Jane Yee: Say cheese


When Victor was a few months old I began feeling bad that we hadn't done a newborn shoot with him. To be perfectly honest, it wasn't something I ever considered. I suppose I thought it was all a bit naff, but since having my son I pretty much bathe in naff. Sentimentality has gotten the better of me, and dammit I wish I had photos of my wrinkly little baby sleeping in a wooden barrel next to a wagon wheel! Okay, maybe not the wooden barrel and wagon wheel bit, but the photos of the wrinkly baby bit? Yes.

The months ticked by and in that time my son's wrinkles turned into fat rolls. I kept meaning to book in a baby shoot while he was still, y'know, a baby, but there was washing to be done, nappies to be changed, kumara to be pureed and I just plain old didn't get around to it. All the while I kept seeing gorgeous professional photos of my friends' babies popping up in my Facebook timeline.

Every time I saw another perfectly lit wee cherub staring at me from my laptop screen with big bright eyes I would look over at my own food-stained baby and murmur, "I really should book in a shoot". Then I would get lost in a Facebook spider web and immediately forget.

One day, late last year, that thought crossed my mind again but instead of filing it away in the back of my brain, I opened up my email programme and sent off an enquiry to a photographer whose work I've been admiring for ages. A few emails later we were booked in for early February.

Fast forward to now and the photo shoot is happening this week. I have to be honest with you, I'm kinda freaking out!

Even though the photos will mostly be of little Vic, we're also planning on getting some frames of us as a family. Guys, I hate photo shoots. And why do I hate them? Because I suck at them. As soon as a photographer points a camera in my direction my perfectly normal smile turns into a lopsided maniacal grin and my body suddenly feels foreign so I end up in a series of awkward poses.

I'm also feeling a bit frumpy, am in need of a hair cut and don't have anything in my wardrobe that seems right for the occasion.

Plus, the shoot is taking place in a field at eight in the morning. Eight in the morning! What was I thinking? I'm a big ball of useless in the morning, and always have been. Having a child and being forced to get up early hasn't done a thing to improve my ability to function normally before 9am. I just fudge my way through the morning routine with my eyes half closed and try not to pour coffee into the toaster. Photos of me in this state are going to be ace, right?

On top of all this, little Vic is being weird at the moment. He's super sooky and clingy, but is also blanking me a lot. He's like the worst kind of boyfriend; all needy and suffocating one minute, then looking at me like I'm a worthless piece of dirt the next. The combination of the two should make for some pretty interesting shots I reckon.

So there you go, a short essay on why I'm slightly dreading our first photo shoot. Best-case scenario we'll end up with a couple of nice images to take pride of place on our lounge wall. Worst-case scenario our morning faces will turn up here. Either way, it has to be done otherwise I know I'll regret not properly memorexing this special time with our baby boy.

As always, I love hearing from you guys. Do you think it's important to have professional photos taken?  Is there a particular age that works well for baby photos? What stories do you have to share of your experience with baby or family photo shoots?

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