Photographer. Mother. Nurse. Gymnast. Doctor. Counselor. (and that’s just the beginning!)
A good baby photographer is not just a capturer of memories and an artist of expressions, but her role includes all of the above, and so much more!
Babies don’t care who you are, or what you plan to do. You turn up with your camera, photography gear, props, lights and the whole shebang… and they just turn up your nose at you and get busy in their own world. Throwing toys, running away, bawling their head off, playing with dirt, asking to be fed, going off to sleep, almost falling and causing mini heart attacks, and everything that can make your life difficult as a photographer. You almost wish you were a nature photographer… at least mountains and trees don’t run away, or make faces, and definitely don’t kick you. :)
In baby photography, one perfect shot can take hundreds of clicks, as kids are never still and you never know when you might miss the perfect moment. At one time I was clicking my daughter’s picture right after the Durga Puja bisarjan, and I wanted her to pose with her toy lion. Well, she of course had other ideas and simply refused to be in the same frame with the soft toy. Every time she would throw it away, run off or cry if it was brought near her. I kept trying, kept clicking, to no avail.
And then fortune smiled for just a moment, when my husband handed her the lion and she held it close for just a fraction of a second before flinging it away, and I clicked right then… lying on the floor to get the perfect expression from her level, tired and perspiring, and almost at the limit of my patience... but delighted to have got the perfect shot to wrap up my puja album.
With tiny babies, you are not just being super careful (as newborn photography has to be done within 10 days of birth), maintaining optimum room temperature, playing ambient heartbeat sounds to calm the tiny tot, and also training the new mother on baby handling basics that hospitals don't exactly prepare you for… at the same time you’re changing lenses, changing props, sometimes changing baby diapers, and in all that madness, capturing precious moments that will melt the mother’s heart and become magical memories to be treasured for a lifetime.
On the journey of photographing babies, you learn humility, patience, lightning reflexes, keeping others calm when your plans go out the window… and not only do you bring your skills as a photography artist and editor, you come as a mother who knows exactly how to handle and take care of a baby, through smiles and poops, tears and laughter, through mellow sleep and manic madness.
Baby Photography is not a profession. It’s reveling in the adventure of life, and being in the present moment. It’s flowing with what is, and capturing moments that take your breath away. Being with babies teaches you what life is all about, and I wouldn’t exchange that for literally anything in the world!