Baby is irrefutably a peculiar, unexpected, yet cute subject to have photos taken. Unable to understand our command to pose and stay still, they can be a handful, but when parents have promised us payments, we have no choice but to try to entertain, while taking pictures of them. In fact, the business of baby photography is inseparable from entertainment, or how else will you be able to take those cute, happy baby pictures?
Sympathize, or better, Empathize
It’s easy to feel sympathy when you see someone in trouble, panicking over a problem or facing difficulties. What will you do when your clients seem to be disorganized and fumbling over everything to take care of their crying babies? A correct answer would be: I’ll help them with anything. But more than often, bystanders only stand, observe and wonder endlessly without actually jumping in to help.
It’s easier said than done. When you yourself are not a parent, understanding the responsibility can be hard. But, the least you can tell them if they seem nervous, especially if it is their first time too, tell them that it is okay to take their time. Learn a few things about baby care, so you can lend a hand or two with them.
Sure, they’ll take a lot of time. Inform them on your previous meeting to feed and care for the baby before getting here, so the baby can sleep and photography session can move on peacefully and more pictures can be made without the baby looking grumpy (though grumpy pictures can be cute).
Photographer and Parents communication
Before the photography session, meet a few times, or at least one to communicate what is necessary to be talked about. One important thing is to determine whether the parents want strictly newborn pictures, which can only be done within 10 to 14 days after deliver, baby photography in the studio or lifestyle type of pictures, which typically is done at the home where the baby will grow up in. It is important that these meetings are done before delivery, so you can arrange for their baby photoshoot session at the right timing, because baby grows up fast! Unless the parents are okay with either newborn or not, remind the parents of the essence of time in baby photography.
After the parent, next is to talk about you.
What kind of photographer are you? Any particular style you are better in? Show your previous works on baby photoshoot and tell them what will happen in a session, such as posing, editing, props session and the possible length of the session. This is also your chance to familiarize yourself with them, and them with you, because it will help a lot during photography session it watching out for the baby, discussing props and other issues you might face.
Photographer that prioritize safety over result.
When dealing with adults, photography session that incorporate risky props can be done with the consent of the subject. But with babies, they cannot give you consent nor will parents like ‘incidents’ with their babies. Even if it is on the request of the parents, if you are unsure about the safety of a certain set, pose, or props, do not be blinded with how good the result will turn out unless you can make sure that the worst case scenario will not harm the baby in any way.
These are the three tips that should be implemented in your photographer code of ethics. Not even experts will want to ignore any of this if they want to maintain positive relationships with their clients and grow to an even better photographer.