All babies are cute — but capturing that adorableness in a photograph can be really tough, especially since photographers these days have gotten so creative. The Sears portrait is definitely a thing of the past, as technology and creativity have given moms designs on some incredible, elaborate photo shoots to capture the lives of their newborns.
But for every amazing baby photo, there are at least three or four that ended in hilarious mishaps. Some professional photographers may not admit it, but they usually take a couple hundred shots to get the perfect one. Sometimes it's because of a weird yawn or an ill-timed nose pick. Other times, the concept is really out there and it just doesn't work, no matter how hard they try. And for those of us who are inspired by Pinterest but don't have the training, it can be hard to recreate the serene image we have in mind.
One of the biggest obstacles to a good newborn photo is the trend that people want naked baby pictures. It's so cute, but taking off a diaper is a dangerous proposition. Most shoots are bound to end with a wardrobe change, either for the baby or the parents. Things can go wrong in an instant, as the examples we have gathered will demonstrate.
Here are 15 newborn photoshoot fails parents can't un-see.
15 Mess Maker
Newborn skin is one of the softest, most sweet-smelling things ever. It's no wonder that newborn photographers want to capture it in all its glory. The baby doesn't need any adornment to add on to the cuteness. But there are definitely reasons why a diaper might be a good idea. As this sequence shows, it just takes a moment to regret the decision to take the picture in the baby's birthday suit.
Newborns are little mess makers, and they have absolutely no control over when stuff comes out of them. They poop in their sleep, and they don't care whether the camera is on them or not. If a baby's got to go, he's got to go, even if it ruins a perfectly good father-son photo. We just hope that everybody brought a change of clothes — and a diaper.
14 Boxed In
This little guy is as cute as a baby doll, but that doesn't mean that he would look cute in the doll box. We can certainly see the appeal — most of the time babies can't wait to play in the box of the toy they just got, and sometimes it's even more appealing than the expensive merchandise found inside. But we don't think this little guy was so pleased about it. He seems like he's stuck and really desperate to get out.
There are all kinds of things that are wrong with the box too. We think a better choice might not say "oink" or "moo," because this little guy is an adorable baby and not a pig or a cow. But he does look a bit like a farmer in those coveralls. Of course, the biggest problem is the boy's terrified expression. We want to rescue him from this baby photo fail.
13 Balloon Bust
Pinterest has set us all up to be failures on most days, and this photo definitely shows how the expectations don't match reality. It's a great idea to celebrate a birthday with a bunch of balloons, and most of the time babies are thrilled with it. But sometimes things don't work out, and you can tell from the poor baby's expression that this balloon surprise was a total bust.
We love the colors in the top photo, and the baby's glee is just unforgettable. The angle also works a lot better than the bottom photo, where the crib totally takes on the image of prison bars. It may be her birthday party, but she can cry if she wants to, and she definitely is not feeling the same excitement about the balloons as her parents had hoped.
12 Nose Pick
Babies get their little hands in everything — even if all the adults think it is gross. And it doesn't matter if the camera is on them or not. Babies are going to touch their face, and sometimes that means that their long nails scratch their cheeks, and other times it means that they pick their nose.
This picture might seem like a fail, but it's totally adorable with that little wink and grin. The cute little cap also helps with the mischievous look that makes our hearts skip a beat. The nose pick may not be the most graceful look, but we promise, it's not going to be the first time that little finger will go digging for gold. It'll be more frequent when they are toddlers and adolescents, but they may not steal the photo shoot.
11 Unmerry Christmas
All moms who celebrate Christmas can't wait to capture the magic that their little one experiences their first holiday. The beautiful lights, the beautiful tree, the family moments, the sparkle in their eyes when they see all the amazing spectacle are all things that the mom wants to remember forever, and what better way to do that than to take pictures of everything.
But of course bringing the camera out can also put a curse on the entire thing. It's cute when the baby cries when he meets Santa, but that is the only time that moms want to see tears during the holidays. Unfortunately, it can happen a lot. This set of photos show the difference between the sweet and the scary. Even cute, cuddly snowman can be a bit frightening when you are seeing it all for the first time. Christmas is amazing but also exhausting, and that doesn't make for a photo finish.
10 Making It Rain
We've talked about bodily fluids already, but they happen so often with babies that it's definitely worth seeing another example of one of the most common and hilarious newborn photo shoot fails. This little guy looks adorable in his beautiful birthday suit, but once the clothes come off and it's cold, the baby is bound to make it rain, if you know what we mean.
We're positive that this photo would have graced the wall in the living room if the little dude could have held it just a few seconds longer. Those little toes are so adorable. But we're sure the photographer had to do an entirely new set up while mom gave the baby a little bath, since the cloth is now dripping wet. Of course, if the photographer tried again, the baby would probably be just as obliging. It's the chance you take when you leave the diaper off.
9 Smash Cake Reality
The first birthday is such a fun milestone to celebrate, and moms definitely want to capture the moment and keep photos of it for years. In recent years, one of the most fun photographs that people take are of the baby eating his first piece of cake. Most of us moms have photos of ourselves with frosting all across our faces, but now, people go all out to make it look cute. Unfortunately, it usually just ends up a mess.
This set of photos definitely shows the expectation versus the reality. The big guy on the left is covered in sweetness, but it's more of an accessory than a sticky mess. But poor baby No. 2 got the goop everywhere, even in his little eyes. He's probably exhausted from his sugar high and he's definitely over the entire thing. He needs a bath and a nap, but he's just not interested in smiling for the camera.
8 Sibling Stack
Babies who join big brothers and sisters are really special, and parents always want to include the entire clan when marking their life. There are so many ways to include all the kids, and Pinterest convinced us that the sibling stack is gorgeous. But it's not as easy as Legos, as this fail convinced us.
