Last year, between lockdowns, I was contacted by Martina, owner of Nine and Quarter to shoot her next campaign.
Nine and quarter is a maternity clothing brand who brings on trend maternity and breastfeeding clothes so that you can stay true to your style during your pregnancy. The idea came to Martina when she was first pregnant with her baby : she found that the only clothes available during pregnancy were synthetic, not practical and very plain.
So that is how Nine and Quarter came up: she wanted to fill the gap in the industry creating a line of pregnancy clothes that are on style, flatter the growing bump and produced with good quality sustainable fabrics that will be gentle on the skin.
Speaking with Martina was very easy. She had very clear idea of what she wanted, so coming up with a plan for her shoot was very easy.
I can speak from experience that photoshoots that no matter how organised you are, there will be always a certain level of stress. You almost have to acknowledge that there is going to be some last minute changes or something may go wrong. I would advise to plan extra time just to play it safe.
Well, what if we add something that can even be less predictable to the mix? For example...a baby. Or two!
Don't get me wrong, babies are adorable. They are cute, funny, and we all make silly noises and smile at them in a very silly way. Even people who claim not liking them cannot resist to pay attention when there is one around.
But they are babies, the hardest type model to direct. They can even steal your director position if they want to!
Thank god, the babies on these photoshoot apart from being adorable, were very well behaved. But again, my director skills were... well, they needed to be adjusted to my young models.
So, what should you do when your model doesn't really speak, listen and only wants his/her parents?
From my experience, this are some things you should have in mind when photographing babies:
- Have plenty of time: going back to time management, I had in mind babies will be on the shoot, so for example, if you know you normally get 10 good pictures in an hour, I would plan 2 hours to achieve those. I want to make sure I get the results my client wants.
- Patience: as I said, the baby can run the show and you will need to accept it.
- Relax: you have plenty of time, if you get stressed you will stress the baby. Hence why it is so important to plan extra time.
- Have their family around: big chances that the baby will start crying immediately if they don't see their parents around. It is a fact, they are in a new environment so they need attention and someone they know there. So make sure the baby can see their family during the photoshoot. Also, someone else can distract the baby while you snap the best picture.
- Have breaks: the baby can start crying at any point for any reason: hunger, needs to get changed... so just have that in mind, you won't be able to ask the baby to hold the pose one more minute!
- Be ready: have your camera and settings ready for when the baby decides to give you their best smile. Don't miss the chance!
One great thing about photographing babies is that they are very photogenic, so if you follow my advise, have all the settings ready and a relaxed attitude, I am more than sure you will get beautiful portraits.
Hope this advice will be useful for your next baby shoot! :) Below you can see some of the images from the photoshoot.
The team was:
Director: Martina Minarik
MUAH: Jen Lo
Models: Lucy, Faye, Angel, Aria and Tobias.