Photography has come so far since we were children. The photos of my childhood are not few, but they are limited and curated in a way the photos of my own children are not. My parents might have taken shots when we were at the beach, or on Christmas day, or in the bath, just as I do now. Except I can take dozens and immediately view them and chose the best, or not and keep them all – too lazy to cull and too enamoured to delete. The cloud stores millions of photos of children, documenting their every move and every milestone.
Yet, despite the ability to photograph our children ourselves with ever improving cameras in phones and at our fingertips, professional photography of babies and children is a booming business. A once virtually unheard of market, the newborn photo shoot is now almost ubiquitous. Parents can choose from a myriad of photographers and pay anywhere from a few hundred to several thousands of dollars to create and capture some newborn twee on film (Or not, as it were. In fact, the change from film to digital is partly responsible for the newborn shoot’s rise in popularity; now that photos of otherwise wrinkled and smudged babies fresh from birth can be smoothed and beautified on screen.).
But is it worth it? For my first child I thought: no. For my second I decided I may as well (jealous spats in the future as one has photos in a nest and the other does not?). Obviously, I saved a lot of money the first time. But now I do have some special photos of my second baby (and the first as a toddler) that will be treasured, always. Of course, you can try and take some photos at home, and there are plenty of tips on how to get the best out of your child and save your money. But, there is clearly more to it than simply plonking your baby on a rug and snapping away.
Take a look at these newborn shoot ‘fails’ and try not to laugh out loud, I dare you!Tweet
A professional photographer should have skills you don’t, in the art of photography, in the knack of posing and settling babies, and in the tricks of editing. It’s tough wading through all the options and knowing who is best, so try and ask around and trust word of mouth and recommendations. Look at their portfolio and make sure the style suits you. Ask about their prices and have a clear budget set. Don’t be afraid to turn down an option that costs too much. There are plenty of photographers out there and there is bound to be one that fits your style and budget.
And if you decide to skip the professional photo shoot and do it yourself, please laugh out loud if it all goes wrong. The photos of us as babies likely weren’t styled, or edited, or planned, and we all turned out fine!