Thursday, January 12, 2012

Multiple Vendor Spotlight

As a newborn photographer, I do a lot of networking with businesses that make newborn props, backgrounds, etc.  I've become quite picky in choosing props as they are a very important part of a newborn portrait.  They determine color scheme, style, and even emotion of the portrait.  Because of this, I search for vendors that I feel closely match my style of newborn photography.  There are a few main categories of props that I search for: hats (mainly crochet), headbands, beanbag backgrounds/coverings, floorings, wraps, and items such as baskets/bowls/objects that the baby can pose in.  Over the past several months, I've come across a select few that I consistently use for my work because during the searching process, their work stood out to me and I find myself constantly coming back to them for my prop needs.  They are featured on my Facebook page  I would also like to take a moment and talk about each of them because I can't thank them enough for their quality, friendliness, professionalism, and simply addictive, gorgeous items!


I can't do a vendor spotlight without starting with this vendor.  This was my very first vendor relationship I formed when I begun my business.  In fact, I believe I started using her products even before I graduated from college!  Elisabeth has incredible customer service and has been such a joy to work with.  She is very talented.  Almost a year ago, we began discussion on a prop line that we thought would be beneficial for belly-posing newborns: Cuddle Critter Cape Sets!  A full example of this line can be viewed here:
The benefit to these cape sets is that you can place them on a sleeping newborn with minimal disturbance, transforming them into any type of animal/character you can think of!  She has had incredible success with this line and her design ideas for them have gone above and beyond what I originally imagined.


In regards to owning crochet items, I've become picky not just in the style of product but also with the type of yarn used.  When I came across Martha's business, I was absolutely blown away with the quality of her products.  She mainly uses non-standard yarns such as merino, brushed alpaca, etc. which really makes a difference with the look of the hat.  Her pixie hats are a huge seller for her and I've fallen in love with them.  When I shop for items, I only go for items that stand out and blow me away.  The problem with shopping on Martha's page is that ALL of her items blow me away!  I've had tough times narrowing my choices down!  She offers a Facebook sale at least once a month and there have been sales where I literally wanted each and every item.  She also takes great care in how she packages/presents her items.  It really stuck out with me how the items would arrive in a nice box with tissue paper and a sweet little crochet flower tag.  Just beautiful.  Here's an example of a hat that I purchased with a removable butterfly clip that I fell in love with.


Headbands for newborn girls can really add that little touch of elegance/style/color to the session when chosen wisely.  Lisa's business offers the most amazing headbands.  I have yet to see a business that has had a consistently large amount of high quality, very elegant, dainty, professional-looking headbands.  Her business really stuck out to me.  I've searched for a long time for a place that offered headbands like these.  Some of her bands offered I've never seen on any other site.  In particular, my big favorite of  her headbands are her fur bands, made from either mink or rabbit fur.  They're very dainty but OH SO elegant!  I have yet to find another vendor that offers these or anything like them.  I own almost every version offered in her shop.  Here's an example of one of the mink bows I own:

Lisa offers a "comment game" almost every weekend where she posts many gorgeous headbands, many are considered one-of-a-kind and the first person to comment gets to purchase it at a great price.  The majority of my bands have come from this game.  I've accumulated so many gorgeous headbands from her and pretty much consider her my go-to person for headbands.


Despite having resources such as thrift stores, garage sales, etc. basket/bowl/lay-in props are fairly difficult for me to find, especially locally.  It involves a lot of driving, researching, and looking around.  After time searching online, I came across Nadine's business.  Some of the items that I find so hard to find such as baby scales, trench bowls, wood floor mats, etc. I find on her site.  I'm excited over the access to many types of baby scales, which I plan to purchase soon.  They are pretty hard to find.  She features a lot of vintage items, all conveniently offered in one place.  She is a wonderful person to work with-very nice.  The products ship to me in a very reasonable amount of time.  


A lot of my newborn poses are done on a firm beanbag, which offers versatility in posing and comfort for the newborn.  To turn this into a gorgeous studio setup, I search for various types of materials, usually 2 yards in length to create a sweep backdrop which covers the beanbag.  Color and texture are super important when searching for materials.  A very popular and coveted type of fabric used by many professional photographers is the rosette fabric, which features ribbon shaped into roses and sewn into the fabric, completely covering it.  I've searched through many vendors to find this material.  When I found Photo Props Floors and Backdrops, I noticed that not only do they have this fabric, it's very reasonably priced, offered in many different vibrant colors, but they also have other styles of textured beanbag backdrops.  I find that I can do my shopping for these backdrops solely through this vendor and soon have a very large variety of backdrops which will offer gorgeous color combinations for my portraits and great texture.  The texture provides great drama with low depth of field portraits, the style of portraits mainly used in newborn photography.

I use other vendors as well and would love to include all of them in this posting, but thought I would feature the ones I use on a very consistent basis.  I know a lot of photographers through my time in college and I love being able to provide them recommendations for great newborn prop vendors.  As I approach 500 fans on Facebook, I look forward to networking with even more vendors, discovering all the new, creative products out there.  There's so much talent and I want to thank each of you for great business and products!