Mentorship with Sabrina Gebhardt

Mentorship with Sabrina Gebhardt

When you become a parent for the first time, many questions fill your head.  What diapers should I use? What car seat is going to fit the best in my car? What kind of stroller do I want? If I use bottles, what kind of bottles are going to be the best? What if she doesn’t like those, should I have a back up? I’m probably not going to leave the house for 3 months so maybe I should have 3 backups. What about pacis?  You get the picture.  You are uncertain of so many things, or at least I know I was.  But when I found out I was pregnant with Charlotte, the one thing that I was certain of, was that I wanted newborn photos by Sabrina Gebhardt.  

National Donut Day

Just a few of my many favorites over the years…

You’ve probably seen her beautiful photos all over Instagram, Facebook, etc…and if you haven’t, do yourself a favor and take a peek.  She is a lifestyle photographer based in Fort Worth and loves capturing young children and families as they grow. I absolutely love every time one of her images pops up on my feed.  Even if you have never met that family before in your life, you feel like you get to know them through the images.  And if that’s not enough, her captions are always so real and organic.

As I mentioned, I knew I wanted Sabrina to shoot my newborn photos.  The only problem was, Sabrina was due with her own little bundle of joy within a week of my due date. Cue the pregnancy hormones. I searched and searched and eventually found another photographer in Fort Worth with a similar lifestyle aesthetic and was able to book a session. Fast forward a few months to May 5, 2015….aka one of the best days of my life!  My precious little Charlotte Marie was born.  I had informed my photographer of the princess’ arrival and we scheduled a date and time for our newborn shoot a few days later.  Long story short, my session was cancelled and rescheduled, 8 times throughout a 6 week period.

My “newborn” was starting to outgrow her “newborn” phase, and I didn’t have any professional images of her.  This was all before I had started blogging and before I had ever invested in my first DSLR.

  I decided I would reach out to Sabrina.  I wasn’t sure when she was going to start booking sessions again, as she had a sweet little 6 week old herself. But I was just hoping and praying something would come up over the summer so that I could have some images to document this special time in my life.

I told Sabrina about my situation and how my original session with someone else never ended up working out.  Sabrina responded and although she was not officially booking clients yet, she agreed to come do a shoot at my house one Sunday morning. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity.  As a mother herself, she knew the importance of capturing images during such a monumental season of ones’ life.  She genuinely wanted to help me, and for that, I am eternally grateful.  

The morning Sabrina came over to shoot, it was my first time meeting her and we instantly bonded.  She’s one of those people who you meet and you feel like you’ve known them your whole life.  I remember talking to her about her photography business, and although she is a mom of three, it was nice to have something for herself, something to focus on.  That conversation has stuck with me ever since.  At the time, I had technically only been a mother for 6 weeks, and couldn’t think of doing anything else besides keeping my child alive.  But as Charlotte got older, and I had Hughie, I longed for something for myself.  Something that I could focus on, outside of diapers and bottles…and that was definitely a true inspiration for me starting this blog.

I have been asked so many times what my favorite aspect of blogging is, and I always seem to struggle with that answer because I truly love all of the hats I get to wear.  But one thing I have really been trying to improve on over the last year is photography.  It is a huge part of my business, and although I am grateful to get to work with some really amazing photographers on a weekly basis to shoot outfits, I have really enjoyed getting to be on the other side of the camera when creating content.   In fact, when we are shooting, I am always picking their brains on settings and lenses.  It has definitely been the most challenging part of blogging as it takes a lot of trial and error, lots of practice, and lots of patience…all of which are extremely difficult on a limited schedule with toddlers. 😉  In fact, there have been so many times over the last year when I have attempted to shoot something, gotten frustrated and then put the camera back on the shelf for a week.  But something kept drawing me back to it.  I truly had an urge to figure it out.  Ever since starting my blog a little over a year ago, I have attended multiple photography classes and workshops, and learn something new every time.  However, I was still lacking a lot of confidence when it came to sharing my images. 

I was scrolling through my email a couple of months ago and opened up Sabrina’s monthly newsletter.  I read that she was offering mentorship positions and I immediately reached out to her.  I was in a little different of a situation as this program was created for photographers who want to improve their business, which I am not.  But I wanted to improve on my photography in hopes of creating more content.  I told Sabrina that I needed help when it came to shooting interiors, products and definitely my wild children! 😉 

I have booked multiple family sessions with Sabrina over the last three years, and am truly blown away each time I receive one of the galleries. She is so incredibly talented and genuinely one of the sweetest people I have ever met, so you can imagine my excitement when she agreed to come help a sister out!

The mentorship consists of two meet ups.  The first meet up was designed to discuss a little bit of everything from business goals, to technical aspects to useful tools and apps.  During our meeting, Sabrina introduced me to several programs that have already helped tremendously and have cut my processing time in half.  She also provided several ideas for how I could grow my brand. I left our lunch meeting feeling inspired and motivated!

Mentorship with Sabrina Gebhardt

The second meet up consisted of an actual shoot where I shot alongside Sabrina (and probably asked no less than 142 questions).  She addressed everything from suggested settings, to lighting, to how to set up for the shot.  It’s the perfect opportunity to really hone in on what mistakes you are making in photography and how to fix them.  In the past, I had never really figured out an “organized” way of shooting, so I can’t tell you how many times I would load everything into Lightroom and then realize that I needed to go back for another shot.  It was extremely helpful to watch how she would approach a session so that doesn’t happen in the future.  During that shoot is when things really started to click….no pun intended. 😉  About a week later, I was able to compare my images to hers, which to me, was very helpful.  Even though we were mostly using the same settings throughout the shoot, I realized that one thing I really need to work on is capturing more details and different angles.  

And let me just say… I know I am not a pro.  I know I still need a lot of practice, and I have definitely just scratched the surface in Lightroom.  But, this is probably the most excited I have ever been about some of my own images. I am planning a full master bedroom post later on, but here are some of the images I shot during our session. 

Master Bedroom

I hope you enjoyed this post, and even if you are not in the photography or blogging industry, I hope this post will inspire you to learn something new. If there is something out there you’ve been wanting to do, go for it.

Sabrina Gebhardt

If you’re not located in the DFW area, have no fear!  Sabrina loves to travel to or with families.  She has shot at several destinations this summer, with one of my favorites being Charleston!  I haven’t ever been, but her session made me want to go. 🙂 Her mentorship program is available in person or online nationwide. To book a session with Sabrina or to learn more about her mentorship program, visit her site here.

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