Baby photographers have a very special job when you think about the countless number of infants and young children whose childhood is literally captured and preserved forever in a portrait. Parents typically spend more money on portraits in the first two to three of years of a child’s life than all the rest of their years combined, but because children grow and change so rapidly in the early years, it’s no wonder. A baby photographer, while fulfilling an important role, can have a very difficult and trying job.
In any typical day, a baby photographer may photograph dozens of children or only a few, depending on the size and location of their studio. Department store portrait studios tend to be far busier in a typical day than private ones, but this varies with geographical location. Anyone who has never worked with young children may not understand, but a baby photographer has to accomplish a great deal in a short amount of time with each child who visits.
While working with children can be immense fun, it can also be frustrating. Children, especially very small ones, are not capable of doing exactly what you want when you want them to do it. For a baby photographer, whose primary objective is going to be to capture a split-second smile on film, it can be a very trying experience.
A baby photographer will spend a good portion of their day employing any and every tactic they have to get a baby to smile. This sometimes means acting silly, making silly noises, and in short, clowning around absurdly. Experienced baby photographers may have a better arsenal of tactics and may have developed a sense for working with babies, but babies remain unpredictable creatures. For this reason, photographers working with infants and young children must also exercise a great deal of caution and safety consciousness while working.
In addition to working with small children as subjects, a child photographer must also employ a great deal of patience with the parents. After all, pleasing the parents is important to sales and repeat business. Most parents are aware of how difficult it can be to photograph children, but some have expectations so high that it can be difficult, if not impossible, to meet them.
At the end of the day, a baby photographer will spend a great deal of time cleaning up and reorganizing their studio and equipment. It would not be at all uncommon to find half-chewed Cheerios and remnants of slobber and drool. Additionally, many children drop and leave behind their belongings, which parents may come calling for again.
The job of a baby photographer is not an easy one, but for people who enjoy working with children and love the challenge of capturing the perfect smile, perfect expression, or staging the perfect memory, it can be a very rewarding profession.