For most photographers, however, Pinterest is the bane of our existence, especially if you’re a photographer who does baby and infant photography. Every parent has seen those wonderful baby photos on Pinterest—the collection of perfectly captured, one-in-a-million, super-duper adorable, contest-winning portraits—and when they bring their babies to your portrait sessions most of them come with these pristine images stuck in their heads.
But they forget that…
- Scheduling the portrait session during feeding time might not be the best idea
- Skipping nap time for the portrait session might not be the best idea either
- Expecting baby to act and react the way it does at home might be, well, stupid
- Assuming the photographer knows how to handle their baby best isn’t true
- Baby has a mind and will of its own and will do whatever he or she pleases
Babies are incredible fickle beings that rely heavily on schedule and routine. When you interrupt that with anything—be it a new location, new people, new events–there is a large chance of baby getting cranky. I always advise parents to schedule portraits during naps and around feeding times. Some listen. Some don’t. Some parents sit baby down in front of my camera and leave the poor thing there as though expecting me to know how to comfort baby if it gets fussy. I’m sorry, but I don’t know what your baby finds comforting. *shrugs*
When parents realize they booked a three hour portrait session and their baby isn’t in the mood, they get discouraged.
I’m a people pleaser, so when I can’t meet people’s expectations I get down on myself and frustrated. Dealing with parents over baby photography has been one of my biggest frustrations because I find it’s the kind of photography where people have really specific and often astronomical expectations. Unless their baby is up for it I can’t meet those expectations.
My son just turned three months old. I’ve done numerous portraits with him since he was born, and, most of the time, I find the quality of my portraits completely depends on him. If he’s happy and alert and looking around—yay! Good photos! If he’s not… *face palm* Even if I TRY to schedule portraits after a feeding or during a nap, it’s anyone’s guess whether he’ll be up for it. Most of the time I just shoot and hope I get something decent.
Some babies are easy to work with. Most are not. It’s our job as photographers to educate parents about what to expect. Maybe if I did baby portraits more I’d get better at these kinds of conversations. For now the only baby I feel the need to photogaph is my son, and in my eyes he’s adorable enough for Pinterest any day!
Jacob Grant Photography, Baby Portraits, Newborn,
Infant, Photography, Pinterest, Posing