What is the best age or stage to get photos of my baby? This is a question that I get asked a lot and that I see being asked often in many of the mums groups online.
My answer for my clients is that every age is beautiful and I love photographing babies at all stages of development. There are some key ages that are ideal for different types of portraits however. The answer comes down to what you want to see in your babies portraits.
Newborn portraits ~ Under 2 weeks of age
At this age babies are still super sleepy and super curly, they are tiny and this session is all about capturing that newness. The tiny details of a newborn, tiny fingers and toes, the little milk blister on the tip of their lip, that little button nose. Those baby wrinkles and the soft newborn hair that covers shoulders and ears.
A typical newborn session will focus a lot on baby as art, sleepy baby, baby details and also some beautiful family portraits as this new little being is welcomed into a family. There are usually a mix of portraits of baby wrapped up and naked, baby on their back and on their tummy, and in props.
These sessions take between 2-3 hours, allowing enough time for feeding changing and settling baby as needed during the session.
Newborn portraits ~ 4 – 6 weeks of age.
Some of my clients don’t manage to get in for photos with their new baby when they are under 2 weeks of age for a variety of reasons but we can still capture some beautiful portraits. When babies are 4-6 weeks of age they usually are more alert and more aware of their bodies. Legs like to be straight and arms like to be unwrapped. As such, the portraits tend to be a little different. With less sleepy-curly newborn portraits, but this varies hugely between individual babies. Some babies of this age still love to be curled up and asleep on their tummies or tucked into a prop.
We still get sleepy baby portraits, mainly on babies back or in a prop and of course, we always focus on family portraits and the tiny new details of your new baby – fingers and toes and all the little features. This age also lends itself to a few awake photos and looking at the camera.
These sessions also take between 2-3 hours, allowing enough time for feeding changing and settling baby as needed during the session.
Baby portraits ~ 3 months of age
This age shows a lot more of your babies personality which is starting to shine. There is a lot more interaction with parents and engagement with me and the camera during the session.
These sessions tend to be quite quick as we schedule the session between naps so that your baby is happiest, and don’t get asleep portraits.
These sessions include portraits of your baby in one outfit and then nappy only or naked photos. There will be photos of baby on their back and their tummy, as by this age little ones are good at holding up their head. Some babies are beginning to play with their toes which can be super cute whilst they lay on their backs, but since they are not yet sitting independently there is a focus on photos with parents holding and playing with baby.
Baby Portraits ~ 6-10 months of age
When baby is sitting independently this is the perfect time for a sitter portrait session usually between 6-10 months of age, just before they start crawling. At this age babies love to play with little toys, they love to smile, and love playing peek-a-boo with me and the camera, and they love to interact with mum and dad. We capture lots of big smiles, those big bright eyes, those cheeky little giggles, and still also capture those little details of chubby hands and toes, chunky thighs, and big bellies.
At this stage, just before baby is crawling, they are content to sit for photos for longer period of time then when they are crawling and quickly racing off the set! When baby is sitting we can use props again, and usually they are happy with one or two outfits as well as some nappy only and naked photos.
Again these sessions are pretty quick, usually between 30-45 minutes, scheduled in the morning between naps so that your little one is most happy.
Cake Smash & Splash Portraits ~ 1 Year Old
These are one of my most popular sessions and so fun to celebrate a 1st birthday. These sessions include some traditional portraits before we bring out the cake for the smash portraits, and then we wrap up with a bubble bath and bubble blowing. The bubble bath helps clean up and also capture some sweet smiles and giggles and lots of splashing.
Some babies find the cake smash a little overwhelming and may need some encouragement from mum or dad to get into the smash, but all babies love the bubble bath at the end and we manage to get some beautiful smiley portraits then.
If your baby doesn’t like getting messy then skip the cake smash and we can do some more traditional 1st birthday portraits and the bubble bath at the end.
What is the best age for photos of my baby? Every age, depending on what you would love to see captured in your portraits. Many clients choose to book multiple session during this precious first year, as babies grow and change so much and every stage has something unique and special about it. Many clients book a newborn, sitter and cake smash session and I just adore getting to watch these little ones grow over the year.