Every parent becomes an obsessive photo-snapping machine the minute a baby comes along. You’re nodding, aren’t you? And if you’re headed to a professional photographer for some studio shots, every detail matters. You know, obsession to the MAX! Well, the team here are right there with you—in the trenches, raising kids and taking pictures—so we thought you might enjoy some tips and tricks that we’ve learned along the way.
It’s always about the story! When choosing your child’s photo wardrobe ask yourself about the story you want to tell with this particular photo (or photo shoot). Formal? Casual? Sporty? Frilly? And you might even consider mixing it up—alternate between casual and formal when you’re planning your photo session, so that you’ll get a variety of different poses, cute outfits and great shots. Just remember that kids have a finite amount of patience, so don’t overdo it too much, even if you’re tempted.
Go For Comfort
Whatever the look you’re going for, make sure it’s comfortable—or, if not, make sure the uncomfortable part of the outfit will only be worn for a short period of time. Keep studio temperatures and hot lights in mind when you’re planning your wardrobe for a cozy winter picture by limiting layers. Babies are tricky subjects on a good day, but overheated babies—no fun at all!
Have a Mobile Dressing Room
It’s often a good idea to dress your baby at the studio right before the session to minimize stains or wrinkles. Plus, last-minute wardrobing limits the opportunity for accidents. Don’t forget to bring a hairbrush or comb to fix any strays after the change of clothing.
Plan Ahead for Accessories
Everybody loves accessories when it comes to photos. And they can be terrific, but it’s best if you think ahead. If there’s a super cute headband or bow that you want your little one to wear during the shoot, take it for a test drive in advance. Let them wear the accessory (or a similar one) in the days leading up to the photo session so that they’re used to it and hopefully, they’ll leave it in place (no guarantees there). And if you have more than one child in a photo, think coordinating rather than matching. Coordinating colors and textures make for a much more visually appealing picture compared to everyone wearing the same color or outfit.
Let Baby Be Baby
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of clothing and accessories and all those accoutrements, but remember, your child is the star of these shots. Especially when they are newborns. Lots of fancy clothing just isn’t necessary in those very first photos. The best newborn photos highlight the little thigh wrinkles and chubby cheeks (both sets). Consider a simple accessory and a beautiful blanket or scarf. That may be all that you need for some of your most treasured photos.
The last piece of advice? Relax! The best-laid plans often just don’t work out—and sometimes you just need to go loose. It never fails that when you plan an outdoor shoot in the fall, a cold spell swoops in and requires a last-minute location change. Even if you’ve got your heart set on something, remember that your little one is the star of this shoot—and the location is secondary.
Also, you can’t control what moods kids will be in, so just accept that. It never fails that when you’ve got a photographer scheduled that’s the day a little one doesn’t nap well or decides to start teething or is just a grump. Do the best you can, know that sometimes the best shots are the ones you don’t really plan, and know that there will be plenty more photo opps in your future.
The most important thing–try to relax and have fun with the session. If you’re stressed, your baby will feel it and it will be reflected in the pictures.
So there you have it: our best advice when it comes to baby photos. Now, go forth, take lots of pictures and let us know how it goes! Better yet, swing by our Facebook wall and share some of those beautiful shots. We’d love to see them!
Image by Junah© via Creative Commons