People often ask me what the best age is to have their baby photographed. There isn’t a simple answer to this because all stages of your child’s development are unique and special in their own way. It is a cliche to say that time passes quickly, but it actually does. There have been numerous times I have looked at each of my children and noticed changes that have crept up on them.
It is wonderful to be able to have some gorgeous images of your children at all ages that help tell their story. Here is a run down on the types of photographs to expect from the different stages of your child’s development:
The First Two Weeks
This is the classic time frame that is considered by many Photographers as being the ideal age to have a newborn photoshoot. In the first two weeks, most babies are very sleepy which makes it easy to get those classic newborn photography shots that many of us love. In other words, babies peacefully sleeping in gorgeous little curled poses or propped into cute baskets. Newborn babies who are happy, fed and settled to sleep in a comfortable warm environment will usually not wake up when you move them around into a range of poses.
It cannot be stressed enough that all babies are different. Some newborns like to stretch out their legs from day 1 and do not want to curl up at all. There are certainly babies who are more wakeful than others and do not like being moved around. I have photographed babies at 7 or 8 days old who are very alert and want to stay awake for most of the session. As a result, we can get stunning shots of them with their eyes open. I have photographed some babies at 10-12 days old who are eager to start tummy time and will hold their heads up and try to push themselves forward. Likewise I have photographed babies aged 6 weeks who curl up and sleep for the entire session just like a baby under two weeks old “should”.
Up to 10 weeks
Personally I have photographed newborn sessions up to 10 weeks with success. To generalise, the main difference between younger newborns and babies between 2 weeks and 10 weeks is that they are more wakeful and less willing to curl up into compact snuggly newborn poses. Most babies this age want to stretch out a lot more. Some babies move around a great deal at this age but certainly not all of them. It is lovely to get shots of babies with their eyes open.
A typical session for a baby aged up to 10 weeks lasts a bit longer because in my experience it takes a bit longer to settle the baby to sleep. This is simply because they are more alert and want to see what is going on. While it is lovely to get shots with eyes open, it is not always possible to get that “perfect” shot. Most babies at this age like to engage and have their own beautiful way of starting to communicate with their eyes, mouth “talking” and hands that go flailing about. You can get beautiful shots and also lots of out takes! Baby and parents tend to get tired during the session simply as it goes for longer.
This is such a great age for babies. They are smiling and engaging with people and you can get shots of your baby where their unique personality shines through. You can get tummy time shots and sometimes sitting up shots that aren’t really sitting up shots where mum or Dad is nearby waiting to catch them. You can also put baby in a basket or a bucket or some other kind of cute prop. Shots with mum and dad engaging with baby are gorgeous at this age.
Once again it all depends on the baby. They are not all magically sitting up or loving tummy time at this age, so in some cases posing options can be limited to literally a baby lying flat on the floor as that is the only place they are happy. In these instances, people often wait until their baby is a bit older before they have a photography session.
10 months to 1 year
I have written 10 months here, but this is just a rough guide for when the majority of babies start sitting up on their own without assistance. This is a great age to photograph because once your baby is sitting up, you can get a variety of different poses – including tummy time, crawling and of course there are some early walkers out there too. Babies this age are usually very animated. They are quite easy to engage with as they are amused by simple things.
The toddler years
Here I would really just like to say : good luck!
However I actually enjoy photographing toddlers. Lets just say I enjoy the challenge!
Toddlers are basically hilarious individual mini humans with their own agendas. A session with a toddler can really go any way. It completely depends on the child. If you are having your toddler photographed I would simply say – be open to anything happening and don’t have too many expectations about what they will or will not do. They also smell a controlling parent or Photographer a mile away, so be careful not to overly direct them. Keep it light and fun. I usually play games, say silly things, tell stories, have them tell me a story, count, sing, throw balls / balloons / bubbles. Pretend to go to sleep. Anything goes.
Outdoor sessions are great for some kids so they can run around, but I have also had plenty of great toddler sessions in my studio.
Whenever you get your child photographed, you are capturing just one single moment in time that cannot be repeated. Ever. This is something I think about every time I pick up the camera. It is such a quick click of the lens and it is amazing that a single, still image can say so much about a person but that is why we love photographs. They record our lives and tell a part of our story.
To find out more about our sessions with children of all ages, contact us to set up a time. I would love to meet you and your family and to create some beautiful images for you to love and cherish. The best age to photograph your baby is whenever you want to.