Alumni Interview: Dewdrops Photography by Amy McDaniel

1797161_10151827383730286_2114992708_nWe are SO excited to introduce you to another one of our talented alumni AND special guest instructor for our upcoming limited edition Newborn Editing class!

(Yes indeed….not one, but TWO instructors will take you into their ‘editing lab’ to show you their unique steps when editing newborn sessions!)

Meet Amy McDaniel of Dewdrops Photography

Website: Dewdrops Photography by Amy McDanielFind her on facebook here:

   Where do you call home?Auburn, Al by way of Washington State

Describe Your StyleMy style has really evolved over the last few years. I used to try so many different things…some worked and some didn’t. Over the last year to 18 months I feel like I’ve reached my happy place which is more simple and natural. I strive to make the focus of my images about the baby with less distracting props and colors.1382

What made you decide to become a photographer?I’ve always adored photography but it wasn’t until after my 3rd child was born in 2009 that I got serious about learning it. My passion to learn more keeps me on my toes and I don’t ever want to become stagnant.


How did you learn? Degree? Self-taught? Workshops?Besides taking Lisa’s wonderful lighting course in 2012 I am completely self taught. I really learned by reading and doing. Doing and reading. Did I mention doing? Get out there and play!

How long have you had your Photography Business?I officially opened up for business in 2010 so 4 years?


What do you love most about having your own business?Oh I love the freedom of making my own schedule the best! I’m still overworked but at least I only have myself to blame. I now have an assistant who helps with my emails, contracts, etc. and another girl who comes in to help with the newborn sessions. (This just happened. I’ve been doing it on my own for so long with the help of mom or dad for the froggy pose.)

What do you love the least?TAXES!1127

What do you wish you had known prior to starting your own photography business?Price yourself right from the beginning and don’t start charging until you are confident that you are producing quality work!

Studio or on-location?I just opened a brick and mortar studio this month. My studio was in my home in a bonus room for 4 years!



What’s your biggest a-ha moment?Honestly, I can’t remember the day but when I first really felt confidence. It’s so key in this business. Knowing yourself and what you can do with your talents and setting your limits with parents. Taking complete control of this tiny human being and knowing that they are safe with you! When it becomes your work and your vision it takes it to a whole new level.

Where do you find inspiration for your art?Oh well I have to be honest and say that with each baby I have new inspiration. Babies are not all the same. Each one has their own little way of letting you know what their limits are. I have a lot of great friends who are photographers and we share little tidbits and suggestions with each other. Seeing others work and not copying it but putting your own spin on things is really fun.


Something you’re still learning?…Oh gosh! I have a new goal but it has nothing to do with families or newborns. I’d love to travel to Asia, Africa or anywhere really and learn more about documentary style photography.

How do you create balance between your business and the rest of life?I really only want to do three sessions a week. I only shoot in the mornings and evenings when my children are at school or with daddy.

I edit late at night when the children are in bed and make it a point to do something with them everyday if possible. Eating dinner together is a must!

I’ve been traveling a lot and will be traveling in 2014 to Australia and London for a week. My 13 year old will be traveling with me to Australia and my husband to England so we try to incorporate some family time on these trips.


How do you measure success?If I receive an email in the middle of the night from a mommy that has just viewed her album during her 2 am feeding and she tells me she is in tears because she can’t believe how beautiful her baby is. That’s success!


What has been your most memorable shoot & why?Oh gosh! I would say the session of baby Walter. My friend wanted to wait because she just didn’t feel up to it. Well I got her in here with a little persuasion one day before he got too old. I received the phone call from her telling me had passed away just a month later and telling me how thankful she was that she had those images still brings me to tears.3264

What’s your Favorite Image? And why is it your favorite?Oh the images of mommy and baby. The connection and the love gets me every time!.

Favourite gear?Canon Mark III and the 135mm is my favorite but I use the 50mm 1.2 for newborns!

What is your go to lens and Why?50mm 1.2 for newborns and toddlers and for outside the 85mm 1.8:)I love the 135mm but for fast moving toddlers you have to be really far away.3007

RAW or Jpeg?RAW baby!


Nikon or Canon?I have both! Mark III and the D700 (i call the Nikon my tank but I use my Canon gear 99.9% of the time.)2449

Mac or PC?Mac…once you go Mac you never go back.

Lightroom or Photoshop?ACR and CS64092

Which 5 words would your friends use to best describe you?Silly, fun, sweet, compassionate and super dorky.

What classes have you taken with The Milky Way?Illuminate! (studio lighting)

{learn more about our other classes here}

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  1. Erica Courtine on May 21, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I just found this article and a bunch of others I somehow missed! I love this. Dewdrops Photography is one of my favorites and now I can’t wait to take that editing class.

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