One of the questions I am most frequently asked as a family photographer is ‘when should I have my baby photographed?’. This question is a bit like ‘how long is a piece of string?’, but there are a few things to bear in mind to get the very best pictures of your little one in their first year.
Babies change so quickly that the type and variety of images you will end up with vary hugely within quite short time spans. This makes pre-planning essential, particularly if you want to capture those early first moments when your baby is tiny and new.
Newborn babies are best photographed within the first fortnight, ideally within the first week when they are still teeny tiny and sleeping most of the time, which looks incredibly cute in pictures. This is the time to capture the excitement and wonder of your new family in your home environment where you can record all the little details of this magical time.
After the newborn pictures, the next good opportunity for photographs is when your baby is around three to four months old. I advise against having your baby photographed between 3-4 weeks and 3-4 months as this developmental phase doesn’t work very well for baby portraits. Your little one will still be incredibly cute but past the tiny stage and not yet smiling or holding their head up. Pictures can be limited to holding your baby or laying them on their back, which lessens the photographic opportunities.
By three to four months it’s another great time for family photography. Many families will have their baby photographed multiple times in this first year to record all the milestones – at newborn, three months, six months and a year which produces an incredible document of these early days which you can be sure you will treasure for years to come and that your child will love to look back on when they have grown.
At three to four months your baby will be laughing and smiling and holding their head up when lying on their tummy. This is a delightful time as they are still so tiny and small but so full of personality. Photo shoots with 3-4 month old babies are so full of laughter as the little ones are beginning to really interact with the world.
Once we get to six to nine months we are at one of the best stages to photograph babies. By this time the little ones are usually well established on a routine which means it’s easy to ensure they will be well rested, fed and happy for their pictures.
And then the year has flown by and as your baby’s first birthday approaches many people love to have a photo shoot to record this time. By their first birthday many babies are crawling, and some pulling themselves up to stand. It’s a time of inquisitiveness and interest in the wider world and we often include favourite toys, books and places in our pictures. Images that will reflect the year you have had and bring a smile to your face as you remember all the days in the park, the evenings reading stories and wondering, always, who it was that chose to give your little one a drum!
All these stages are wonderful to photograph and all will result in different types of picture. As quality photography is an investment it’s worth researching before your baby is born to choose the right photographer for you, one whose style you love and who you feel will portray your family in the way that is right for you. You might love the idea of teeny tiny newborn photographs and so need to plan ahead and book that before the birth, or your might prefer the idea of your baby sitting up, laughing and playing peek-a-boo and so around six to nine months might be the perfect window. Photographers will always be happy to advise and will have images on their website and blogs that will help you choose the right session for you.
I hope that this article has been helpful, if you have enjoyed the images you have seen and would be interested in booking me for your own baby photography session then please visit my website for more information, London baby and family photography at www.helenbartlett.co.uk or drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org , or give me a call 0345 603 1373, I’d love to hear from you.