Not only is this one of my favourite songs of all time by the glorious Pulp (1994, His 'n' Hers album link for it here in case you've never heard it or are too young to remember the 90's like it was yesterday) but babies are another favourite thing of mine. I can get in there when I arrive at a photo shoot, have a cuddle and a sniff of their heads and hand them back if they get grumpy.
For this post I'm not talking about newborns but more 4/5 months plus as newborns are a whole other blog post.
Let's be honest, babies absolutely rule the roost! There's no way on this earth anyone can get a baby to comply with the rules of everyone else, which is another very big reason I love them so much. They are masters of their craft and can rule with a tiny baby sized mitten.
Parents are often so anxious about them not smiling, not interacting with me or the rest of the family or just sleeping that they forget that a photo shoot is about fun, laughter and love.
These are the rules of any of my shoots that include babies.
If baby is upset - we take some time out or shoot with other members of the family for a while.
If baby is hungry we all get involved and shoot around some snacks/feeding time.
If your baby is tired and grouchy and sleepy I still, after all these years, have a sling in the car or camera bag that can be brought out at anytime to be used in shoots. Baby is close, snuggled in and comfy.
If your baby isn't wanting to give me a smile (which, to be honest is rare as I look funny to all humans - babies included!) we can work with that. Not all babies are cheesy grinners, some are more serious or, like my youngest, some give off the death stare that could silence whole armies. That's just them and capturing their wee personality before it changes again is exactly what I'm there to do. You don't need to worry or feel anxious and keep dancing around them to get a smile, the more you relax and laugh and chat with those at the shoot, the more baby will do the same (maybe not chat, I don't expect a 6 month old to come out with a Shakespearian monologue).
Clothing! Cute outfits are awesome, babies know this. They also know that this is exactly the time they want to have either a poo explosion right up their back or vomit. THAT"S OK! These things happen and it's often best to have a few spare outfits/babygros to compensate for this. They are incredibly lucky to look adorable in whatever they wear!
I promise, all of these things happen on most shoots I'm on with children and babies. That's the reason I love family shoots. They're spontaneous, changeable and fun. That's what produces the most natural images that are a joy to look back on in the days and years to come.
The main point is, DON"T PANIC. I've been there, I know what these gorgeous miniature dictators are like and I would rather we take our time to make sure everyone is relaxed and happy than for you to feel rushed.
Much love and yes, 1994 was still just the other day!!