Lights, camera... baby!
According to estimates provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, seven babies are born every second.
And though parents are oohing and aahing over all their arrivals, only a minute percentage of these newborns draw the fascination of the rest of the world -- those with Hollywood parents.
Over the past week, a number of celebs in both the film and sports arenas added new members to their families.
Julia Roberts added a baby boy named Henry Daniel to her brood (twins Hazel and Phinnaeus were born in 2004). Tiger Woods and his wife welcomed their first child -- a daughter named Sam Alexis. Kevin James and his wife had their second daughter -- making him the "King of Three Queens." Keri Russell, who recently starred in the film "Waitress" as a new mom, had a baby girl with her husband. And last but not least, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon and his wife have a new baby girl.
A Pretty, More Private, Woman
Which bundle of joy will end up in tomorrow's tabloids?
If Julia Roberts gets her way, it won't be her son Henry.
Courtney Hazlett, a senior reporter at OK! magazine -- the publication that printed the first pictures of Larry Birkhead and his daughter with Anna Nicole Smith, Dannielynn -- said that motherhood has made Roberts a changed woman.
"She's gotten increasingly private with the birth of her twins," Hazlett told ABC News. "It's more of a personal decision for her... She doesn't need the sort of life where there are cameras everywhere. She's managed to keep them [her twins] out of the spotlight and she probably feels she can do the same thing with Henry."
According to the New York Post, Roberts doesn't think it's worth it to auction off photos of her children. Nearly four years ago, Roberts allowed People magazine to run the first photos of Hazel and Phinnaeus. Now, it appears Roberts has little interest in putting her baby in the spotlight.
"The most important thing is that Julia has a healthy baby," Roberts' spokeswoman Marcy Engelman told the Post. "Where the baby photos go hasn't even been thought about yet."
Roberts currently splits her time between her homes outside of Tinseltown in New York, Malibu, Calif., and Tao, N.M.
Molly Goodson, the editor of the celebrity news blog PopSugar.com, said, "Julia will forever be A-List, but she has managed to live her life outside of the spotlight since giving birth to Phinnaeus and Hazel. She can just live her life quietly outside of Hollywood, in her fabulous mansion, and show off her gorgeous children when she is good and ready to." Engelman would not return repeated phone calls from ABC News seeking comment.
Celebrity Babies: 'the Perfect Eugenics Experiment'
Whether you were grinning with food smeared across your face or crying on Santa's lap, chances are someone snapped a baby picture of you, though most of us forget about them until they spring up in a wedding slideshow. At work, we all tolerate baby-happy co-workers who diligently send out weekly e-mail alerts with updated baby pictures of his or her kids.
Celebrity baby pictures, however, generate a great deal more interest.
The baby buzz reached its peak when Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise had Suri in April 2006 and, about a month later, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt welcomed their first biological child Shiloh. Celebrity-addicts were in a tizzy over where photos of the offspring of these physically beautiful couples would end up. And when Suri didn't appear in pictures for several months, people started speculating whether or not she even existed in the first place.
Goodson said that for fans, part of the appeal of these pictures is the anticipation of them.
"The bigger the celeb, the more orchestrated the unveiling," she said.
As if you didn't notice, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt landed in People magazine and Suri was photographed by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz for the October issue of Vanity Fair.
Robert Thompson, the director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University, told ABC News, "It's the idea that beautiful people who are known for being a part of the more attractive aristocracy -- such as Tom and Katie -- that they are extraordinary feats of human beauty, and we'll get a perfect eugenics experiment of attractiveness."
He added, "Somehow, the desire to see celebrity baby pictures has almost reached the desire to see celebs in a sex video or without their underwear."
Hazlett said a magazine with highly-coveted baby pictures on the cover is a gold mine.
"Readers love baby photos, wedding photos...they go gangbusters on the newsstands," said Hazlett. "It really behooves you to position yourself so you can get them."
And it pays to have exclusivity, which is made consistently harder today by the onslaught of celebrity blogs.
Thompson said, "We've kind of been convinced that we want to see these baby pictures. If everybody's saying 'Exclusive!' or 'We're the first ones with the baby pictures,' it's like advertising. It gets us worked up into a frenzy that we didn't really know we wanted."
All About the Money?
Brangelina commanded a seven-figure sum from People last year to print pictures of baby girl Shiloh. That's enough to send all four of their children to college, with graduate work thrown in.
But after the wheelings and dealings are done and the check has been signed, some celebrities don't ever see the money for their babies' photos.
Sheryl Crow appeared recently on the cover of OK! magazine with her adopted son Wyatt.
Crow wrote on her Web site that she agreed to do the photos after OK! offered to make a "generous donation" to the World Food Program, a United Nations organization that fights child hunger.
Hazlett said, "More and more often if there are dollars exchanged, it goes into a trust or goes directly into a charity...These photo agencies who are going to shove their cameras in a bush, they're going to sell it for some sort of dollar amount. Rather than increase the value of paparazzi photos, [they] have the money go to something good or something beneficial instead of just putting money in the pockets of these guys trailing them."
On Their Terms
While most A-list celebrities simply don't need any more attention, B-listers, C-listers, and D-listers -- made famous by Kathy Griffin -- also have kids, and they often need all the press they can get.
Goodson said, "The other side of the spectrum are those who use the public's love of celebrity babies to make themselves more famous. Those are often the very same stars who unveil their babies within days or weeks of giving birth."
Since celebrities have plenty of tabloids to choose from, they can choose to either make the public wait to see their next of kin and fuel the media frenzy, or they can nip the situation in the bud and get it over with.
Sometimes the latter strategy is best.
Hazlett said, "It kills the curiosity quickly. They feel like they can just go on with their lives. In some ways, even though you want to maintain that privacy, we're going to find a picture of your kid at some point. If you get it out of the way, if you can do it in a way where you have the most control, then you're better off."
The earlier a photo opportunity is granted, the more it will diminish the paparazzi parade.
"If you can control the release of these photos in the beginning, you might end up with a lot more privacy," said Hazlett.
Goodson added, "In the case of huge A-listers like the Jolie-Pitts, the Spears, and the Cruises is that they sell the pictures so that the paparazzi hounds them less for the first candid shots. While the money must be nice, it's more important that the pictures get out on their own terms."
Unless a photographer is in the delivery room, major celebrities can control how or when his or her child appears on the cover of a magazine.
Hazlett said one contributing factor to this decision is how a magazine has treated the subject in the past.
"Sheryl Crow was a great example. She trusted how we were going to treat the piece. She knew the photos would come out looking gorgeous. If you've just given birth there's always trepidation, but this didn't apply to Sheryl Crow. People want to look their best," said Hazlett.
Regarding Henry, whether or not Roberts decides to stick to her first instincts and not sell pictures of her son remains to be seen. Roberts is involved with several charities. If the fee for a picture of Henry went toward one of them, such as Earth Biofuels, a company Roberts recently became a spokeswoman for that promotes the use of renewable fuels, she might consider unveiling her boy to the media.
If a picture is worth thousands of dollars in charity money, babies, say cheese!