Friday, 14 January 2011

The best age to photograph your baby.

I’m often asked what is the best age to photograph a baby. It’s a very good question. Now that I have 2 children and experience in child photography the answer is very obvious to me, but I realize that it’s not that obvious for others.

It's a little bit like baby clothes sizes. Newborn, 0-3, 6-9, 9-12, 12-18, 18-24 and then sizes become 2, 3,4, 5, 6, etc. Notice how often you have to buy new sizes for your baby in his or her first year? It's because during the first year they grow very fast, they double and sometimes tripple their birthweight and then they slow down. Because as parents we see them every day, we don't notice how they change. Lucy is turning 3 next month and I wouldn't even remember her being a baby if it wasn't for the photographs. I don’t notice how fast my kids change because I see them every day. Funny enough, though, I notice how fast my baby grows because her clothes get too small and I need to to to the next size.

There are a few big milestones in the first year to be aware of when you are planning your sessions (Please remember all babies are different and unique, so they will develop differently, but most seem to fit in):

Newborn: sleepy shots to show off littleness, softness and newness of your baby. Excess skin, swollen face, perfect little fingers with the tiniest fingernails - love newborn babies so much! I would  recommend to have a newborn session at around 5-14 days after birth. The session takes a long time – 3-4 hours to accommodate baby’s needs like feeding and changing nappies and make sure the baby is asleep. That stage of your baby’s life will definitely feel like a blur to you – with the lack of sleep and the rollercoaster of emotions of having your first baby or an addition to your family.
Here is a photo of my Klara at 14 days:
After about 2-3 weeks the baby sleeps less and less, wakes up easily and doesn’t want to miss a thing. So I would suggest to wait until 3-4 months – your baby smiles and maybe laughs now, is interacting with you and others, has a lot of funny expressions. Can also hold her or his head up during “tummy time”- which might seem like a small thing but it’s a big variation from just laying on their back all the time. Should I also mention the lovely baby chub they have? And those toothless smiles that you start to miss and appreciate only after they are not so toothless anymore?
Here is my Klara at 4 months:

6-7 months – such a lovely age! Your baby can most likely sit up – a big difference! And probably doesn’t crawl yet and can’t run away from me, yet! Your baby smiles, laughs, interacts even more and gives all sorts of expressions.
Baby M at 6 months:

9 months – is crawling and will give me a run for my money. Might be able to stand if hold on to something. Plus all of the 6-7 months part. And a lot more personality coming through. Oh, and looks very different, again.

Around 12 months – your baby is doing amazing things – trying to walk and stand up anaided or already walks. This is a big milestone not just for the baby but for the whole family and a big reason to celebrate! They are a lot of fun, show their personality very well. Also, once they can walk, it’s very easy to photograph them outside. Although nothing stops you from having a baby on a blanket or being held before it can walk.
Here is baby M again, at 1 year:
I hope you found this useful and will make another post about 1-2-3 years very soon!
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Anonymous said...

Awesome photos and pointers!

Sophie said...

Very helpful, thank you!

© Tamara Tovey Photography