Don’t Make This #1 Baby Picture Mistake


I don’t have any professional newborn baby pictures of myself other than my obligatory hospital picture (which can hardly be characterized as “professional”) and candids my family took of me.  

Granted newborn photography wasn’t what it was in the 80s as it is now (I was 2 years old by the time Anne Geddes established her studio), but personally I wish I had my own professional newborn portrait, such as this one I recently created:

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I of course have professional portraits from other periods in my life, but it feels that I have a critical piece missing from my newborn stage.  

The earliest professional image I have of myself was taken at a department store and features my 3 month self dressed in a Mrs. Claus outfit:

My first professional portrait from 1986

My first professional portrait from 1986


And for better or for worse, when I envision myself as a baby, I think of this image.  

And that’s no coincidence.

The reason this image serves as a visual representation of my babyhood is because growing up, I saw this image every day and understood it was important to my parents.

My family adored this image, framed it, and proudly displayed it in our home.

I used it for my school projects, and for better or for worse, for me, it's the portrait that represents my infancy.

What's even more interesting to note is my parents took thousands of images of me when I was a baby.  In fact, they took it to the next level and my father even walked around with an extremely heavy, 2 foot long video camera slung over his shoulder for hours upon hours when I first arrived home from the hospital (there are literally hours of video footage of me sleeping...don’t ask me why they thought that was important to document).

But out of all the images and video they took, they chose the Mrs. Claus image to enlarge and display in our home most prominently probably because it was my first professional portrait, and of course they loved it.  

My parents’ decision had a huge impact on my life in the sense that when I think of myself as a baby, I think of this image.

I don’t want to characterize my parents’ decision in selecting this image to display as “a mistake” nor am I upset with them.

I can’t be disappointed that they didn’t hire a professional newborn photographer because that was not commonplace as it is now.

I understand why they love this image of me as Mrs. Claus because truly it is one of the earliest and best images of me.

However, what I am saying is that in 2018, infant photography has evolved.

Just go onto Instagram and type in “#newbornphotography” or “#newbornphotographer” and you will find literally millions of beautiful, artistic newborn portraits created by talented photographers all over the world.

Parents today are familiar with the idea of newborn photography and have many resources and choices when it comes to arranging their newborn’s first portraits.


Well it’s easy, really.

The real mistake that I urge parents today not to make is skipping true newborn portraits altogether, or delaying the baby portraits so that they are no longer newborn portraits, as in my case.

Remember - “true” newborn portraits are done when babies are 14 days old or less. Most professional newborn photographers aim to conduct a session in this timeframe because babies are most sleepy, more flexible, and free from baby acne.

So don’t wait, don’t miss out, don’t put it off: you will never have a chance to recreate your newborn’s portraits.

Of course your child will be both professionally and non-professionally photographed for the rest of his or her life, but this time is so special and fleeting that it really should be captured by a professional photographer.

Don’t let your child end up like me with my Mrs. Claus image.

Yes, I suppose it’s cute.

But it’s not classic. And it’s not timeless.

And given the choice, I would have LOVED to have something more like this portrait from the same session shown above:


Growing up with printed portraiture is important.

I’m glad I did - that is a mistake my parents certainly did NOT make.

Printed portraits have an impact on our lives and how we view ourselves.

They shows us from a young age that we matter and are important.

Your child deserves to see their portrait displayed in your home (hopefully something a little more classic than mine!).  

Whether the images are in an album or on the wall, your child should see themselves prominently displayed.

If you’re looking into newborn photography in Philadelphia and are searching for a professional newborn photographer to create stunning, classic portraits of your baby that will stand the test of time, please contact me.  

Not only can I create these invaluable portraits in the comfort of your own home, but I also specialize in heirloom albums and wall art and can assist you in designing beautiful portrait art that you and your family will cherish for generations.

Jessica GiannoneFeatured