• Cara Wagner

How Anne Bartlett Became A Rural Newborn Photographer

If you were to visit Anne at home you’d immediately be greeted by the calming scents of Young Living Essential Oils, the sound of children’s feet padding down the hallway to greet you, and two wagging dog tails. Anne founded Anne Bartlett Photography some six years ago and has worked to photograph the needs of her rural community ever since. Below are her words detailing her growth as a rural newborn photographer.


When my son was born in December of 2011, I made the decision to quit my full time job working in human resources to stay home and raise him. I’d always had an interest in photography and found myself pulling my camera out regularly to capture my little one as he grew.


I desired better photos so I began studying how to use my camera to capture images I wanted and how to work with light. The newborn photography niche does not come easily or naturally to most and I knew it was going to take work to get the end product I envisioned. I found myself pouring over blogs, magazines, and books - learning from everyone and everything I could. I took in-person mentor sessions, bought e-workshops, studied work available on social media, and practiced on every baby I could get my hands on!



Seeing these tiny babes molded into adorable poses just made my heart squeeze and I wanted to be able to accomplish those poses and covey that feeling too. Our rural town did not have an abundance of newborn photographers, so I seized the opportunity to become one! After about a year, I booked my first paying session and my business grew from there. I’m sure my friends were starting to tire of me constantly asking to photograph their families. ;)



When I first began taking photos of newborns, I always travelled to the client’s home for sessions. I found this to be very limiting as I didn’t have much control over temperature, props were very few, and lighting was difficult to manage.


Once moving into a studio, I was able to work on consistency in my style, expand my prop collection, and mastering light (a skill I am STILL working on!). This past Fall, my husband and I completed my dream studio on our property. I am SO excited to grow and incorporate new ideas and styles into my work. For me, family photography has always been my bread and butter. I would attribute that to my love of capturing moments of snuggle, playtime, and the smiles on kids’ faces.



Because of the phase of life that I’m in myself, I am very drawn to families with babies and young children. Being a mother has given me a vast amount of experience in working with children. I’m able to read a newborn’s signals, understand a toddler’s body language, and even make silly jokes with elementary-aged kids. I do my best to not push a child outside of their comfort zone. I have an intuition when it comes to working with children and making sure they feel safe and comfortable, so that I can capture those sweet smiles! These ages can be quite tiring at times, so when I have the opportunity to photograph a senior or adults, it sure can feel like a vacation!



I have worked with several photographers when it comes to capturing my own family photos. While being in front of the camera with my family, it gives me an idea of how I should direct and behave while behind the camera. When combing through our family photos taken over the years, the photos I treasure most are ones that showcase our family laughing and playing together. I thoroughly enjoy working with different styles and approaches and prefer letting families interact naturally with one another and not forcing poses or smiles.



When seeking a newborn photographer, the number one thing to keep in mind is SAFETY. It is imperative to choose someone that understands how to property pose a newborn so that they are never in danger. It is important to know how to move their tiny limbs so that they are never injured or even uncomfortable. I cannot stress enough how crucial it is to work with a photographer that will keep your baby’s safety as a number one priority versus getting a cute shot. A great photographer will be able to get that cute shot WHILE keeping your baby safe. :)



I have big plans in store for the coming years in providing more personal experiences for clients. I want to offer more in-studio sessions so that we are not controlled by the weather outside when it comes to session days. I hope to create beautiful holiday setups so we can capture little ones year-round to document their holiday memories. I am going to continue to grow my skill set so I can provide beautiful photos consistently.


My goal for Anne Bartlett Photography has been: to capture those special moments in life, to be remembered, and treasured. I strive to create a unique experience for each client by working tirelessly to find constant, consistent growth in my work.


Photography is an art form. It stirs a universal feeling among artists to have their art stand apart from others. The majority of work is often displayed via social media and when someone is scrolling through their newsfeed, I hope they see my work and KNOW it’s my work without having to read the copy. I want my photos to stand out not just because they’re a pretty picture, but because it evoked emotion in the viewer.


- Anne


Anne and I never knew each other growing up, but we're from the same area back home. I was so fortunate to cross paths with her as an adult running a photography business and value both her talent and perspective. She and I are part of a photography group of local #GirlBosses who share in my value of #communityovercompetition. To learn more about Anne and her work, visit her website, Facebook page, or Instagram!


For more posts that showcase community over competition, continue reading.

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