There aren’t many clients who are allowed into my studio with the understanding that it’s highly possible that they will go to the bathroom on my props. And yet, I regularly welcome those clients back. That’s because photographing those clients – newborns and infants – is such a rewarding part of my job that the sorts of challenges they present are easy to forget about. Here are a few of my top challenges and joys of working with children.
Anyone who says that there aren’t challenges to working with children is lying. But when you know what to expect, then you can be prepared and take it all in stride. Here are a few examples of situations that require me to switch over to Plan B.
Working with wide-awake babies. When they are awake, babies are exploring their world and figuring out what’s around them. There are things they want to look at; ten toes they want to wiggle. And when they’re awake, wiggle they do. The biggest challenge here is finding interesting poses that can be held while the baby is awake so that the photos are still just as adorable as if the child was asleep.
We all need to eat. Sometimes, we just get our timings wrong and a lunch break is required. Not by me, of course – by my gorgeous little subject. That’s why I build feedings into my booking time because sometimes, it’s tough to get a newborn onto a feeding schedule or sometimes, they just weren’t hungry enough the first time you fed them. I get it, don’t worry.
We all need to, well, relieve ourselves, too. Take a diaper off a newborn for those beautiful nude shots and you’re almost guaranteed that something is going to get wet. It’s part of the deal. If it doesn’t happen, then that’s a relief, but in the meantime, I’ll keep my paper towels and fabric wash at the ready.
I work at a job that allows me to take beautiful photos of the tiniest little people I meet. It’s hard not to feel like I’ve got the coolest job going. Here are a few reasons why I love being behind the camera at an infant shoot.
Working with sleeping babies. Their faces are relaxed; they look like there can’t possibly be an economic crisis going on or poor political decision being made. A sleeping baby also means that I can get interesting shots because they generally hold poses better than a baby who is awake.
Sharing the experience. Parents play an active role in my studio photo shoots, particularly with infants, as they help me manoeuvre and pose their child. Many of the parents I see are new to the role of being ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’ and are unsure of what to expect from both the shoot and their little one. Seeing the expressions of pure love on their faces as Mom and Dad see the shots start to come together is one of the greatest rewards of my job.
Creating. Another one of the most capital-f-u-n aspects of working with newborns is that I get to work at creating shots that are beautiful, memorable, classic, or whatever my clients request. I get to use props and accessories that I can’t use with other clientele (men with wings, anyone?) and go to town trying to create shots that make people’s hearts glow with warmth the moment they see the photo.
Are there challenges to photographing children? Most certainly. But I wouldn’t miss out on them because it would mean missing out on the rest of the package.