As a photographer, i am often asked about private baby shoots. Every parent is anxious about the do’s and don’ts before a baby shoot.. Should we? Should we not? This and many more questions plague them. I have put down a few questions i’m often asked by parents before a shoot. Hope this helps many others out there who are toying with the idea of a baby shoot.
1. How long will the shoot take?
Panache: Every baby is different. We have had babies who settle into a shoot immediately and we have had babies who take a while to get comfortable. So, we can never predict a time. At Panache Photography, we keep an outer limit of 3 hours per baby. But that is just so that it helps us work better. My advice - Don’t be rigid about timelines. Go with the flow, be comfortable and relaxed. If you are relaxed, your baby will also enjoy the shoot”
2. What is the best age for a baby shoot?
Panache: As per my experience, the younger the baby, the better it is to do a baby shoot. By younger i mean, a new born or anywhere upto 1 year is ideal. New born babies are the best because they are asleep most of the times and easy to click. They don’t move around much which also helps us position them well for the camera. But like i said, each child is different. So, you can ideally start planning for a photo shoot once your child is 3 months old.
3. As parents, how do we prepare for the shoot?
Panache: Talk to your photographer, ask him if you need to keep any props ready such as the baby’s clothes, toys, your clothes etc. It helps if you follow your photographers instructions and keep everything ready before the shoot so that there is no delay thereafter. It is also advised that you give utmost care to your babies needs on that day, keep your baby as cheerful as possible. Cranky babies wont help in the shoot and you will also loose interest if your baby is crying. So, as far as possible, make sure your baby is happy and well fed and gets enough sleep before the shoot.
4. What kind of props are good for the baby?
Panache: Many parents ask for elaborate props for a baby shoot which is fine but please ensure that the props are safe for your baby. At times, we get swayed by pictures on google and want to follow it to the T often compromising on the baby’s safety and comfort. You know your baby best so choose props that are - 1. SAFE & 2. COMFORTABLE for your baby. If your photographer is good, the props wont matter. The pictures will come out well with or without props.
5. Do i really need a baby shoot?
Panache: Now, this again is a very subjective question, but once again, from my experience as a photographer, i can tell you with absolute certainty that you will cherish it if you do a private shoot. Every moment in your baby’s life is precious. You will definitely go back to it in couple of years and cherish them.
6. How much should my budget be for a baby shoot?
Panache: This is a tricky question but i would suggest that if you like a photographer and his/her work, any amount you pay is worth it. In this age when almost everyone is a photographer, it is challenging to find one who you like and are comfortable with, so unless you have a shoe string budget, you should not haggle too much. Remember, photographers are artists. If you dont pay them like you should, it may reflect on the quality of work.
7. How do we choose a photographer for a baby shoot?
Panache: Two things to look out for in a baby photographer - A. previous work B. Talk to the photographer to see if you are comfortable with his/her ideas. Comfort level is very important. If you are not comfortable with the photographer, the pictures won’t turn out well. So, here i would ask parents to rely on their gut instinct. A photographers past work is an added advantage. At times, i have seen photographers who have superlative work history and capture amazing shots but have very poor client relations. So, make sure that you like your photographer and feel comfortable with him/her.
As a parting short, i would just say that TRUST your photographer. They know what they are doing, they are professionals, let them do their job. Don't fuss over poses and the time or don't haggle unnecessarily over money. Enjoy yourself and your baby will enjoy too . This will help you get great pictures. Happy Parents = Happy Baby = Good Photographs