Do you battle to get the “right” pic of your baby, toddler or child, unless they’re sleeping? I found the first few months of snapping my baby easy, while thereafter there were way more misses than hits in terms of decent pics.
A few weeks ago I saw a tweet from photographer Vanessa Lewis mentioning that she had just done a shoot for Huggies, which got me thinking about the work, effort, tears and feeds that go into a shoot with babies.
So I asked Vanessa, who I used to work quite a bit with when I was at Food and Home mag, about her Huggies shoot.
What was the shoot for?
New Huggies Gold for Boys and Girls print ad.
Where did you shoot?
In my daylight studio, which is heated.
What was the brief?
To show boy and girl babies looking at each other with their new boy-girl nappies – very relaxed, natural, and without forced and cheesy expressions.
How many babies were in the shoot?
There were four – two boys and two girls, each one around 15 months.
Did the babies come with parents or caretakers?
Yes, some with one parent and a caretaker, some with both parents. There was one dad on his own – so sweet.
What foods or props were there?
There was no food from my side – the parents brought their own, and the agency (Ogilvy) catered for the clients and crew. We had toys for the boys and girls, and clothing options of a vest/little top.
How long did the shoot take?
We started at around 10 and had lots of breaks for babies to feed and nap. We wrapped at around 4pm, but we had to shoot background and additional shots too.
What was the most challenging part of the shoot?
Getting the nappy to show beautifully as these little ones moved around a lot and we needed a clear image of the pictures on the nappies to show the boy and girl prints. The prints are from Disney and and feature Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
How did you get babies into the desired positions/poses, or did you rely on them to come up with their own poses?
We had a great stylist who also has a “baby box” – with bubbles and flowers and loads of fun toys to get their attention. We needed them in specific poses and for these the bubbles were a winner.
Were there a lot of tears?
No tears really as mom or dad was right there- we had great little models who were all very interested in the whole process.
How do you manage such patience/endurance with babies, parents and clients on the day?
Babies are easier than toddlers! Toddlers run away and can sometimes just say “no” and that’s that. Babies are calmer and stay in one spot longer than toddlers. The parents were wonderful and the client was very relaxed, having been through this process a lot previously.
Were the girls different to the boys on the day?
They were all babies with baby behaviour, and were active and happy, but I noticed that the girl was more of an actor and “performed” on the day, while the boy was a lot more laidback – it looked as if he was wondering what all the fuss was about.
It’s a tough job shooting babies but really rewarding interacting with little people
Here are some of the untouched and behind-the-scenes pics:
And here is Vanessa’s bunny which she set up to test lighting. Once the babies arrived, the scene was set…
New Huggies Gold nappies for boys and girls are available in stores. For more about the nappies and the launch event, read here. For more info on Vanessa and her kid’s photography work, go to her website here.