The Challenges of Baby Photography

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Image credits: StillsandMotion via Facebook

Photography session opportunities are always just some corners away. Everyone at some point wants to have their portraits taken, most especially for those who are having special events like birthdays, weddings, holiday events, and the list goes on. Even on those normal days, photography can be done but it is totally different if your photograph is taken professionally with a good camera and nice post-processed.

It is given that everyone would like their faces photographed as a remembrance of those certain good times in life. While it is easy to take portraits of adults, those who are getting married and those who are modeling for personal reason, it is quite a totally different case when it comes to baby photography. Let me tell you why.

Baby Photography

Image credits: StillsandMotion via Facebook

Babies who are under 12 months, although not fully aware of their environment can be at times picky with the things around them. They have unpredictable mood swings and full of emotions. It may change in just a few seconds and so it requires tender care.

Baby Photography is definitely cute and every parent would want their children's baby photograph taken as a remembrance of their happiness when they were still that small.

Image credits: StillsandMotion via Facebook

Note that I am not referring to New Born Photography, here is for those babies who are almost turning one. Those of who can already recognize faces and can be entertained with any toy or can be disappointed with just the texture of their dress.

What Are the Challenges of Baby Photography?

Image credits: StillsandMotion via Facebook

There's definitely nothing wrong with documenting your child's very first, his or her first step, first hard food, first straight walk, first word and first birthday. It would be wonderful if all parents, most especially first-time parents to really keep a book of all photographs of their child but that isn't the case at all. Only a few can do it on their own, the rest will need help from a photographer.

So last weekend, my husband and I went on for a Baby Photography with Amara as our model. She's turning one by December 8 and her parents want to keep a digital and tangible copy of her before turning one-year-old photos.


Video credits: Jean Beltran via bitLanders

Our theme was the very cute and sweet cake smash. The rule was just to let Amara smash, eat, push, kick and whatever she wants to do with the cake, it will all be hers and I will only be documenting her the entire time but before doing so, we have to take family portraits and also some solo shots of her at the beach shore.

Video credits: Jean Beltran via bitLanders

Now comes my expectation versus reality moments. I pictured it out that Amara's going to be all smiles and laughter but it didn't end up that way so I have to adjust. It was challenging but after the photo shoot, I guess I was okay.

Here is my own personal take on the challenges of Baby Photography:

Babies Can't Be Instructed

Image credits: StillsandMotion via Facebook

I had taken portraits before, engagement sessions with couples and family photographs with grown-up kids, there was no issue with giving them instructions on what to do, where to put their hands and how to position themselves while I am shooting.

However, when it comes to babies, this is not applicable. I can't tell Amara to turn this way or point her hands that way. All I can do was tell her parents to call her and make her laugh. But then again, babies have their own way of doing things. When they feel unsecured and alone, they cry and that's what happened during our attempt to take her portraits.

Obviously, she was not happy being alone in that shore while all of us were just in front with those big cameras pointing at her. She might have become scared of the camera too, what was in her thoughts, we all don't have an idea!

Babies' Moods Can Be Unpredictable

Image credits: StillsandMotion via Facebook

Even parents can't predict their babies' emotions and moods so as much as possible, we must give in to all of their wants and likes during this shoot to make it a success.

During the photo shoot, Amara was not so happy with her portraits taken. In fact, we only had one or two shots with her normal cute face, the rest, she was already crying with tears around her cheeks and eyes were sore and we don't want that to be in the photographs.

Image credits: StillsandMotion via Facebook

To make use of our time, I asked her mother, Jessa, to carry her and make her feel secure. She was already holding Amara, she stopped crying for a while but then started crying again in just a minute.

To keep her entertained, we gave all stuff that we have available to make her laugh, we asked her grandmother, the other kids to call her name and make her smile but it was a failure. We just have to wait for her to stop and I guess that was one of the really great challenges during these sessions.

Eventually, her father calmed her when they were just walking around the beach and so the photo session continued.

Surrounding Can Make or Break It

Image credits: StillsandMotion via Facebook

When photographing babies, it is important to bring her favorite things, toys most especially but during our shoot, I guess we missed to bring them into the scene.

But because it was a cake smash, bringing out the cake in front of her changed everything. Her mood changed, her facial expressions uplifted and all she could do was just play with the colorful cake!

That was the great part of the shoot, when she was already having fun with the messing up the cake and killing it with her bare hands, the photographs turned out pretty good.

Image credits: StillsandMotion via Facebook

Since she was already having a good time, we thought it was a great opportunity for their family portraits taken too. They walked in the waters too and some sunset drama was also documented.

Overall, I can say that the Baby Photography Session with Amara was 75% a success. There were several other items in hand that was not used like the colorful beach balls, her other costumes, and her headbands because she dislikes them.

Image credits: StillsandMotion via Facebook

But then after working on her photos while post-processing the Raw images, I figured it was enough and that I had pretty decent shots of the family.

Truly, there were several lessons learned points that I have taken with that shoot. I am surely able to bring them home and be able to make use of them in the future as well.

Thanks a lot for reading!


About the author:
Jean Beltran-Figues is a photography enthusiast. 
A traveler who wants to promote her beloved country, the Philippines.

About the author


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