Thursday, May 22, 2014

How to Get a Squirmy Baby to Smile for the Camera

Let me start by saying that Henry is an awesome baby.  He's super cuddly, loves attention, and is very curious.  In that order.  So, when I wanted to update his 7 month photos for his fan club, I had to pull a few tricks up my sleeve.

1.  Do it after a nap.  Whether you're just wanting to take a few snapshots for your husband, scheduling for a professional photo shoot, or in your back yard, do it soon after his/her nap time.  I find they are most rested and relaxed during this time.  I tend to wait until after Henry's big afternoon nap, and luckily this is during the golden hour.

2.  Full tummy + dry bum = happy baby.  Take snacks with you, like the Gerber Puffs.  They're low on the mess and can stall a squirmy baby.

3.  Bring his/her favorite toys for distraction.  (We were playing peek-a-boo to get these photos.  Bring your arsenal of activities or toys that you know make cute giggles.  Bubbles are a great last resort, and look lovely in photos.)

4.  Make it a fun activity.  We went on a mile walk to this clearing.  He loves being outside, and was content when I had to sit him down by himself.

5.  Know when it's time to try again.  I tried to do his 5 month photos in one setting, and it was a disaster.  He just wanted to cuddle and breastfeed.  Even though I did everything I could, it was time to postpone it until later.  I've had moms call me in a panic about rescheduling family sessions because little bit is cranky, grumpy, overtired, or just not having it today.  It's understandable, and both you and your photographer would rather get great photos than force a crying little one to look at the camera.  Just remember if you're working with a professional to be as courteous as possible, give her enough notice as her policy states, as well as reschedule dates that will work.