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 your baby is born they begin to stop looking and behaving like a newborn.
If you want to capture this beautiful start to life, research the photographers that are experienced in your area. Safety is so important and I personally would not advise that you find an amateur that wants to copy something they saw on Instagram as 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, 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 that 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
This is probably the hardest time in my opinion 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 so it is more limiting. That said I have photographed many babies at 3 months of age often because parents missed the newborn time. Some of the images have been simply wonderful, 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 baby is 4-5 months old then I would personally 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, laugh like drains and babies find everything you do hilarious. I love to capture wonderful chubby thighs, dimples and emerging first teeth all make this age wonderful. I just love this age. For safety, the baby should be able to sit up well without a parents help and also not be crawling. We can take a lot of variety of images at this stage as they love toys too.
This is somewhere around the first birthday mark, sometimes before or just 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 this outside, if they tumble on grass it is ok. 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 again something really worth capturing professionally
As your little ones grow and change there will be times that a session feels like you only just had one. I felt like that and realised 5 years had gone by 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 totally 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 image s to print at home allow you to print as few or as many as you want in all the sizes, so updating images is easy and you can share them with your family and we all know grandma loves a new photograph.
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, 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, 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 and eyelashes and general fun.
Kids this age tend to take direction well, they are more likely to pose and it is at this age that children’s fine art portraiture is possible, especially if have excitable sons like me.
The first of the double digit!
Momentous and those faces tend to have caught up with the big teeth. These are great sessions as despite being older they are still primary school children and have super confidence as that are the oldest in their school. Such a lovely time because they will still play and love to show off their interests which can be incorporated in the photo shoot.
As children get older it becomes more difficult and awkward to photograph them. They are developing an identity so different from what we have for them, which is why parents can be seen as so annoying. Sometimes photographs are something they need to feel better about themselves reminding them of how awesome they are when going through puberty, and sometimes they do the opposite as it can make kids feel they need to be perfect and we all know what if 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 personal 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, being on the beach having fun, sport, 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.