Baby photos: what could possibly go wrong?
Professional baby photos are beautiful. We’ve all seen those gorgeous images of babies and toddlers smiling and cuddling their siblings like angels. But for every session booked, there are probably ten of you who can’t stop thinking about all the things that could go wrong. It’s a lot of money, for a start, and we all know that nothing is guaranteed (or easy) when it comes to working with children. Let’s face it, sometimes we don’t even want to book a restaurant meal because we’re worried about our children embarrassing us by misbehaving – the stakes feel a lot higher with a photo shoot!
For me, though, failure is an attitude, not an outcome. And let me tell you – I don’t accept failure. So let’s look at all the things that could possible go wrong at your photo shoot, and I’ll tell you why they don’t spell failure in my book (or in my photo album, as it were).
What if… my baby won’t sleep for the newborn shoot? Why not… look forward to all those awake shots where you get to see their eyes? Some of my most captivating shots are those where baby is wide awake. I swear they stare into my soul sometimes. I never worry about an awake baby – yes, you can’t really pose an awake baby, and there are some shots that are impossible unless your newborn catches some zzzz’s for at least part of the shoot. We all want sleepy shots! But I’ve had entire shoots where the baby wouldn’t sleep, and I still got a gallery that mum loved. I will always have planned a session with set-ups that will work with an awake baby. I’ve had too many non-sleepers to do anything BUT prepare for awake shots.
What if…I look awful in the photos? Why not… think about the years to come when you won’t care what you looked like, just that you were in the pictures with your family? This is one of my favourite mum shots ever; she hadn’t planned on family photos (she told me afterwards that she hadn’t even brushed her hair that morning!) But all I see when I look at her, is the connection between her and baby Leo. And when she looks at it in ten years, or twenty, I guarantee she won’t be thinking about her un-brushed hair. She’ll be remembering how Leo smelt, and how he felt in her arms. So trust me to make you look beautiful, and get in the damn photo anyway.
And dads, this goes for you too. I know you feel awkward, and embarrassed. Yes, my studio is designed for little people, and it’s a squeeze to fit on the backdrop. I get that you’re worried about what to do with your hands, and you hate your feet (or your nose, or your neck, or your ears) but honestly, your children couldn’t give a monkeys about any of those things. You’re their dad, and they just want you to be in the picture with them.
What if… I can’t decide between all my photos and I ending up being pressured into spending too much? Why not… choose a photographer that offers all the images in every package, so you don’t have to choose? (That’s me, by the way). I can’t choose between images, either, and to be honest – once I’ve worked hard on editing your images, I want you to have them all! That’s why my packages include all your images. Memories are too important to be left behind.
What if… I hate my pictures and I end up spending a ton of money on them anyway? Why not… book a no-risk no-fee session where you don’t have to buy anything unless you want to? (Also me). If you don’t love your pictures, you don’t buy any and your booking retainer is refunded to you. Simple. I’m not out to make money by providing a shoddy service that isn’t what you wanted. And I can quite confidently offer this because I’ve never had to refund anyone on this basis, but the offer is there as a peace of mind guarantee for you.
What if… my toddler won’t sit still for their pictures? Why not…embrace the crazy? (Or book an outside shoot, where you don’t have to worry about this at all!) Toddlers don’t sit still, and I never expect them to. Cake smashes and toddler shoots, or any baby photos where children have started to move, are a constant game of pick-them-up-and-put-them-back. With lots of breaks where we let them explore, or play. I have a long line of different props (toddler sized benches and chairs) that we encourage them to sit on, and it may take a while sometimes, but I don’t give up and I don’t run out of patience.
What if…I just wait until I’m thinner/my baby is more settled/my kids are better behaved… Why Not… capture life as it is right now, and forget about waiting for the perfect time? (Because I guarantee there is no perfect time, except for Right Now). Even if you have a couple of whirlwinds like these fabulous girls, the same applies as my point above: Embrace the crazy. This is who they are, this is what your life is like right now! These two pictures are from the same session, a 20 minute Mummy & Me mini session. We got Mum some lovely posed pictures, but you know which one was my favourite from the session? Yes, the second one!
The bottom line is, you won’t ever regret having your photo-shoot – but you may very well regret NOT doing it. Things might go “wrong”. Your baby might not sleep, or might hate the cake, or your children might turn into wild demons the moment they walk into my studio. But it won’t bother me. I will be able to turn your photo-shoot into a success. So turn your What If’s into Why Not’s, because as the saying goes, Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.