Updated: Mar 14, 2022
Many parents have asked me when is a good time to photograph babies. Babies are always doing something different, they learn something new everyday and as parents if we want to document these, then yes, have a camera in your hand at all times because everyday is a good time to photograph them.
Nevertheless, if you are planning a professional photoshoot session, then I would suggest the following time periods to get the best portraits of your growing baby.
The best time to create those cute posed portraits of your just born babies would be between 5 and 15 days after birth.
Why 5 - 15 days - because it takes about a week for the baby and the mother to come back home and settle into a routine, post which we can gauge their sleep-awake pattern and schedule the photoshoot session accordingly.
The first two weeks the baby still likes to be curled up and remain in the womb position, they like to be kept warm and their bones are still very flexible. So, it becomes easy to wrap them up and pose them in different ways, of course keeping safety as the first priority. (Hence please get these done with only a certified professional newborn photographer and not try these at home on your own).
Beyond 15 days, the baby slowly starts to stretch out and will not be very comfortable if you try to wrap them up tightly and pose them. To avoid this stress for the baby, as a newborn photographer, I recommend booking your sessions well in advance, preferably when you enter your third trimester to not miss out on this opportunity.
If you have missed out on the just born period for a photoshoot session, don't worry, there are many more opportunities for you.
If you are not in a hurry, I would suggest you wait for another 3-4 months to book a session because till then, there isn't much of a variety you might get in the sessions. The baby is awake for more time now and stretching out, hence they will not be comfortable being wrapped and not much of an opportunity to do too much of posing. So, it will mostly be top shots with back poses (baby lying on its back).
The Rolling Over phase
At around 4-5 months, the baby starts to roll over onto their tummy and lift their heads. This tummy time phase is a great time to capture those cute expressions of their well attained success while still trying to keep their head balanced high and long enough on their shoulders. After all, its their first milestone and definitely a keep sake!
At around their half birthday, they start to show signs of sitting but of-course with support. At the stage we can have the baby placed in a prop such as a deep basket, bucket or anything else that gives them a strong upper back support.
Then they slowly get into the position of the tripod sitting where they place their hands between the legs to give them support to sit. Its a start to sitting on their own!
...as we call it, is when the baby is comfortable sitting by themselves without any support. There is a new energy within them and the feel of independence as they have progressed from lying down to sitting up on their own. This usually happens around 8 months, could be earlier or later depending on the baby.
Its a right time to do photo sessions with theme based set ups, as they will sit in one place and not move around too much too. These sessions are my personal favourites.
The Crawling Phase
Not too long after they start to sit on their own, they start to crawl. Yes, now they have caught the bug of growing up faster. Since they have started looking at the world around them with a different perspective, they are now ready to move around and get hold of things around them. Curiosity is building up and giving us more opportunities to document their movements. Some babies start crawling by around 9 months and some may even take a lil longer.
Photo-sessions at this stage needs to be kept simple than too much of a prop set up. Babies will be more comfortable with space to move around, than being confined to a spot.
As they approach their first birthday, (10 - 12 months) babies develop a sensory curiosity and love to explore various textures. Its the right time to do Cake Smash as a Pre-birthday Celebration!
Standing on their own
Most babies achieve this milestone just before their first birthday. This is a major milestone considering their first step into toddlerhood. Already?? Yes! they grow up pretty fast isn’t it? Just a few months ago they were so tiny and fitting into your two palms and now they are already standing on their own ready to take over the world! Definitely a not-to-miss phase to capture their confidence.