Sunday, September 19, 2010

Not My Cup of Tea

Newborn photography.  Yet another career that I am glad I do NOT have.

I enjoy looking at photographer's websites, sifting through their beautiful photos, possibly finding some inspirataion.  They make it look so very easy.  So I figured I'd give it a shot, so to speak.  After all, I know a little more about photography and lighting than I used to, and I have a better camera.  Stick a sleeping baby in a bowl and snap away, how hard could it be?

Somehow, I don't think this photo will get the "isn't she precious?" response.  It will certainly never hang on my wall.

First of all, she had a lovely little rash all over her arms and chest.  But whatever.  I could edit that out later.  So I carried on.

Getting her to actually sleep in the bowl was the next near impossibility.  I'd get her carefully to sleep, only to carefully set her down and have her wake up.  Time and time again.  Finally, I just held the whole bowl on my lap with her in it and let her nurse herself to sleep.  Ah, success!  Just not very comfortable, shall we say.

With baby B finally asleep in the trenchbowl, I tiptoed very slowly over to set her down in front of the cloth backdrop.  Shaggy and the kids were all out of the house--no way I would have tried this with them all running around.  I quietly crept over to the radio to turn it down so it would have no chance to wake her up.  Then I secured the dog, so he wouldn't bark at a passing car and ruin my chance for the perfect photo.  Then I knelt down ever so carefully in front of her and turned on my camera.  I put it up to my face silently, finally ready to take my first shot.

And she woke up.  And peed all over the nice, white blanket she was on.  Then she started flailing her arms around and the crying soon followed.

Epic failure.  So I decided to try a different set up.  A cute, fuzzy hat and a white backdrop.  And the diaper stayed on.

Even though newborn photographers make their photos look so effortlessly natural, it is really challenging to make a newborn look that way.  They just look downright awkward a lot of the time.  I suppose the above photo is sort of cute, but I just wasn't crazy about the way her position and the hat pushed that roll of skin over her eyes.  Not very beautiful, really.

And here, she's moving her head all around, but the hat wasn't moving with her so it was scrunching her face all up.  Of course, the crossed eye thing doesn't help one bit . . . unless you were just looking for a good laugh.

And here she's sticking her tongue out, ready to box my ears for stuffing her into this cocoon outfit thing.

And here she toppled over and is trying to tell me, oh-so subtely, that she's not perfectly happy about her situation.

These photo shoots took place over the course of several weeks.  They were downright discouraging, much of the time.  I wasn't really looking for a lesson in the challenges of newborn photography, but I got one, nonetheless.

There was one day, when Shaggy was still on baby leave from work, and the kids were in school, that my one and only goal for the whole day was to get a good picture of baby B with me, and one with Shaggy.

She did NOT play ball.

So we gave up on me, and tried to get a decent one of her with Shaggy.  After two pictures, neither of which was very good, she filled her diaper--very loudly and very stinkily.

After we changed her, we set up the photo again.  And she filled her shorts again.  But at least we got one sort of good one of her with her Daddy.

Have you ever seen those photos where a newborn is balanced on a father's arm?  I've always loved those poses, so I decided to try it.  And true to almost every other photo I tried to create during these weeks, it did not go quite as planned.  This is definitely NOT what I had envisioned.

But I suppose that is true of just about every aspect of parenthood.  I really shouldn't be surprised, especially considering this is my fifth go-round.

1 comment:

Mom said...

These photos and your description of the photo shoot ordeal are hysterical. But I admire your patience and perserverance.