New mum’s are constantly bombarded with advice about how quickly time flies by and to treasure every moment with their new addition to their family. The reality is however quite different and most parents are just too busy and overwhelmed by the new joy in their lives to capture the precious moments.
They may have all the intentions of having a professional photographer immortalise those first few days of life and as baby reaches new milestones on their way through toddlerhood into early childhood. But before they know it, the first few weeks have passed and they have already missed out on the opportunity.
Scheduling a professional photography session before baby has even made an appearance is a good way to ensure that you never miss a moment. Simply make appointments for dates when baby is most likely to pass a new milestone and set a reminder for the important day.
Of course, you need to know just the right time and age is best to schedule each appointment. So check out my advice on when is the best time to take your newborn, infant, toddler and young child for a photo shoot:
- Maternity Shoot (34-37 weeks)
- Welcoming Your Newborn (1-4 weeks)
- Tiny Baby (3-4 months)
- Baby (6+ months)
- Toddler (1-3 years)
- Child (4+ years)
Maternity Shoot (34-37 weeks)
The Mona Lisa is often described as looking as if she is hiding a secret. Look at any pregnant women and you will see the same secretive look in her eyes. Pregnancy is an incredibly special time for mum (and her partner) when she can feel new life growing inside her.
While mum may not feel that great in the last month of pregnancy, this is the best time to capture that rounded belly and how she felt during her pregnancy. I recommend taking some solo shots of mum, some with her partner and a few with siblings (if any). Both indoor and outdoor shoots are ideal settings. Do take a look at my blog to have a look through recent maternity shoots.
Welcoming Your Newborn (1-4 weeks)
Newborns grow and change in appearance extremely rapidly in the first four weeks. You probably won’t even notice these changes taking place because you are constantly staring at the miracle of creation. But no matter how long or hard you stare, you simply aren’t going to remember every little detail of those tiny little hands, feet, facial features and body. Blame it on sleep deprivation but the best way to recall exactly what that time felt like is by capturing the moments for eternity.
The best time to capture just how tiny a newborn is, is in the first two weeks. During this period, your baby will be sleeping most of the time, easy to calm and not all that fussy. It is an ideal time for the first photo shoot.
From 2-4 weeks, the tiny little being will start to look slightly more alert and you are more likely to capture sweet or funny little facial expressions like a yawn or burp. Baby is still calm and quiet at this stage meaning that it should still be an easy photo session.
However, if your newborn is having an off day and is being fussy, don’t hesitate to reschedule your appointment!
Tiny Baby (3-4 months)
If you missed the ideal time for a newborn shoot, I recommend you wait a couple of months before taking baby for their first shoot. The best time to capture a young baby is between the ages of 3 and 4 months. They have developed beyond the tiny baby phase and filled out. They are also smiling and have a few more expressions at this age.
Home shoots are generally recommended at this age but if it’s warm outside we can grab a blanket and set those tiny toes free.
Baby (6+ months)
Your 6 month old is a photographer’s dream. Baby is smiling, laughing and making all sorts of funny faces as he or she begins to explore the world. They are also sitting up and crawling around which makes for many more fun shots. Those chubby cheeks and the additional hair growth are just adorable. First teeth may also have started making an appearance. There’s nothing quite as cute as a baby smiling with those two perfectly white little teeth popping out.
Capturing all the developmental milestones since the newborn photo’s were taken is the aim including messy hands and faces testing out different types of food. Cuddles and shared looks between mum (dad) and baby are also great at this age. I love outdoor shoots at this age now that baby is more mobile.
Toddler (1-3 years)
That first birthday marks some significant developmental changes for most babies. They are probably starting to take their first steps around this time (even if it is with some assistance). Toddlers are full of fun and incredibly active (as most tired mum’s will testify) which results in photo shoots that are filled with laughter and joy.
Favourite toys and storybooks are great for bringing out special moments between mum (dad) and child. Playing or reading together highlights the strong family bond. Outdoor activities, especially with animals or pets, are ideal for the more active toddler.
Remember to schedule a time of day for the shoot when your toddler is active and not tired or grumpy after just waking up. An overtired, overexcited or grumpy toddler can make a photo shoot challenging. Also, keep in mind that toddlers reach milestones at different ages. So if you want to capture those tentative steps as they are learning to walk, you may need to reschedule an existing appointment or keep your diary open.
Child (4+ years)
Your toddler officially becomes a child on their fourth birthday. They are walking, talking and their personalities are really beginning to shine through. From the boisterous two-year old who is always getting in trouble to the shy and timid 4 year-old, these are moments that you may also want to look back on as your children get older. After-all, just because they have entered childhood does not mean that they are no longer your little baby.
This age opens a world of possibilities when it comes to locations. However, choose a location that is special to your child or that they particularly enjoy. Photo’s with a favorite pet, dressed in their sport kit or enjoying a favorite hobby or activity all create memories of who they are in that moment. These are memories that both you and your child can look back on with love, fondness and laughter.
Capturing the memories of what your children were like at different stages from infancy, though toddlerhood and into childhood is important. But it is just as important to capture them as part of the family unit. Shots with mum, dad and siblings are all critical to defining the family and the bond that they share. And don’t forget the important role that the family pet may play in creating memorable moments to be captured for eternity.
Just give me a call today to schedule future professional photography sessions from pregnancy right through to childhood for your baby.
If you’ve enjoyed everything you’ve seen here (and I do hope you have!) then don’t be timid, drop me a line and book in your family photo shoot with me now. Right this second. No time like the present.