The New Gerber Baby

Gerber Baby 2011

We had the wonderful opportunity to spend a weekend on Catalina Island with a great Family – they asked us to do an Environmental (location) shoot and what better place than at this charming spot off the coast of LA. We also had a chance to test the most amazing lens, a Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8. It allows one to be at discrete distances and when shooting wide open (f2.8) creates superb Bokeh (blurred backgrounds).  It Rocks!

Now about the Gerber Baby! Fremont Canning Company, owned and operated by Frank Daniel Gerber and his son Daniel Frank Gerber, were looking for a baby face for its new baby food campaign that was to start in the later part of 1928. To find a baby face they felt would most represent their new baby food product the Fremont Canning Company conducted a contest in the summer of 1928. Many drawings and paintings were submitted. Some were elaborate oil paintings of baby portraits while others were just simple sketches.

Dorothy Hope Smith of Westport, Connecticut, an artist specializing in children’s drawings, submitted an unfinished charcoal drawing that was closer to a simple sketch than a professional drawing. This five month old baby was drawn with tousled hair, bright blue eyes, and round pursed lips. In 1928, the “Gerber Baby” symbol was introduced to help identify the new product. It was first used in an advertisement placed in Good Housekeeping for baby food. Within sixty days “Gerber Strained Foods” using the “Gerber Baby” symbol had gained national recognition and it was distributed to various places throughout the United States. It became internationally recognized before long.

Could this be the New Gerber baby for the 21st Century? www.

8 responses

  1. Looks good to me! Wow, what a stunning face!

    June 21, 2011 at 7:04 am

  2. What a little cutie pie! Absolutely, she could be the next Gerber baby!! I love the way you captured her, Erik, this is truly a masterpiece my friend.

    June 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm

  3. Great shot! I love it!

    June 25, 2011 at 3:19 pm

  4. Your work was excellent, and of course the child is beautiful. But the face of the next Gerber Baby….no. The face of the next Gerber Baby will not look like it came from Northern Europe. But you know what, beauty comes in such a variety of packages today, we all now have so much more to appreciate.


    August 25, 2011 at 11:53 am

    • Thanks for the visit and the comment – I really didn’t know what to call the shot…perhaps a bit whimsical? I agree with you!

      August 25, 2011 at 12:02 pm

  5. david evans

    bobng8 is very right: One ‘candidate’ fits all, no longer applies. Particularly in the Commercial Products area. However, within the context of successful, impromptu baby/child portraiture, this one is superb.

    I have been struggling since the 1970s (Film of course) to produce these ‘moments’ with moderate to startling success all out of proportion to the amount of film used. Digital of course, while simplifying things, has not improved that ratio of success. Only its cost!

    I do use a 70-200mm/2.8 Lens for some of my Street Type Photography, and yes it has produced many magnificently dynamic shots at Cultural Festivals and Sports Events. Never tried it in a Portrait situation, as even at the former discretion is needed as these monsters can be quite intimidating.

    October 20, 2011 at 7:39 pm

  6. Alex

    I am sorry to leave this comment but I would never photograph my baby like this. This beautiful girl in your shot looks like a victim of a frostbite. The photo doesn’t bring out any of the features of the baby – eyes lost their color and the black mouth looks horrible. Frankly, it looks like a random Instagram effect applied with no particular thought – this is not what I call creativity.

    BTW, there is lots of beautiful work on your blog.


    April 19, 2013 at 1:14 am

    • This was done several years ago when our understanding was very rudimentary and I totally agree with your keen observations – thank you for your comments and kind visit to our humble blog

      April 19, 2013 at 10:17 am

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