None of the kids look too pleased with this set up. The little half-naked boy in the middle looks squished and slippery enough that his baby brother is hanging on for dear life, and the bottom kid is a good sport but none too pleased about the idea. The pictures kind of look like the expectations/reality shots of birthday cakes that end up crooked and mushed. It's not exactly a memory to treasure forever.
7 Cute As A Pumpkin
All babies are just as cute as pumpkins— until they are forced to sit in pumpkins for a picture. The giant orange gourds are traditional decorations for fall, and eventually kids will enjoy scooping them out and carving them as Jack O'Lanterns. But when they are babies, kids don't necessarily love to be put inside a pumpkin.
This little guy looks like his pumpkin is the base of a Weeble, and he's wobbling. He's obviously not comfortable, and the red of his wailing face definitely clashes with the orange. This is definitely not the way to capture the baby's first fall, so maybe the photographer needs to move on to pretty leaves.
6 Knotted Up
One of the latest newborn photoshoot trends is to hang the baby in something. We're guessing this is supposed to look like a beautiful, serene hammock, and it kind of works with the sweet, sleeping baby on the left. But for the baby on the right, it looks more like he got caught up in one of those traps for bears.
The trick, is seems, is that the first baby is sitting on his bum. The second one was put in feet first, and his toes are escaping the little sack. His head is definitely not supported, and he just seems resigned to his situation, with his little fingers creeping around to hold onto the yarn. Poor kid is all knotted up, and anything but a relaxed kid in an a hammock.
5 Spit Up Incident
All those bodily fluids we have talked about, they aren't just something to worry about when the baby's diaper is off. Unfortunately, they can come out both ends unexpectedly. Some kids have big time digestion issues and they spit up half their meal after every bottle, but even those who very rarely regurgitate can surprise you when you least expect it, like when you are trying to capture the perfect photo.
The worst part of this image is also the best part just moments before. Mom and child, cheek to cheek, look so happy and sweet. But unfortunately that means that the spit up is lined up to go right into mom's mouth. Yuck! We guess it is a right of passage that was documented in a photo, but no one wants to cherish that memory.
4 Surprise Delivery
There are so many creative ways that newborn photographers capture the precious beginning of a baby's life. We love this idea of a baby arriving by a surprise delivery, especially if there is an older sibling wondering where the baby came from. It reminds us of the stork story — and, boy, is the baby on the left just the cutest little sleeping angel in a box you've ever seen.
But of course, the photo doesn't work for everybody, as the image on the right shows. It's not that this little girl isn't a cutie. She is, but she looks a little bit like she is drowning in styrofoam peanuts instead of nestled on top of them. There's something about the rectangular shape that is also really off-putting. And the worst part is the sheer terror on the girlie's face. She's like, "Momma, are you shipping me to Grandma's. I'm not so sure about being in this box, even if it's supposed to be fun." This one doesn't look like a surprise delivery as much as an escape plan, and that is definitely a newborn fail.
3 Dump Truck Dumps
How do newborn photographers get babies to look like little angels when they are sleeping. In the good pictures, the baby always looks totally serene, no matter what weird way his body is contorting to fit into the theme, and it just looks like a piece of cake to get the perfect shot. But reality sets in when the photographer isn't a professional, and the baby picture can quickly go to the dumps.
That's what happened when this person tried to remake a gorgeous picture of a little boy sleeping in a toy dump truck. Easy, right? Just put a comfy pillow or blanket in to cushion him, and he'll be fine. Well, the reality of this picture is just so funny. The kid looks splayed out in a way that can't be comfortable. His little legs aren't tucked in tightly, and his arms seem to be flailing about. The kid's expression shows just how uncomfortable he feels, and we know that he may never feel the same way about riding in a truck ever again.
2 Baby Proofing Fail
Photographers have created some overwhelming fantasy images of babies that seem to float in the air lately. They are actually laying on the ground, but with an elaborate backdrop or the power of Photoshop, it can look like they are leaping over a rainbow or flying in a hot air balloon or some other elaborate amazing feat. Many of them are well-executed and over-indulgent, making it look like the baby can achieve anything, even in his sleep. This one, though, totally fails at the idea.
I mean, we can go with the idea of having a ninja warrior baby. It might be neat to see his seeming to take names in his black get-up and stealth pose. But this photo doesn't give us the oomph that inspires fantasy, and — come on — it puts a big knife in the hands of the baby. The fruits make us think more chef than ninja, and we're not sure why he needs to have such an overpowering weapon when he's really just preparing lunch. This one doesn't work on so many levels, but we think most photographers should think about keeping blades out of the hands of babies even in a fantasy photo.
1 Baby Photo Bomb
As you can see from photo after photo in this collection, a photographer may have a certain picture in mind, but the baby sometimes has his own idea about what he wants to do at the moment. A simple move can change everything about a picture, and if the baby isn't having it, there isn't much that a photographer can do but to roll with it.
This little guy, though, taught us that sometimes a photo fail can turn into gold. Linda Sharps is the mom in the photo who intended to capture a mirror image of her holding her little guy. But he ended up lunging to play with the camera strap and his face ended up in the foreground. She thought it was funny — it totally is — so she posted it on her blog and it went viral. But Linda wrote on The Stir a few years later about all the terrible comments that people made about her appearance and her baby (we don't get it; they both look so cute). People also made some not-so-nice comments about her skills as a photographer, but people need to cut her slack. As this entire album shows, there are plenty of things that can go wrong on a newborn photo shoot, and when you end up with an unintentionally cute image like this one, we call it a win.
Sources: Pinterest, Instagram, Google Images, The Stir