally. She simply asked if I could pull back on smoothing her baby’s skin a bit and she was so right! Since then I’ve worked hard to find that fine balance between polished portraits and raw, true to life in my editing. Now one of my favorite parts of my newborn images is getting to see the sweet flakey newborn skin, capturing all of the teeny wrinkles, and all of the perfect “imperfections.

The second piece of advice came from a mentor who told me (in no exact words) to get comfortable constructively criticizing my work without being too critical. It’s now a habit of mine after a session, while culling images, to take notes on things I liked and didn’t like about how I shot each pose/setup. This little practice has been instrumental in improving my work tremendously in a short amount of time. I still struggle with the “without being too critical part”, but it’s coming. 😂

Adorable newborn baby wrapped in a blanket

6. Are there any photographers whose work you love and influence your work?

YES! YES! YES! There are so many photographers locally in Grand Rapids, and throughout the coutnry whose work always stops my scroll and inspires me to continue developing as a newborn photographer. My short list is; Marissa at Baby Steps Photography, Theressa and Erin at Hello Little Props (although they don’t photograph clients anymore, they’re pretty much the Tom Brady’s aka the The Goats of the newborn photography world. They’re work was the first work I saw that made me say “that’s what I want my work to look like”), Tania at Mirage Photography Studio, and Salina at Salina Pennington Photography.

7. Do you have any goals for your work/business?

Absolutely! For my work I would like to become more consistent in my lighting, and shooting angles which in turn would help speed up my editing. (another goal of mine!). I’ve also been working on upping my newborn posing game. There are a few poses in particular that I’ve been focusing on the past few months.

For my business a short term goal of mine is to move out of my in home studio space and into a small commercial space. I have been dreaming and planning this space in my head for so long, pretty much manifesting the perfect space. I can’t wait to display all of the pretty things available for your newborn session. All of my props, accessories, and backdrops are currently stored in my basement office space. 😂

Take me out to the ball game; newborn baby ready for his first baseball game.

8. Have you seen any growth in your work?

I have seen SO much growth in my work and continue to see more after every session. One of the biggest changes I’ve seen from my early work is the lighting. I’ve learned how to control it for the most part, and how important knowing how to light your subject, in my case a newborn baby, is.

Before and after images of newborn baby side sleeping
Top is Before: 3 years ago, Bottom is After: Taken Last month

I owe a lot of my growth to investing in eduction, attending workshops, and 1:1 mentorships from other newborn photographers who are some of the top in the industry.

Before and after images of babies laying on their bellies
Top- Before: 3 years ago, Bottom- After: Last Month

9. What do you think sets you apart from other Grand Rapids newborn photographers

A really tough question to answer. Partly because I really stink at identifying my strengths and talking about them. But also because I do feel like there are so many very talented photographers in Grand Rapids. I guess if I had to label my strengths as a newborn photographer it would be patiences. You could possibly say it’s because I’m so darn stubborn (so I’m not sure if thats a strength or a flaw 😂). I will be the first to tell you that outside of my studio room I am the most impatient person, but once I turn on that light I’m in “work mode” and have been known to take as much time as your sweet baby needs, and will correct a pose as many times as needed until we get the perfect shot!

10. What equipment do you use?

I shoot with a Nikon camera and use an Einstein for my lighting. I use high quality props, fabrics, and accessories to create the perfect newborn session for you.

Ready to book your perfect Grand Rapids Newborn Session?

Head on over to my and fill out the contact form! Let’s get started planning your newborn session today!

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