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Family Photographer Cardiff | When To Get Professional Photographs of Your Family

When are the best ages to photograph my children?

Newborn 5-12 Days
This is hands down the sweetest and most fleeting time in a baby’s life. Even two weeks after birth, your baby begins to stop looking and behaving like a newborn. This is still beautiful and worth capturing, but the ideal is earlier, when they are at their smallest and sleepiest.

To capture this beautiful start to life, research the experienced photographers in your area. Safety is so important, and I would not advise you to find an amateur who wants to copy something they saw on Instagram. They may not be experienced enough to understand the complexities of posing a newborn and how to soothe and keep them safe during the session. It is ok to ask a photographer how much experience they have and check out the reviews and galleries of their work to make sure the style they have is right for you. Book this when you are pregnant. Why? These sessions require planning, and at least two dates are reserved in advance for newborn sessions. Photographers want your baby 5-12 days old because of safety and how they look, as older babies tend to develop newborn acne and are used to being out of the womb, so they may be less comfortable in a few womb-like poses than a fresh little newborn loves.

Contact your favourite photographer with your due date, and if you want, you can tell them babies’ gender so you can plan the style of the shoot.

Older baby 3-6 Months
In my opinion, this is probably the hardest time to have professional photographs of a baby. Why? Well, it is simply because it is an in-between stage and often babies are teething. Baby is still not in a lot of control of their body. They cannot sit up, so options for photographs are being held or lying down, which is more limiting. That said, I have photographed many babies at 3 months of age, often because parents missed the newborn’s time. Some images are wonderful, such as tummy time, macro eyelashes, siblings snuggling, and family portraits in the studio or on location at your home for a lifestyle look or outside. So don’t discount it as a time to hire a photographer. If budget is an issue or the baby is 4-5 months old, I recommend waiting a little longer for the little sitter stage.

Little Sitters 6-10 Months
This is a fun milestone and super cute. Your little one is safe to sit in bowls (maybe the same bowl used in the newborn session) and other props, able to grab their feet, suck them, drool, and laugh like drains, and babies find everything you do hilarious. I love to capture wonderful chubby thighs, dimples and emerging first teeth. All of these make this age wonderful. I love this age. For safety, the baby should be able to sit up well without a parent’s help and not be crawling. We can take various images at this stage as they love toys, too.

Just Walking

This is around the first birthday mark, sometimes before or after. This is super fun as they are not fast yet. They waddle like little ducks, and the look of glee from the achievement is amazing. This slowness makes it easier for everyone because 2-year-olds move like bullets. I love photographing these sessions outside; it is ok if they tumble on grass. Also, these sessions are mainly family sessions that include parents and older siblings. It is lovely to play and capture this fun new skill. Daddy throws, mummy hugs and siblings playing together. This makes for a wonderful photo shoot and something worth capturing professionally.

Family Sessions
As your little ones grow and change, sometimes a session feels like you only just had one; time goes fast. I felt like that and realised 5 years had passed since the last time I and my children were photographed together. So, how long do you wait before your next session? I have heard people say I can’t put 1000s of images of my kids on walls in our home, and they are right. Updating photographs doesn’t mean you have to have a big session. You can book mini-sessions once a year, a bit like updating a school photo, only much, much better! Also, remember albums? Well, they are coming back, and for good reason. So many people have lost lovely images due to computer hard drives failing, and printed images are making a big comeback. The USB of images to print at home allows you to print as few or as many as you want in all sizes, so updating images is easy, and you can share them with your family. we all know Grandma loves a new photograph.

Age 7
This is the age of teeth. There, I said it, and it is so true. I love it. Nothing says I am seven better than the shot of no front teeth and the emerging new ones. Little ones look cute, but there is still a babyness to them, and these big permanent teeth are a sign that this won’t last for much longer.
I love those gappy smiles and those big teeth; when they come, they will look huge for a while. So don’t discount this period. It is a milestone worth capturing. Don’t forget we can always have some smiles without teeth as well. So we can focus on other things like mega freckles, eyelashes, and general fun.

Kids this age tend to take direction well and are more likely to pose, and children’s fine art portraiture is possible at this age, especially if you have excitable sons like me.

Age 10
The first of the double-digit!
Momentous, those faces tend to catch up with the big teeth. Despite being older, these are great sessions; they are still primary school children and have super confidence as they are the oldest in their school. It is a lovely time because they will still play and love to show off their interests, which can be incorporated into the photo shoot.

Sweet Teen
As children age, photographing them becomes more difficult and awkward. They are developing an identity so different from what we have for them, which is why parents can be seen as annoying. Sometimes photographs are something they need to feel better about themselves, reminding them of how awesome they are during puberty. Sometimes, they do the opposite, as it can make kids feel they need to be perfect, and we all know what it feels like to want to have better skin or lose a few lbs before we are photographed.

When they are small, the milestones and rapid changes they go through are cute, and everybody wants to see that. Does this mean we stop having photographs taken? Not at all!
My style allows me to photograph teens in a way that does not make them feel photographed. I NEVER ask them to look at me, smile, or pose unless they want to. I prefer capturing them doing things like being on the beach, having fun, playing sports, playing the guitar, etc. I also love capturing the love and connections they have with younger siblings, as this allows them to be silly and act younger.

I like to think of it as documenting them becoming young men and women. It is possible to have beautiful images of your kids as they mature. It is well worth documenting this time. One day, especially when they have kids of their own, they will be grateful to look back on it.

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Specialist newborn baby photography, maternity, family, and child photography on-location in Cardiff, RCT, Miskin, Cowbridge, The Vale, Newborn, Bridgend, Caerphilly, and South Wales areas. EST 2011. Registered in England and Wales - Number 0796762

Lorna Knightingale Photography
The Newborn Studio,

Nr. Llantrisant.
Mobile - 07779 014 342

Lorna specialises in newborn baby photography, maternity, family and child portraits on location in Cardiff, Miskin, Cowbridge, Penarth, Caerphilly, The Vale and South Wales area.
Registered in England & Wales Number 07976762