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Old 12-28-2008   #1
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Default Props to use in a 1 yr. baby boy portrait

I am taking my first 1 yr. old baby boy portrait at the end of January and need to come up with prop ideas. Can anyone drop me any ideas?

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Old 12-28-2008   #2
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Default Re: Props to use in a 1 yr. baby boy portrait

We used to call the 1yr picture the dumbfounded 1yr old look. Of all the ages the 1 year is about the most lackluster unintersting of all. Don't believe me? Look at a few hundred thousand 1 yr old's pictures. Seated, mouth agape, perhaps a bit of drool from that Mezmerized look. Its a tough to call situation. If you study the stages of childhood development, then you know about what ages to do the blanket over the head, peek-a-boo, and tummy pose. You know at what age a baby discovers there are feet (that's just hours before the discovery that feet will fit in mouth). Ah, who wants to miss the first sitting up, the first assisted standing pose. Then there is one. The age of mere existance, it is. Its the age that preceeds the terrible two's and the insistance of No! (as it is the most heard and therefore repeated word in the vocabulary). One year olds, hey they have teeth so they should smile. But they did that at 9 months AFTER you pried them off momma's shoulder and got past that shrieking thing.

At one we really don't know what level of development has been reached. Probably standing most likely walking, maybe jabbeirng but certainly slobbering. This is not the inquistivie cute age this is the developing intelect and studying everything age.

But you asked about props. Sorry, I drifted for a while there. Props in general should be appropriate to the subject and the environment. I'd say your prop decision is going to be predicated by your location and environment. Going outside? Things that are seasonal. Formal, informal or casual sitting? Boys in 3pc suits only belong outside one time a year in the spring. Wooden wagons are good (as long as they don't really roll..1 yr olds aren't stable) as are short step ladders (keep someone handy to keep them on the ladder of off their faces). You have to be careful with things 1 yr olds can climb on or push. Little girls with a baby carriage look sweet; little girl nose-diving behind run-away baby carriages don't. Kiddos who are unsteady on their feet are more photogenic if they start out seated, rather than falling on their backsides. Little furnature is good for this sort of thing. As long as the feet can touch the floor while seated (balance sometimes comes later in life) if a child feels unsteady you're sure to see it in the photograph and if that unsteadiness causes the least bit of stress you're sure to get tears. Comfort and security are the name of the game. Speaking of those two things, its never a bad thing to bring in the childs' own toys. Its really nice when the toy is clean and all in one piece. Most times a 1 yr old's favorite toy is really the remaining part of a old and worn play thing. Its become the favorite by getting nearly worn out. Its okay. Bring it in and incorporate it. Its a portrait and a capture of the moment (that woobie is part of the moment). Just remember its a portrait of the child and the prop is a part, its not a picture of the kid with the whole toy.

I hope that didn't just muddy the water.

Steve
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Old 12-28-2008   #3
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Default Re: Props to use in a 1 yr. baby boy portrait

Those are great suggestions, Steve.

BTW - I really like the 1 year old dumbfounded look, myself - I can almost imagine the wheels turning in the little head, taking things in - I think they are cute that way.

But all my kids all smiled at 1 - they were all 3 happy kids and easy to make laugh.

Sorry I'm no help in this - but Steve really did a great job giving you some ideas.
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Old 12-28-2008   #4
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Default Re: Props to use in a 1 yr. baby boy portrait

Thanks Steve...

I appreciate the insight. These will be taken in my studio on a canvas or muslin backdrop...the Mom asked me if I had any ideas and mentioned he's "a very busy boy".
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Old 01-06-2010   #5
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Default Re: Props to use in a 1 yr. baby boy portrait

I dont think all 12 month olds are boring and drooling. My daughter's 1 year photos were some of the best of those she's had so far and she had 15 month and 18 month after those. She grinned and hammed it up the entire session! There weren't any blank drooling stares.


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