We are so excited to announce our partnership with NAPCP to celebrate and reward successful photographers in the Child Photography Industry. Fotostrap will be sponsoring the prestigious 2014 Photographer of the Year, and we can't wait to see who the winner will be! As the International Image Competition just launched, we had a chance to visit with Alice Park, Co-Founder of the National Association of Professional Child Photographers to find out more about this fantastic organization.
1. How did you get started in photography?
My interest in photography peaked when I was young, following my family around with my dad's Nikons and shooting whatever I thought was worth capturing. Like a good daughter, I went off to college to study engineering per my parent's suggestion, but I later found myself in my first year as an Industrial Engineer, staring outside the windows and yearning for something more with my life. I soon met my husband, a brilliant visionary & entrepreneur and together, we started a photography business focused on creating gorgeous coffee table books for children and families. I was 23, incredibly optimistic, and had nothing to lose. It was the perfect adventure.
2. How did you start NAPCP?
About 3 years into our business, we realized there was a hole in our industry. A lacking sense of community, very few resources dedicated to child photographers, and an incredible need for inspiration for us as creatives. Child Photography was a genre that was growing quickly… We also felt parents needed a place to find a credible child photographer in their area while learning more about what we do and why it is so different from other styles of photography. About 6 months later, NAPCP was born.
3. What is your "elevator pitch" for NAPCP?
Our Mission Statement describes it best: We promote and support the artistry and integrity of professional child photographers around the world. To accomplish this mission, NAPCP strives to provide the most comprehensive resources for its members, bring together a community of passionate artists committed to growth in their skills, their artistry, and their businesses.
4. What has been the most challenging obstacle you have had to overcome since starting NAPCP?
I think keeping up with the growth and changes of our industry here and around the world. Child photography has evolved and changed so much in the last 5 years, recently blossoming quite a bit in South America, Europe and in Asia. One of our challenges is staying innovative with those changes and consistently providing our members what they need to succeed in their businesses.
5. What has been the most rewarding experience since starting NAPCP?
By far, connecting with our members. The NAPCP community has become my circle and family over the years. Not just as photographers and peers, but as fellow mothers, business women, and creative artists. I'm so proud of the supportive and passionate group we are, and I know that this amazing positive energy will be essential as we continue to grow over the next few years.
6. What is your favorite thing about NAPCP?
Our Retreats! Unlike the bigger conferences and conventions, we intentionally structure our Retreats to be intimate and full of good juju so that each of our attendees leaves with an incredible sense of who they are as artists and why they do this (as well as 50 new friends!) It's such an impactful experience both for myself and everyone who attends - so, so good for the soul. You guys really need to come out to the next one we have planned this January in Whistler! We promise lots of campfire chats & amazing discussions.
7. What has been the most beneficial tool in spreading the word about NAPCP?
I believe it's our members and are our parent audience! We keep the content we release on our blog and social media channels fresh and inspiring, so that keeps our audience engaged. We've also focused quite a bit on our SEO over the last few years so that NAPCP is hitting the top pages when Parents are searching for a child photographer in their area. And our loyal members have been so active with us that spreading the word about this organization happens so organically and naturally. It's been beautiful watching it all happen...
8. What have you learned about newborn and child photography and the direction it is heading in the industry? (Thinking of how this used to be a more studio art deal than now it is today).
Newborn and child photography has changed so much over the years. And it has grown tremendously! With the advent of social media, Pinterest, and accessibility of high quality digital cameras, our clients' expectations in us have grown as well. Photographers have to continue to create innovative products, powerful imagery, and exceptional service to stay ahead (and even survive) in this industry. We also have to focus a great deal on maintaining strong relationships with our clients so that they stay loyal to us instead of finding someone new who is less experienced, less expensive or more hungry for their business. But although it's become a lot more challenging to stay ahead in this industry, it's what pushes us to continue learning, growing, and taking our businesses to the next level.
9. What are the benefits you see from how child photography is evolving?
I have loved seeing new artists surfacing in the industry that are not fearful of introducing something new that is ground-breaking and inspiring. Photographers who look past the trends and continue to produce work that continue to take our industry to the next level. I have also loved witnessing our industry grow because of our leaders' and members' willingness to share and be translucent in their success. This industry and organization makes me so proud to call myself a child photographer because what we have collectively done over the years as a group. It's been so amazing to be a part of this movement.
