The Importance of Children and Baby Photography
Maternity pictures, newborn pictures, and baby and children pictures are the all-time most enjoyable subjects for me to photograph. When I started my business, I decided that I would photograph a variety of subjects.
I wanted to have the option of doing something different all the time and just wanted an opportunity to get behind the camera. Now that I have several shoots under my belt, a front runner has certainly appeared! There is a calmness, ease, and a never-ending the flow of ideas when I shoot maternity photography, newborn photography, and babies and children photography.
I have to fight the urge to chase pregnant women and mothers down in stores just to hand them my business card!
My love of baby photography stems from the love of my daughter. No love compares to the love of a child. It is a primal love. Because of that love, you want to photograph everything! By everything, I mean EVERYTHING! My daughter is so sick of seeing me point a camera at her, but if I catch her before nap time, she is usually patient with me for a few minutes! The enjoyment that I get from being able to photograph her milestones, personality traits, gestures, etc has naturally flowed into a career.
Maternity pictures are so fascinating to me! It amazes me how many women cringe at the idea of a maternity photo shoot. They cringe! Why? Our bodies are miraculously built in a way that allows us to bring life into the world. We can carry a child within us as they grow and develop to the point that can safely survive in the world. Cringe? NO! Celebrate! Celebrate this moment is your life! Is your body the same as it was before? Of course not! But in No way is your body unattractive!
This is a beautiful time in your life, and despite how you are probably feeling this very second, this will be over before you know it! Your body will go back, mostly, to the way it was before, and you’ll forget how strongly you could feel that teeny, tiny, little GIANT in your belly!! You’ll forget how uncomfortable you were at night, and how you couldn’t make it from one commercial break to the next without needing a bathroom break.
Photograph this moment! It is such a short period of your life and will be over before you know it. Commemorate the way you look. If you are uncomfortable with stretch marks, So What!!! I’ll photoshop them out of there! If you’re having insecurities about your body, face them head-on because I can promise you that a day will come where you will lay in bed at night and try as hard as you can to relive these moments through a daydream.
This is a quickly fleeting moment in your life, and the beginning to a beautiful, lifelong relationship with the most special human being you will ever meet! Believe me, maternity photography is not for amateurs! You want a professional who knows about distortion. You want someone who knows what mm lens to use for this so that you don’t get a picture back that makes your belly look three times bigger than it is, and like it three-dimensionally popping right out of the picture. This is something that requires a sensitive eye, and a delicate vision! You want to look back at these maternity pictures with fondness.
Newborn pictures are so important because that is the most quickly fleeing stage. You have about two weeks from their arrival to capture the essence that a newborn has. You can take these pictures yourself. You can point the camera at them, get the angle how you want it, and shoot. But, when you hire a professional who is trained and experienced, your newborn pictures will reach another level. You will be amazed at the different way a professional will “see” the subject. They can capture images that show texture, create a feeling, and have a mood… Those pictures will engage the senses, and you’ll be able to remember the way your baby smells, you’ll remember the coo noise or the facial expression vividly. It’s an amazing thing to see how a correctly exposed, correctly framed picture will change the outcome of the image.
Baby pictures are so important because of the milestones. You do not count the age of a young child in years because a monumental amount of things change by month. Each of those milestones is photo-worthy moments! Baby photography is every bit as important as the baby book. In the baby book, you record the age your child is at as they reach their milestones, but the way they look at this stage seems to change weekly, if not daily. The first year of a child’s life is incredibly action-packed, and, with a professional photographer, you can create a visual memory book that will immortalize the way your child looked when they first learned to roll over, scoot across the floor, crawl, walk, the way they could not have had one more droplet of drool on their face when they were teething, the face they make when they try a new food for the first time, their first steps, the first time they start wanting to brush their teeth, do the “butt scoot” down the stairs, try to escape from their crib, the list goes on and on!!! You can create a variety of artistic ways to display these memories.
I can create a multi-frame display of these milestone moments, or create a milestone album that can be used in place of or with a baby book, etc. These moments are priceless, and with a professional photographer, you can cherish these moments for a lifetime.
Children pictures are exciting to shoot because of the element of surprise! You just never know what you are going to get! Each child you photograph is unique from the child from the shoot the week before and from the ones, you’ll meet the week after! Whether your child is shy or outgoing, athletic or intellectually engaged, or any combination imaginable, every child wants the same thing: to feel loved and to have fun. Those things offer every child security. When I go to photograph children, I do not just shake their hand and say “action”.
I do not expect them to just perform. Children want to feel secure before they will react well to an intimidatingly large camera in their face. I will get down on their level and have a normal conversation with them. I don’t immediately act like they should think I’m their friend, nor do I act like a clown. Children are incredibly intelligent and have keen perception when determining if someone is being genuine and sincere with them. I find that children feel patronized when you instantly start joking and being silly.
Unless you’re dressed like a clown, you should not act like one! I just talk to the child first to get an idea of what moves them, excites, and motivates them.
We can use those answers to enhance the outcome of the photoshoot. If a child’s hobby is to race boats in the nearby pond, why would you take him/her to the playground 20 minutes up the street to get pictures of them on the monkey bars and posed in front of the fountain? It makes no sense! The purpose behind a professional photoshoot is to capture the essence of who your child is at this particular stage in their life.
If your child is interested in music, have them photographed learning to play an instrument, if they are athletic, photograph them in their uniform playing the sport of their choice, if they are artistic and messy, photograph them getting messy and creating what they see as art.
My style of photography is not to pose a child in front of some gorgeous background. I do not enjoy the cookie-cutter, same shoot as the last style. Your child is special. Your child is unique. Your child is YOURS! Remember the things that make your child uniquely yours! Remember this phase of their life! Is that musical instrument that they are tinkering with now going to lead to something huge?
Could they grow up to be a famous musician? Yes And, if you have a professional photographer you will have pictures with the ability to take you back in time, if only for a moment.