There are big differences in photographing children of various ages. Because we want to shoot the best photographs possible of your baby, the following guidelines should be used to plan your session. They will also help you to understand more about the session itself for different age groups. If you’re only planning to take photographs once during the first year we recommend scheduling your session when your baby is 6 to 8 months old.
Newborns and Infants
Because these babies cannot sit up, we will usually photograph this age group lying down or will use something to prop them up. We will wrap the baby in a sheet and will focus on close-ups of the face and, if desired, the fingers and toes. If the parents are planning to participate, we will shoot the pictures of the parents holding the baby and nursing shots, if desired.
6 to 8 Months
No other time will be as optimal for different poses as 6 to 8 months. This is the time when babies usually sit up, but before they start to crawl. They are able to push up on their tummies, and they are very proud to be sitting. This age group is our favorite, and we believe that this it the best time to photograph your baby if you are planning to have only one session during the first year.
9 Months to 1 Year
Unlike the newly sitting 6 month olds, these babies are enjoying their newfound freedom – and this is just the beginning! Similar to those babies who were just learning to sit, the “pulling up” babies are proud of their new skill. We often use chairs and steps to keep them in place in those fleeting moments. Parents are also encouraged to bring a favorite boy that may make it in the photo with the baby.
In our experience, the 1-year-old baby is often the most difficult of all ages to photograph (well, maybe see “2-year-olds”!). At this stage, they are crawling extremely fast or they have just learned to walk (the “Frankenstein”!) and move with lightening speed. While they may smile a lot at home, once they are in a new environment, they often get serious and focus on where they can go next. If your child is particularly active, you may want to wait until 15-16 months to schedule your session so that the novelty of walking has somewhat faded.
13 to 18 Months
Because this age group is quite active, we often need props to keep them in place, although we aim to avoid getting props in the photos. Simple toys and balls are a big hit, and singing songs or dancing to music help as well. We recommend that parents bring favorite songs on tape or DC, if possible.
19 Months to 3 Years
The “terrible twos” aren’t so bad! It is the most unpredictable stage in the child’s development, but it’s also another great time. The expressions at this age are often the most fun of all. Depending on the child and mood, there can be as few as 20 minutes for us to get what we need before a meltdown. Once again, it’s important to engage the child in activities to generate excitement.
Timing is crucial with multiple children. It’s often difficult to predict when (and if) two or more children will be at their most rested and happiest stages. If you’re expecting a baby and already have a toddler, it’s best to bring both when the baby is at that “easy” stage of sitting before crawling. If both are moving actively, it’s exponentially more difficult to get both of them to even look at the camera (much less, smile!) at the same time. After that, the next easiest stage may be when the youngest is 9 months (just pulling up or standing).