Photos / Portraits

You will take your baby's photo close to a thousand times in the first twelve months. That's not including formal portraits. Digital cameras are your best friend and your worst enemy when you have a baby. You never stop downloading endless baby pictures into your computer—why would you! Formal portraits are also quite common in your baby's first year, though less frequent than your regular snapshots.

It can be difficult posing a baby for the camera. Most parents are familiar with the frustration of posing a baby and the rolls of not-quite-right pictures. Once you finally get that perfect shot, you will want to display it for all your guests to see. If you just can't seem to get that perfect photo, try a professional photographer.

You can visit a formal portrait studio or an independent photographer. Most formal studios offer deals on photo packages on a regular basis. Portrait packages are affordable, but the pictures may end up looking like everybody else's. Formal portrait studios stick to a formula when it comes to arranging baby portraits. You may want the classic baby-on-belly-leaning-on-arm-wrapped-in-blanket picture taken of most newborns just out of the hospital -- it is a classic after all. What you don't want is a constant stream of stiff, posed portraits. You will have plenty of those head-shoulder, forced smile types of photos when your baby hits grade school—13 of them to be exact. If you want interesting, original photos of your baby for the years to come, find an independent photographer.

In an independent photographer's studio, babies are rarely placed in typical poses common to formal portraits. Most independent photographers use uncommon props or toys that babies can play with during the shoot. When your baby is first brought into the studio, the toys are out for your baby to discover immediately. Most photographers are ready to shoot, so they capture the initial excitement of seeing the toys. The photographer will continue to take pictures as your baby plays. Some photographers have wagons, rocking horses, and tricycles set up and ready for your baby to climb on and play.

Most independent photographers do not expect your baby to sit still for very long. They tend to let babies play and capture what they are doing without interfering or stopping the play. This type of spontaneous, journalistic photography creates amazing photos of your baby, without all the crying and screaming. Sure, your baby may become upset at being followed around, but the informal and play-oriented environment helps to calm the usual camera-shy fear.

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