As a newborn and baby photographer I am constantly trying to elevate my work by studying better lighting techniques, practicing those techniques and creatively executing those techniques to create incredible portraits for my clients.  In my Kingston portrait studio, I work closely with my clients to create sets that reflect not only a love of colour and texture but also of a style that is recognizable as a Jennifer Willard Photography Portrait.  I create sets that reflect my love of patterns as well as sets that reflect textures with layers on top of layers.  I really enjoy what I do and I let my inspiration come firstly from my clients who request a colour palette and then I find new and exciting ways to combine the props that I do have or create/purchase ones I need.  It’s a labour of love and I sure do love it!

So when it came time for me to apply for accreditation with the Accredited Professional Newborn Photographers International (APNPI) I knew that I wanted to be bold in applying with sets that were brighter and more colourful then the judges would generally see during the judging.  I chose portraits that reflected my love of colour, texture and pattern but also showed one of the fundamental aspects of my style of photography which is the relationship between the baby and me/my camera.  I feel very strongly in getting direct eye contact with my Sitter subjects.  A Sitter is defined as a baby that can sit unassisted on their own for at least 5 seconds at time (with parents spotting beside them for safety).  Babies generally hit this milestone in their first year between 6-7 months (of course there are exceptions to this rule) and are considered sitters up to one year old.  I LOVE SITTER SESSIONS!  They are one of my favourites because this is when you can really see a baby’s personality shine through.  And although they may be more expressive and busy at their first year milestone session, the 6 month session is one where it’s all about the connection between baby and me.  Can I make them smile?  Are they more serious with big eye portraits or do they like to giggle?  Can they grab their toes?  From 6 to 12 months old baby develops so fast from one that is non-mobile to one that is a busy bee around the studio so to say that these sessions are fast paced would be an understatement!  But I love them and so do my clients!

Being an #APNPIMember has taught me so much about not only the safety aspects to look out for when photographing newborns and babies before their first birthday but also has made me take a good look at my style to see if I am being consistent throughout my work.  So when I decided to apply for Accreditation through APNPI I had to spend hours combing through my work to create a cohesive collage showcasing my work.  Each individual portrait had to stand on it’s own but also flow into each other image so that you could see a definitive style.

This is what the APNPI website has to say about being an Accredited Photographer:

What is an APNPI Accredited Photographer?

“You may have heard the term “Accredited” before but did you know your photographer can seek accreditation in their work with newborns and babies?

At APNPI, our dedicated members are working hard to improve their abilities and many are seeking accreditation in our 10 available categories.  So just what is an APNPI Accredited Photographer?

Currently one of our highest levels of achievement, Accreditation in a chosen category is a recognition beyond that of the QNP Certified Photographer denoting above average quality in photographic artistry. Holding an accreditation demonstrates the member as a specialist in his or her chosen field and is a stepping stone toward earning recognized designations such as Craftsman of Photography and Master Photographer.

To achieve accreditation, a member must accomplish the following:

  • Successfully complete the APNPI Safety Course.
  • Successfully hold the QNP Certification.
  • Submit 12 images meeting a strict outline of requirements in a chosen category to an APNPI approved Judging Panel of which all 12 images must be deemed “accepted”.

Our APNPI Panel Judging Events can be quite exciting to view! If you keep an eye on our social media pages and blog, you too can watch the thorough vetting our accredited members go through.  Many applicants will attempt accreditation evaluation several times before acquiring this achievement in their chosen field.

Our Accredited APNPI members have invested time, dedication and money in perfecting their craft.  They have a solid understanding of lighting, posing angles, and the necessary artistic fundamentals to produce beautiful imagery. Best of all, they produce a consistent product time and time again.

When it comes to hiring an Accredited photographer, we’re confident you’ll not only notice a difference in quality, but also consistency. Our accredited members are reliable producers and provide their clients with exceptional imagery on a daily basis.”

I’ve been a part of APNPI for over a year and honestly I didn’t have the guts before now to apply.  I was essentially competing against an amazing body of work that came before me and I had watched the previous Accreditation judging events and new the judges were at the top of the newborn photography field and were very critical on what they were looking for.  So after much thought I felt like I still needed two specific portraits to enter the newborn accreditation so I decided to enter just the Sitter Accreditation reflecting my body of work from baby’s first year milestones (6 months-12 months old).  I was super nervous but I am happy to say that after watching the live viewing of the APNPI Accreditation judging yesterday I am happy to say that I was Accepted and received fantastic comments from the judges on my body of work.  And although they may not love the colourful style of my backdrops sometimes as they like more neutral tones, they said that they could see that it was part of my style and I had a fantastic grip on lighting and engagement with my subjects.  They loved the editing, the direct eye contact and posing and were very happy with my submission.  I can’t tell you what a relief it was to hear that at the same time as being overjoyed!  As an artist it is very easy for me to be critical of my work, to always be thinking I can do better and to be always striving to do better.  It’s something I will continue to do but now I feel like there has been some validation from experts in the newborn and baby photography world and that I have arrived in a way.  It only took 8 years to get here lol…  but I made it.

Thank you to all my clients that believe in me and trust me to create beautiful portraits of their favourite people! I’m looking forward to applying for Accreditation in both Posed Newborn and Maternity next and then hopefully into a Master Designation one day!

APNPI Accreditation Little Sitters Logo

Here is a break down of what was needed from me and what portraits I entered:

Image Submissions for the Accreditation Category – SITTERS, must contain:

This category will include the classic definition of a sitter within the milestone ages when a baby acquires the skills to sit and crawl.

  • 12 different subjects
  • from 12 different sessions
  • must include at least one of each of the following
    • Close up
    • Mid-length
    • Full length
    • Three unique position of baby alone
    • Baby with parent
    • Baby with siblings
    • Baby with family

6 month baby girl pink flokati APNPI Accredited Baby Photographer Kingston Photographer

6 month baby blue backdrop APNPI Accredited Baby Photographer Kingston Photographer

6 month baby girl floral backdrop APNPI Accredited Baby Photographer Kingston Photographer

baby with family APNPI Accredited Baby Photographer Kingston Photographer

siblings APNPI Accredited Baby Photographer Kingston Photographer

6 month baby girl purple romper blue stool APNPI Accredited Baby Photographer Kingston Photographer

6 month girl pink tutu APNPI Accredited Baby Photographer Kingston Photographer

6 month baby boy brown green stripes APNPI Accredited Baby Photographer Kingston Photographer

baby girl pink gold sequin dress crown APNPI Accredited Baby Photographer Kingston Photographer

6 month pastel rainbow set APNPI Accredited Baby Photographer Kingston Photographer

first birthday cake smash APNPI Accredited Baby Photographer Kingston Photographer

baby with father APNPI Accredited Baby Photographer Kingston Photographer

I’m proud of what I have accomplished and I’m excited to see what the future holds for me!

Thank you for reading about my road to Accreditation thus far!  I hope you have an incredible day and if you are looking to have portraits taken of your beautiful baby in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, I would love to hear from you!  You can reach me through the contact page on this website or directly at or 613-464-2292.  I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon!