The baby photo boom :

Posted by-Kalki Team

Right from the moment they enter the world, babies are being captured on camera in all their cuteness (and moodiness) by professional baby photographers,

finds BHUMIKA K.

Your lil bundle of joy has arrived and you cant wait to show the world pictures of your baby. Chances are, you have got a baby photographer hovering over your child in the crib, as you and your spouse admiringly fuss over baby and as she is proudly held in her grandparents arms.

Baby photography is now a huge thing among young parents, who want to preserve every move, look, sprouting tooth and hair, and keep them close to their heart or share them on Facebook.

Amrita Samant does two baby shoots every day, seven days a week! “That is a lot of babies and a lot of work,” she laughs. She set up Mommy Shots by Amrita over three years ago, quitting her corporate career and has a presence in Chennai and Singapore (where she travels regularly for shoots), apart form Bengaluru.

Initially parents would look up Pinterest for ideas - thats something all photographers hate. Now most of them give me freedom and refer to my earlier work, she says. Shoots begin during pregnancy many-a-time. Popular themes she has shot are the Audrey Hepburn look for girls, the Minions theme with babies dressed in overalls and with sunny yellow balloons and props. She has also travelled and photographed families on vacations abroad with beach holidays being a favourite. Modern storytelling is where baby photography is headed she says — “a day in the life of” kind of stuff is what parents want with tousled hair, baby bath and feeding, tantrums et al.

Young mum Asha Kashettar scoured Facebook to find a photographer for her daughter’s photo shoot before she zeroed in on one. “I wanted a theme-based candid shoot — I had seen so many on Facebook and liked them. I wanted a flower theme, beach, chef and a cake smash shoot. I wanted a photographer with patience and flexibility because shooting a baby is difficult and getting the family together and doing it all in one day is quite a challenge too,” she says. Even though she regularly took pictures of her baby on her mobile, she felt she needed a professional photographer to capture “the right moment”. “They see and take pictures differently; they are passionate. I took pictures because I had to!”

“Babies grow up so fast, it is overwhelming for parents. Every day and every moment has something new to offer — moments that can never be reversed. Parents want us to capture milestones — like when the baby first sits upright, starts crawling, walking, hairdo before tonsure...,” says Roshni Hariharan, who started Cuddles and Giggles Photography two years ago. Talking of the challenges photographing babies, she says, “they can have their cranky days, sleepy days, ‘I won’t do that no matter what’ kind of days, multiple feeding breaks in between shoots. As a photographer, making them comfortable, understanding their mindset and making this work is the key and all this needs a good amount of patience.”

Huge themes and big set up shoots were a big thing a year ago. But the trend is slowly moving towards lifestyle photography now with more natural, simple and minimalist shots.

“Handling our photography equipment is easier than handling babies,” laughs #Rohith #Kumar who started off with Baby Grafy when he saw a saturation in the wedding photography market; he now does up to 150 baby shoots at least a year. In a field dominated by women photographers, he says parents trust him the moment they see him handling the child -- sometimes way more comfortably than the new parents themselves! Photoshoots for newborns are huge now, he says, but they are a bigger challenge. As kids get older, they are more willing and able to pose or smile. Many parents still dont know what they want -except that they want a good picture of their child. I try to create a story through which they will remember the baby.

Framing the cherub ;

*Common accessories in baby shoots - flowers, bubbles, stuffed toys, cakes, colourful coordinated accessories, baskets and tubs, water

*The need to share baby pictures on forums like Facebook drives parents to get professionally-shot profile pictures

*The move is from very posed studio photography to more candid shoots, though props are used to set the mood

*Many parents have their children photographed regularly and repeatedly through the first year, when the change dramatically over a short period of time

*While most people prefer their homes as a venue for the shoot. Parks and cafes are popular outdoor choices

*Photography packages can start at Rs. 5,000 and go up to Rs. one lakh, depending on photographer, theme, age, number of hours/days of work, number of prints, and if photo books are to be printed

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