10. What is your favorite thing about the Fotostrap?
Well! First - I LOVE the people and philosophy behind the company! You guys have always inspired us all to stay innovative, fresh, with a beautiful mindset of continuously giving back. That's an incredibly powerful thing. I love my new gorgeous blush fotostrap because it blends perfectly in my shooting workflow, is functional and high quality, and of course - because it's pink! Did I mention my favorite color is pink? My friends gifted me my recent Fotostrap as a baby shower gift, and I couldn't be more in love with it. It's all set to help me record all of the new adventures ahead for my family, and I can't wait!
Fotostrap has grown over the last few years, and we wanted to highlight some of our best features to our readers and customers. See if you learn something new about Fotostrap: The Camera Strap That Gives Back! Here are 10 fun facts about Fotostrap:1. Ten percent of every Fotostrap purchase gives back to the non-profit Fotolanthropy, which tells inspiring true stories of people who have overcome adversity.
2. Our Fotostraps are proudly made in America, and headquartered in Dallas, Texas!
3. We feature Fotolanthropy stories through Story Fotostraps, to help bring awareness to families overcoming adversity.
4. We offer over 20 camera straps for customers to choose from.5. Fotostraps are made from genuine leather. It’s incredibly durable & the same used to make horseback saddles, so you can trust this camera strap to hold up and also age beautifully!
7. We’ve been able to connect with a wide range of bloggers who are excited about this product, including Kate Bryan from the Small things Blog, Bitches who Brunch, Design Sponge, Wynne Elder at Gloriously Ruined, and many more. See all of our Press mentions here.
8. Our product was featured on the Small Business Spotlight on Fox National News (click link to play)
10. We have both Domestic & International Retailers, including New Zealand, Australia, Germany, South Africa. We also offer international shipping!
Our customers' excitement about this socially responsible camera strap is the best thing about Fotostrap! We'd love to hear from you--what's your favorite feature about the Fotostrap?
Photo by Jess Barfield Photography
Today we're featuring our last Artist in this series, Marcy Cook! Marcy's aesthetic draws from the movement and change in seasons and most of her color study is directly inspired by her floral design work. With a primary focus in acrylic paint, Marcy works with varying washes and intense layering to create a surface that evokes a feeling that can only be created and connected through the play of color and contrast.
Marcy is also a partner and head designer at Stems of Dallas. She graduated from Baylor University in 2011, with a degree in Fine Arts in Painting.
Paint and Sharpies are a great way to personalize your blank canvas of the Artist Fotostrap. Use Marcy's Fotostrap as an example to inspire you and your own customized Artist Fotostrap! Shop the Artist Fotostrap here.
Today we're looking at some great accessories that pair well with our new Cobalt Fotostrap! We love socially responsible brands that give back, and we are excited to feature several of those companies today.
The Steve Madden Wedge from Nordstrom is great for summer! Wedges are comfortable for travel, look great with a maxi dress or shorts and can easily be dressed up or down.
We love the mission of Better Life Bags to help provide a way for people living the city of Detroit to earn an income. This customizable laptop sleeve is great for protecting your computer and supports a great cause!
The J.Crew Swimsuit in dark turquoise with metal accents is great for a day by the pool or the sea.
As Independence Day approaches, we're highlighting brands that are made in America. We pride ourselves on making a product that is sleek, dependable and well made, and so today we're looking at other companies who do the same.
Women's Bixby Bike by Shinola "The American-made steel frame and fork are designed for comfort, utility and smooth urban riding, in dry or wet. The Bixby is offered in both a classic men's and women's frame design, with thoughtful touches like gender-specific saddle design and proportional geometry."
Waxed Canvas Backpack by L.L. Bean "A rugged and cool style to take away for a weekend or an adventure abroad. Crafted from the rugged waxed canvas we use in our boots. Measures 18" x 12 1/2" x 6". Made in Maine."
ECO Short Dolman Sleeve Pocket T-Shirt by All American Clothing Co "Our mission is to support USA families and jobs by producing high-quality clothing in the USA at an affordable price. By keeping our production in the USA we provide jobs and a tax base that supports our communities."
Bats by Warstic Bat Co This is an "independent Texas based company committed to building a unique brand of wood bat for serious players of any age. We sell Craftsmanship, Design & Performance. Warstic seeks to connect with players who BATTLE."
(Product descriptions taken directly from websites.)