Ages Vs Stages – When to bring your child in for a portrait session
“Be present for the milestones and the mundane. Baby’s first laugh and first steps, but also the sleepless nights and endless snuggles. You’ll miss it all one day.” -Brenda Kosciuk
The First Year
I don’t think anything prepares you for how quickly a child changes in their first year. That’s the whole reason why I created my Grow with Me Programme so you could capture your child’s first-year portraits as a newborn and then at roughly 4 months, 8 months, and finally, celebrate their 1st year with a cake smash and splash.
But of course, you might want to get your child’s portrait done once and when is the best time for that?
Technically your baby is a newborn right up to around 2 months. So why then do most photographers only take newborn portraits up to 2/3 weeks old?
Well, there is no doubt that at a couple of weeks old your baby will be more likely to sleep through the session to allow us photographers to pose them like the picture above safely. They are also more curly and bendier to help create those gorgeous cocoon-like images we all love.
My sweet spot for newborns is 10/14 days old. However, to get a session booked when your baby is still that new means you really need to book before your third trimester. Not everybody thinks that far ahead, right? Sometimes life gets in the way and sometimes you don’t think about a baby portrait until they are in your arms.
This little beauty was a month old and her parents were delighted with their gallery of images.
This handsome guy was 7 weeks old when he came in for his newborn shoot and whilst wide awake he was still delighted to be swaddled up.
So, whilst we might not get all the poses you see on my website, I am happy to create gorgeous portraits of your new baby up to 2 months of age.
Roughly 4 Months
I say roughly because as the title of this blog suggests I like to go by stages, not ages as every child is different.
For these portraits, I am looking for your baby to be able to lift their own head during tummy time.
It is also cool if they have started to be fascinated by their own feet!
At this stage, your child also recognises their parents really well so I will get you to help elicit those gorgeous smiles and expressions.
They are also very much on a schedule at this stage so don’t book your session when they would normally be napping or feeding as they will let us know they are not happy about their schedule being changed – usually by screaming the place down!
Roughly 8 Months
Again this is a rough guide as we are all about the stage and at this stage, I am looking for your child to be able to sit up unaided.
This is probably my favourite stage because they are gloriously chubby and bubbly.
A Whole Year Old
Congratulations! You’ve made the first year. Their one-year portrait doesn’t have to be on or around your child’s birthday. Ideally, it will be when they can stand up (even if they need support).
They are constantly on the move at this stage. This means the session can be a real team effort between your photographer and the parents.
Sometimes at this stage, your child may be a little clingy to one of their parents. It’s normal and we just work through it until they feel comfortable getting in front of the camera. Cake and bubbles usually help!
What Do You Think?
Does stages rather than ages help you work out when the best time to bring your little on in for some portraits that you will treasure forever?