You have a new baby, and he or she is changing every day. When is the best time to capture this little one before they celebrate their first birthday? Guess what? There is no right answer to the question! It’s all based on what you want to capture. Here are some things to consider as you pick your baby’s photo session:
Newborn: Newborn photography has exploded in the last decade. Capturing a brand new baby in the first few days of life is an art that leaves you with images that help you remember just how tiny and squishy your little one was in those very first days.
Pros: This time is fleeting. You are getting settled, recovering from delivery, adjusting to a new sleep schedule and you might not actually remember much from these first few weeks! Forever capturing this tiny human at 5, 6, 7, or even 9 pounds is something to marvel at later. Sleeping pictures of a tiny, new baby are precious. And once they are done, you can relax!
Cons: You have to be on top of it! 10 days goes by quickly, so book your photographer before your baby arrives to make the most of that squishy, sleepy disposition. And pick a photographer with expertise in this area, as newborn photography takes LOTS of practice! You’ll also need to head to the studio or have the photographer in your home within the first week of settling in, which some families stress over.
Three Months Old: I’ll be honest…I don’t recommend this age. Let me explain…a 3 month old baby is basically an alert, smiling newborn. They have a wobbly head, can’t sit up and are awake for short periods of time. If you ask me to photograph your 3 month old, I will certainly do it, but I will have you hold your baby and incorporate more lifestyle poses, because baby needs to be propped up.
I will recommend that you consider a milestone approach, capturing baby as they are meeting new and exciting physical accomplishments that we can document.
Pros: Baby is more alert than a newborn and is smiling and knows Mom and Dad.
Cons: Baby must be held or propped up or on its back – limited posing if parents don’t want to be in the images.
Pushing Up: Once your baby is pushing up for 2-3 minutes well, this is a great time to capture baby. You’ll have a larger variety of posing and baby should smile for the parents and photographer.
Pros: Baby is alert and smiling. Mom has lost some of initial pregnancy/delivery weight and is feeling better about being in front of the camera. Variety of poses at this age.
Cons: Baby gets tired after 15-20 minutes, so session is short. Some babies struggle with tummy time and don’t ever push up well.
Sitting: I will tell my clients that if you only do one baby session in the year, this is the one to do! Once baby is sitting well for 3-5 minutes without toppling over, the fun begins! This is a super fun age and session!
Pros: Baby is smiling at everyone now, can’t crawl yet and is content to sit in one place and watch everyone. Props can be included and their is no better age for a naked baby bum! Stranger anxiety hasn’t set in yet either. Baby looks like a baby but can sit, sometimes stand with support and lie on its back. Lots of variety!
Cons: The window of sitting well and not yet crawling can be short, so you need to be on top of scheduling and communicating with your photographer.
Standing/One Year: In just 12 months, your baby now is nearly a toddler! This is the last chance to capture your baby as a baby!
Pros: Baby’s personality is shining through, can stand, clap, and enjoy interacting. You can capture baby’s first birthday with birthday items, even a cake smash.
Cons: Some babies are so busy walking they have no interest in being still, ever! This can be a challenge for your photographer. And the time around baby’s first birthday is busy.
If you just can’t decide, the baby plan might be the best option for you! A series of sessions capturing each milestone in the first year designed to give you the best images the whole year through!
Whatever you decide, leave the precious moments to the photographer so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your baby. They really do grow up so fast. And please remember to be in the pictures as well! Your baby will thank you!