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Here's a peek at the three main stages

photo tips, baby photos, professional baby photos, best age for baby photos

The other day, I was chatting with a new dad and he asked me a great question: If we’re only going to do one professional photo session while our son is still “a baby”, when should we do it? 

If you’re debating the same question, perhaps a look at the three most commonly photographed ages of the first year of life will help.

1. Newborn Stage

Most photographers schedule newborn sessions while baby is fresh out of the oven. (Although this isn’t a requirement.) Why the rush? After day 10, baby stretches out, wakes up, and becomes increasingly aware of his surroundings (ah hem, and the scary lady with the big camera!). It’s also the time when baby acne begins to appear. So if you dream of precious shots of your sweet one sleeping and all curled up in a basket, the earlier the better.

But stuff happens. Unexpected c-sections and other complications can make it impossible to photograph baby during the first two weeks of his life. If this happens, don’t worry, “older” newborn sessions are just as great.

Photographers typically charge extra for newborn sessions because they usually take extra time. Baby is in charge and needs feedings, changings, and snuggles. But the patience always pays off in the end.

2. Two-Three Month Stage

One of the things I love the most about this particular stage is that baby is now totally and completely in love with Mom and Dad. She LOOOOVES to snuggle with you and that makes for beautiful pictures. Older siblings are also now a bit more adjusted to having baby around, which can help for sibling shots. Depending on how strong her neck is, she may even be able hold her head up for some adorable tummy shots. Sometimes little ones become camera-shy at this stage of the game because they are very much aware of the photographer’s presence. So get ready to bring your silliest faces and noisiest toys as you may have to work for some big smiles. 

3. Six to Eight Month Stage 

He’s getting biiiiiigger! (Oh how I LOVE to photograph baby rolls!) And boy oh boy does he love to smile for the camera. At this point, baby is sitting up and looooooves to show off. It’s a really fun stage to photograph because we can easily capture LOTS of personality … but baby can’t run away just yet. Maybe he’s trying to crawl … but he’s not quick yet! So it’s a great time to plop him down in his room or in the garden or any safe area and capture amazing pictures. And by now, he really thinks you’re a pretty funny person, which means it’s easy to get big smiles.

The bottom line is that no matter what stage you choose, you can’t go wrong. But hopefully a peek at the images above can help you decide which stage is best for your baby’s professional photo shoot.


Kate Callahan is an on-location photographer who LOVES to capture authentic memories for families. She’s available for weddings, senior photos, child photo sessions, and family photography.  Kate works with clients throughout the Hudson Valley, NYC,  Delaware (and the tri-state area), and beyond. Visit her photography blog.

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