I'm often asked what the best age is for photographing babies and children. There is no right or wrong answer to this question - your child is your child and you will treasure the memories at any age. However, you will get different kinds of images as they grow, so it depends what you're looking for from your photographs and depends on your baby or child's development and what they are able to do at that stage.
Up to 4 weeks (newborn)
If gorgeous squidgy sleepy photos of your tiny brand new baby are what you'd like then a newborn shoot is the one for you. I consider any baby up to about 4 weeks a newborn (after this they become more awake and start to stretch out their arms, but are not yet smily or strong enough to hold up their heads, making photos between 1 and 4 months a little awkward - though not impossible!).
My style is natural without using complex props or poses for newborns - capturing memories of your tiny baby as they are at this age. I'll take a combination of sleeping and awake photos, as well as some with you as new parents, and some macro shots of tiny hands, feet, lips and lashes. I allow plenty of time for newborn sessions to allow for feeds and changes, it is a very relaxed session.
It's best to book in your newborn shoot before your baby is born and we can flex dates if they arrive very late or early. You may also wish to consider a maternity shoot to remember your beautiful bump!
4-6 months (not yet sitting)
Unless you urgently require photos, if you miss having a photoshoot in the first 4-5 weeks, I generally recommend waiting until your baby is four months old.
By 4 months, your baby will be more awake and much smilier, with their personality starting to shine through. Your little one will also be getting sturdier and able to support their head, giving variety in posing as they can be photographed on their backs, fronts and sitting up supported by parents.
Despite these developments, they are still very much babies, giving you lovely reminders of how little they were. They're also still likely to be sleeping quite frequently, so you have the option to have a mix of sleeping and awake images.
At this age, it's still possible to get lots of lovely macro images of all of the cute details - tiny toes and fingers, long lashes and little pouting lips.
6-12 months (sitting and crawling)
This is one of my favourite ages for photographing babies - they are much more alert, smiles are almost guaranteed, and you'll get some lovely images of them sitting up by themselves and crawling (or trying to!).
They're also much more aware of what is going on, interacting much more with me as a photographer and 'posing' for the camera.
It's also your last chance to capture the memories of them as babies before they become toddlers!
At 12 months, you may wish to book a birthday photoshoot - this can be a cake smash, gift opening or other celebratory images.
1-2 years (toddlers)
For this age group, I recommend outdoor photoshoots. They've found their feet, they're on the move, and they don't want to stop! It's lots of fun to photograph as they run around outside and explore the world around them. Time to capture the moment your baby turns into a toddler.
If you'd prefer a studio photoshoot, then this is still possible with just a little patience required on the part of you as mum or dad, as you will find you have to chase your little one around back to the spot where I need them!
Again, smiles are easy with this age, I have lots of tricks ready to raise a giggle.
It's another milestone worth capturing, as that toddling phase where the world is full of wonder doesn't last long, before your toddler has developed into a little boy or girl.
2, 3, 4 and more!
By the age of 2, your little one will have well and truly developed into their personality. They are confident walking and starting with the talking. At this age, your child's language skills have developed so that even if they aren't yet fully talking, they understand what is being said to them and can follow directions.
This opens a whole new world of possibilities for your family or childhood photoshoot, as I work with them to get beautiful photographs (rather than just following them as they run around). I'm still very natural in my approach and ensure your photoshoot is full of fun and relaxed play.
At this age, their development is not as rapid as it has been up until now, but there are still lots of changes year-on-year: inches grown, experiences had, skills learnt. Don't forget to capture those memories, otherwise in a blink of an eye your child will have become a teenager!
There really is no best age for baby and child photographs, just different results and different memories to be captured. Please take a look through my galleries to see what kind of images you'd like. Think about what you'd like to put on your walls or look back at in an album. I love talking to new clients, so please do get in touch to discuss your photoshoot requirements and chat about the best age for your child and your family!