Probably the single biggest influence in my interest in photography and the launch of my photography business was the birth of my first child, Charlotte. One of the first things I did when I learnt that my wife, Cristel, and I were going to be parents was to go out and buy a camera, some lenses and lots and lots of books. Despite the fact I was doing my MBA back then, I read and studied A LOT and took pictures of pretty much everything that moved (or didn't move for that matter) - I shot anything! Over time, my work got noticed and I naturally moved into shooting portraits for friends; families, babies, kids, head shots and from there into weddings, which is where I have focused ever since.

But babies and newborns is where it all started and I was lucky enough to attend my friend Rachel Vanoven's very first workshop right before my wife gave birth to our second daughter, Natalia. That was the first workshop I ever attended and, whilst I knew Rachel had a very special gift, I really lucked out! Little did I know then that Rachel would go on to become such a superstar in the newborn photography space - she now holds workshops and speaks at events all around the world.

A lot of the time I was starting out, though, Cristel was my muse and documenting her pregnancy became something of an obsession. It must have been a bit of a pain for her to see me suddenly turn into a camera geek and be permanently looking at me through the wrong end of a lens, but through it all she has been nothing but patient and supportive. Over time, she picked up my cameras too and has evolved into a really fantastic photographer in her own right.

So it is with a lot of pride that I announce that moving forward, Cristel will be working with me and that Joe Payne Photography will be offering newborn photography as part of our services. I've had a lot of couples ask me about doing these for them in the past and I've simply never had the time given I also busy with weddings, engagement sessions and bridal portraits. The good news is that Cristel is amazing with babies and does an even better job than I ever could. Here are a few images from her first shoot a few weeks back.

raleigh newborn photographers

If you're interested in scheduling a newborn session, check out Cristel's website here!



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