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The Blog of Bart Harris - Central Florida Photographer

Newborn Photography: Part of My History

With a half century of advertising agency experience, I have had great opportunities to work on hundreds of ad campaigns in various product categories. It was natural for me to photograph infants, toddlers and children of all ages as I cruise through a career that I never dreamed I would experience. I have always enjoyed kids, particularly babies.

A newborn child is a wonder and pregnancy is the most beautiful time in a woman’s life. Photographing newborn infants and maternity portraits are a source of joy for me. I have an extensive history photographing newborns, infants and toddlers beginning with my work for Gerber Baby Food national ads for J Walter Thompson Advertising forty years ago. Through the years I have done extensive photography featuring babies for national ad use by MacDonald’s (Happy Meal advertisements and in-store posters), Mam Pacifiers featuring newborn infants and toddlers,  General Mills Cereals, Kelloggs Cereals, Pampers and many other companies that feature infants and toddlers in their marketing.

The real key to successful newborn photography is patience. Babies definitely have their own personalities, but as parents quiclky learn, they have their own schedules as well. A beautiful photograph of a young child requires patience and the photographer who can respond during that fleeting moment of beauty will always capture a timeless moment.

One of my favorite projects was directing a 60 second TV commercial for StaPuff Fabric Softener featuring a two week old newborn and young mother during a “typical” day consisting of quiet, loving moments between mother and child. We were able to cast identical twin girls who we used alternated in front of the camera (in order to avoid stress during the course of a long day of filming.) We cast a young actress named Robin Douglass who had just achieved notice as the female lead in the feature film “Breaking Away”. The project began as a “test” commercial for Foote, Cone and Belding advertising Agency. The commercial was so successful in testing that it ran as I shot it, on national tv for more than a year. It is dated, but still means a lot to me,please click on this link to view:

My love of digital photography began in early 1995 and the immediacy of image viewing and editing makes it ideal for photographing children in general and newborn infants even more so. In the pre-digital dark ages you never really were sure of what your photographs really captured when prying to capture a fleeting expression on someone’s face. Nowhere else is this more uncertain than the expressions that flash accross a young babies face. Gas can create what appears to be the most beatific smile, or frown. Sometimes it’s almost impossible to discern the difference. The ability to see what you have captured as you shoot is the greatest benefit of digital photography.