Road to the Societies Convention: Elli Cassidy

Elli Cassidy

It’s now time for the penultimate installment of our countdown to the Societies’ Convention in January. We can’t believe one of the biggest events on the photography calendar is almost here!

We chatted with renowned maternity and newborn photographer and Loxley Colour Ambassador Elli Cassidy about her two seminars at the Convention and what she hopes delegates will learn from them.

Beautiful Bodies

Elli’s hosting two seminars at the Convention next week, one on encouraging positivity in clients’ body images, and the other about posing techniques for newborn photography.

The ‘Beautiful Bodies’ superclass teaches photographers how to motivate self-conscious clients, something Elli has experience in:

“Preparation really helps with nervous and self-conscious clients. I particularly find this with my maternity ladies who are often feeling unconfident with their new body shape. I reassure them that it will be a relaxed and fun session, that they can show as much or as little as they like, and that with my posing and lighting skills, they really will look like the best possible version of themselves.”

Elli Cassidy

Developing good relationships with clients can be vital when it comes to boosting confidence. Elli has a few tips for helping calm nerves during a shoot:

“I pose with them, often using a ‘mirror-me’ system, and I’ll explain why I ask them to pose in certain ways. Once a client knows that standing in a certain way will slim, define or shape them, they will trust you more and put more effort into the session too.”

Offering clients a sneak peek of their images while shooting can help them gain confidence:

“I’m careful not to show too many back-of-camera shots as I like to save the impact for their viewing sessions, however, showing the client one or two near the start of the session can settle their nerves and build their confidence in you.”

Elli’s journey to photography

Elli began educating before becoming a photographer. Starting out her career as a teacher, she soon found her passion in photography and went on to educate in this field:

“I think the sharing and nurturing element has never left me. Education is in my make-up, both the learning and the teaching. I am forever training, reading and practicing and I equally love seeing and encouraging others to develop their photographic and business skills too. We all have different preferred learning styles and being able to deliver content in a variety of ways really helps make training and education accessible to everyone.”

Elli Cassidy

Elli’s ‘Hush Little Baby‘ masterclass will go through everything from posing to sleep techniques to ensure the photographer, family and, of course, baby all have an easy and enjoyable shoot experience. Elli became a newborn photographer after understanding the true importance of it for families:

“Photographs became part of my lifeline when my newborn son Euan died at just two weeks old. They validated his existence, enabled me to share him with family that hadn’t had the chance to meet him. They have given me years of comfort and also security in knowing I will never forget his details.”

Elli made sure she photographed her two daughters every day after they were born. She soon discovered her passion and saw a market in the UK:

“It was at this time I came across the American newborn scene and realised I could make a career out of photographing babies.”

Elli Cassidy

Working with such tiny models can be tricky. It’s a real skill to properly pose babies in a way that looks natural and beautiful. Elli loves the daily challenges she faces in her work:

“You never know what the baby will be like until you start working with them, how they’ll sleep, how easy they are to bend and pose, or how much they will pee!… You have a short period of time to get to know the baby, learn to read their cues and wants, they really do all have their own little personalities.”

Keepsakes clients can treasure

Elli uses Loxley Colour to supply her clients with beautiful, personalised products. As an Ambassador, Elli knows the impeccable level of service Loxley Colour provides:

“I needed a company that would consistently deliver high-end, quality and sophisticated products. Loxley Colour excel every time. They have a straight forward ordering system, and having been lucky enough to have a factory tour, I have seen first-hand the amount of quality checks that take place at each stage of every product build.”

Elli Cassidy

One of the reasons Elli chooses Loxley Colour is because of our unique relationship with photographers:

“Loxley Colour listen to us, the photographers, and are constantly developing new products for our ever-changing requirements and requests.”

Elli has a few products that she particularly loves for her photography:

“I currently adore the Alumini wall product, the colours and detail of the portrait just jump out at you. There’s also an album that I adore, the Bellissimo Classico and when you pair the Leather cover option and the Alumini front, well, it’s exquisite.”

Starting your newborn photography career

Elli has a lot of advice for those thinking about starting a career in newborn photography:

“Cover the basics, learn about safety, your camera and lighting, and then start with simple blanket poses. Once you’ve nailed those you can add in the more technical poses and prop shots. Aim to get it right in camera too, the better the raw file the less editing will be needed… Practice makes perfect.”

Elli Cassidy

Getting savvy with the business side of your work can be just as crucial as improving your photography skills. Elli believes it is important to remember this:

“To be a successful newborn photographer you need to get to grips with all the business and administration side too, it’s often not as appealing as the photography side, but arguably it’s often more important.”

Elli’s career has been built on a passion for offering parents beautiful images of their children they can cherish. She wants photographers to remember their love for the craft:

“Enjoy your photography. Take time out every now and again to shoot for yourself, don’t let the business side stifle your creativity and revive your love of it.”

If you want to boost your maternity and newborn photography skills, Elli’s classes may be perfect for you. There’s not long to go now, secure your place to make sure you don’t miss out.