The best ages to photograph your baby
‘What is the best age to take my baby to get professional photographs taken?’
I get asked this question a lot, and to be honest, if I’m not asked then I will still explain this as I want clients to get the very best out of their investment and there are definitely better times to get professional photographs taken.
Whilst your baby is fascinating and growing and changing each and every day, in a photography session we can only capture them at that moment in time and so the stage of development they are at is very important.
Here are my recommended milestones for sessions:
Without a doubt it’s incredibly special to capture your baby at their teeny tiniest, just as they enter the world. From experience, 6-10 days is the optimal time to have this session. At this stage they have had time to get to know mum and dad but are still nice and sleepy and able to curl up into those oh-so-cute foetal positions. After the first few weeks your baby will be far more alert, more sensitive when moved and limbs will stretch out.
Now before we move on to the next milestones there is something I need to stress – babies develop different skills at different paces. And it’s not about a slow or a fast baby. They focus their energy on different things – some babies are very quick to learn sounds and words, others are clapping and waving whilst others just want to be on the go! So whilst I have given very approximate timings, please don’t worry…
Tummies and smiles c. 3-4 mths
For the next milestone, the best combination is when your baby is able to go on their tummy and hold their head up and this is also the time that smiles come more readily. (It’s tempting to book a shoot as soon as they can hold their head up or at the glimpse of a first smile but book the session for a few weeks on when they can hold their head up for more than a few seconds. Also, one or two smiles a day means they might not come during the photography session but most babies move on to smiling and laughing ‘on cue’ when we are being suitably funny and this is when I can jump around and sing and dance to get those lovely smiles!)
Sitting up c. 6-8mths
This for me is the classic baby shoot. It’s a fabulous time to have a shoot. Your baby needs to be able to sit comfortably, unaided. (Avoiding crawling age is better as crawling usually means looking down)
A first birthday shoot can also be a lovely way to mark the occasion and is often similar to a sitting shoot. By now they may have started to lose some of that baby podge (fat) though as they are generally moving more. At this stage we may also get some shots of them standing with the aid of mum and dad too.
When your baby is steady on their feet and able to take a few steps but not yet running wild! Kind of self explanatory I guess! I like to go outdoors for this session as it’s great to see how your baby is interacting with the outdoor world.
Qu: But you are often fully booked so how do I know when to book for?
A: I want my clients to get the most out of their shoot. You can book a shoot in and then change the date as long as you give two weeks notice. Usually you will gain a pretty good idea of your child’s development curve and can predict when a good time will be. Once your child has reached a milestone you know you will have a few weeks to capture it, so call up and grab a slot!!