A baby’s first year is an important time to start documenting their life with professional photography. Even though the parents may be snapping away, a portrait professional can capture the baby in unique, artistic ways and produce professional archival prints that will last for generations. Understanding the importance of the task, many parents wonder when are the best months in the first year for professional infant photography. The following are some guidelines that identify what can be expected at the different stages of the baby’s first year or so.
Newborn – The first 5 to 10 days is the best time for newborn baby photography. During this time they are less fussy and their skin will be more clear. Baby acne usually sets in around day 16 and lasts for a couple of weeks, so having the session done before this will work in your favor. Newborn sessions often involve naked baby’s laying on soft blankets or in the family’s arms. Whether the baby is awake or asleep, these pictures should not be missed as they are an incredible way to begin documenting a person’s life.
2 to 3 months – This time is still considered newborn, but the babies are often much harder to work with at this age as they tend to be very fussy. They will have better head control than in the first month, and they usually can smile at this point, but do not count on getting a smiling portrait at this age. Most posing will involve the baby laying down on back or stomach, being propped up, and being held in arms.
4 to 5 months – The infant usually is a fairly good smiler at this point, and has gotten quite chubby. Most infants at this age cannot sit up yet, but they are far better at interacting with people and objects, and are much less fussy. This is a great age for capturing chubby legs and bare bottom shots.
6 to 7 months – Now the baby is able to sit up, and the options for posing are more numerous. Also, the baby is able to smile and laugh at this point and usually does not fear strangers. This is a wonderful age to start going outdoors for natural light baby photography. It is also a great time to include family pets and siblings in the session as the baby is able to sit but usually is not able to move around much – yet!
8 to 10 months – Often by this age, the infant is crawling and the sessions get very active! Consider a white background session in studio for a clean, classic look – but be ready to bring toys to distract the baby to stay in the area of light and continually reset the baby to the right spot. for very active babies a better choice for professional photography may be at the home if these is plenty of natural light so that the baby can roam and the photographer can follow.
11 to 14 months – Between these months, most babies are pulling up, “cruising” along furniture, standing and walking. Location sessions are ideal at this age when the baby is very determined to be mobile in their environment. During this time frame a one year portrait should be done to document the amazing development from birth to one. This should be a very playful session which includes family members as well.
OK – so what are the best ages for professional infant photography? As an experienced baby photographer, I would say all of the above are great for documenting the baby’s stages, but you can skip the 2 to 3 month session as they just tend to be so fussy. If you can only do three – make sure to do the newborn session (5 to 10 days), the 6 month session (sitting) and the One Year Portrait. When ordering your prints, make sure to get professional archival prints so that they will last for generations, and the grand children of this baby will have these pictures to treasure. This is the gift of professional photography.