Baby Boomlet

posted on 5th of august, 2008

In Chicago a popular European coffee and pastry shop has banned classic baby prams – the type of baby carrier that plows down the street slicing though pedestrian traffic and taking up more space than a SmartCar. I fully understood the coffee shop’s rules as I strolled down the street after my morning latte. It seemed that 90% of the people on the sidewalk in this up and coming neighborhood were either pregnant or had one or more infant nestled in some form of carriage or stroller. More than one of the giant carriages in a shop creates customer gridlock. US neighborhoods that young couples favor are brimming with babies.

There are increasingly reliable statistics that an American population explosion similar to the one in the US in the late 1940’s is in full swing. This growth is being called a baby boomlet. The first articles suggesting that an era of population growth was looming came in early 2008. Now that the year is more than half over and the statistics are more fully developed, the US government is safely saying that 2007 experienced a higher percentage growth in the birth rate this past year than in 1947. There is no reason to conclude that the soaring number of pregnancies will diminish any time soon.

© Zerli (Help)

Idealized images of pregnant women through gauzy curtains or with dreamy backdrops are rarely successful today. Modern women get on with their lives as they progress through the months of pregnancy. They continue their jobs as attorneys, teachers and clerks, fully engaged in their work. Users want to see women in all stages of pregnancy dressed for work or casually in hip clothes if they are in their 20’s. Women go swimming, hiking; take exercise classes and attend childbirth classes with their partners. These are subjects that you should plan to shoot the next time you have a pregnant model. Prop shops have pregnancy suits too that come in sizes for all three trimesters. The model slips the apparatus under her clothes and suddenly she looks six or so months pregnant.

During the first baby boom in the last century, the world was recovering from a devastating world war. A new mom was lucky to get some cloth diapers and a bassinet. Once babies learned to walk they had to give up getting carried about. Today we see children that are easily able to walk around the park, being pushed by Mom in pricey strollers. Expectant Moms and Dad’s register with baby stores for gifts for the newborn that run the gauntlet from receiving blankets, hundreds of toys, CD’s of lullabies, machines that create soothing sounds of ocean waves to quiet baby and even warmers for baby wipes.

What does this mean to Dreamstime contributors? It means that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of baby product manufacturers and distributors that need images. Blogs and websites that address every aspect of new motherhood are geared to audiences from a national general interest down to very specialized and localized ones to offer tips on child care just in a particular neighborhood. All require fresh images.

© Agau (Help)

What is the cause of this newest population explosion? Couples are having children later in life and older mothers are more apt to have multiple births or to use fertility methods that result in multiples. Teen pregnancy in the US is on the rise. It has become much more acceptable in the US for a single mother to have a child, putting many mothers-to-be into the baby business that were excluded in the past. Women can keep a career going and still have children. As for me? With two friends expecting a total of three babies in the next two months, my knitting needles are clacking day and night. Call me old-fashioned but I like to think that baby should have at least one handmade gift.

Shot list:
Older parents-Late 30’s to early 40’s
Twins and triplets
Pregnant women at work
Stylish or hip pregnant woman
Teen pregnancy. Prop shot with schoolbooks or set in a teen environment
Many babies in the picture of differing ethnicities
Baby surrounded by way too many toys
Groups of pregnant woman
Pregnant women swimming, running, exercising
Birthing classes
Fathers and newborns
Neonatal intensive care

Keywords : Don’t use the keyword ‘pregnancy’ for a child on a computer, an image of a woman who might be pregnant but the pregnancy isn’t apparent in the image. Don't use "newborn" for a child that is older than six months or so.

Props: This online store for all things baby is an excellent source for prop and shot ideas

Comments (10)

Comment by Praise139 on August 19, 2008

How about pregnant women suffering from nausea, weight gain issues, emotional ups and downs or physical discomfort? also not easy to find.

I also gravitate towards CLOTHED models - naked belly's are easy to find, but not so easy to use in conservative applications (which parenting magazines usually are)

Thanks to those who post photos of the full emotional range - I really appreciate your work.

Oh, and please, please, please don't crop your photos too tightly!!! I generally spend about a day's worth of work re-creating backgrounds, tops of heads, fingers, etc. for a banner headings - details lost in most situational photos I download.

Comment by Yunxiang987 on August 17, 2008

Baby Boomlet !!!

Comment by Iofoto on August 11, 2008

Thanks for the informative article, Ellen!

Comment by Litifeta on August 10, 2008

Big issue in my country is women leaving it until they are in their forties and having to rely on IVF because their ovaries are baked.

And then they want those big prams and expect to be treated special because they have had a child.

Comment by Zerli on August 09, 2008

Proud that you have used my picture! Thanks.


Comment by Ellenboughn on August 07, 2008

Photomyeye. I guess the staff overlooked that important keyword. Usually they are very good but everyone misses something once in a while. I believe you can add keywords to your images. Give it a try and let me know if you have difficulty.

Comment by Photomyeye on August 07, 2008

thanks for the advice but I did pay to have it keyword by your staff I don't think I can chance or add what they did......Regards

Comment by Ellenboughn on August 07, 2008

Photomyeye: I didn't find your image 5903538 in a search for birth that I made before writing this article. Now I understand why. You should consider adding: maternity, ward, birth, to your keywords for this image. Thanks.

Comment by Photomyeye on August 07, 2008

Good info, I have set up a shoot for some, I feel great outdoors kid and baby shots so I am glade to hear you say this is sell-able images. this is one image that I think is unique to the site
ID: 5903538

Comment by Rebeccaosborn on August 06, 2008

great article, thanks for the tips!

Comments (10)

This article has been read 3663 times. 1 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Agau, Melissa King, Monkey Business Images, Niderlander, Sandra Dragojlovic, Showface, Violet Star, Zerli.

About me

I have written a about microstock photography released in 2010. I was the Director of Content at Dreamstime for two years ending in Feb, 2009. You can order my book from amazon via my website at www.ellenboughn.com/blog.

Bainbridge Island, US

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