Although I've taken a few hundred piano lessons in my life, I can't play the piano. I didn't practice — funny how that works. But that doesn't mean I didn't learn anything.
My most accomplished teacher always stressed that, even when playing a lowly scale, play it with heart. Make people feel it. He said that no great pianist would ever scoff at a simple scale played as art. One hand — eight notes up and back — can change the way you feel about music. It can change the way you listen, not to mention your relationship with your fingers.
Shooting a simple close-up portrait of your baby in some beautiful light is a visual exercise that can change the way you feel about photography. It can change the way you look at other people's photographs and the way you approach more complicated subjects in the future — all of them need to played with heart.
My goal is to get new parents (and any other new baby lovers with cameras) to an elegant and satisfying mountaintop quickly. The simple headshot in some gorgeous light (with no flash) is the way to go. The motto for www.howtophotographyourbaby.com could very well be, "Wow, you are a good photographer."
And believe me, no great photographer would ever scoff at a technically unsophisticated but exquisite portrait.
Do it with heart and make people feel it.
This is my son, Teddy, on his first birthday last January. We had just returned from a late-afternoon walk and I happened to park his stroller in a nice patch of sunlight bouncing off the snow in the driveway into the dark garage. We were getting ready to go in the house for dinner. I hung up my coat and turned around. This is what I found.
I will let my eyes —and my heart — speak for me.