Milk spots, baby acne, dry skin, jaundice, red splotches, scratches, snotty noses, chapped lips, bumped heads…
These are just some of the things that parents worry about when they are considering a photography session for their newborn or child, and I was no different when I had my daughter. I looked at stunning photography on the internet and I looked at my newborn baby, and made the classic mistake of assuming that what I saw online was reality (we’re all guilty of that in moments of weakness… usually involving comparing ourselves to some bikini-clad, angel-winged, Victoria Secret’s model!). I felt that my baby came up short (!) and I blamed myself and my novice parenting skills, assuming that I had washed her too much/too little/used the wrong oil for her skin/exposed her to too much dust/dirt/sunshine/detergents etc etc… the list went on (especially in the many wakeful moments during those long first nights!)
The unspoken truth is that our babies are not perfect: their little bodies are adjusting to life outside their cosy, amniotic cocoon and that can result in some spots; their ability to constantly wriggle out of mitts exposes their delicate skin to the effects of their razor-sharp fingernails; and even their arrival can result in a few bumps along the way. Older children will inevitably pick up colds; developed chapped lips and/or sport a bruise or two.
In the photographs which we will look back on for many years, we want to be able to recognise our children, but also see beyond any temporary distractions. That is why professional photography is such a worthwhile investment: your photographer will be familiar with all these things and should be able to remove anything you find distracting, but also provide advice about what to preserve and even draw attention to, to ensure your photos are recognisably of your child and not of a doll: tiny eyelashes, baby rolls, minute fingernails, wispy hair and sparkling eyes.
After all, everything about our children is amazing and we adore them: there has never been anyone quite like them in the world before - they may not be perfect, but they are ours and they certainly are original.