January 16, 2022
Guest blog by Sarah Hart Photography
Babies are just plain adorable and even more so when they’re your own. If you’re like most parents, your first instinct is to document all of your baby’s stages and record their little lives for future reference. And I say “Do it!” - these images are amazing to look back on in years to come. There are times though when your mobile phone may not do their gorgeous faces justice and at some stage during your baby's first year of life, it's well worth hiring a professional for some beautiful portraits. An added benefit is that you will also get the opportunity to be in some images with your baby too!
Babies change dramatically in their first year! One of the most frequent questions I discuss with my clients at Sarah Hart Photography, is the best ages to photograph their growing baby. Sometimes clients have missed out on the newborn stage which is quite short-lived in the photography world! Here's what I consider the key stages and some of the characteristics of the portraits that are generally captured at these ages:
Whenever possible, I can’t recommend enough, capturing your baby when they are a tiny newborn (under 2 weeks of age is preferred.) As a parent, I can attest to the fact that this is the one age where you literally blink and your newborn has changed hugely in the first month of their life. Newborn images in this stage will show off those characteristically newborn features such as their curly disposition, flaky toes, long nails and sleepy nature!
If you choose me to photograph you newborn, I will invite you to my studio located in Tonbridge, Kent. I have all the blankets, wraps, hats, hairbands and props to photograph your newborn baby in gentle poses at my cosy studio. And my first aim is to ensure you have a wonderful experience – newborn sessions are usually one of your first days out as a family! The sessions are baby led and nothing is rushed. I also photograph parents with their brand new bundles of joy. You'll be amazed when looking back at these images, at just how small your baby was to fit so snugly in your arms.
After the two week old window of opportunity to photograph a newborn, your baby will become more alert and awake. They also become less curly and so it's much harder to achieve the sleepy, posed newborn images you see on my website. It isn't impossible to achieve newborn style images with slightly older babies (indeed, I've successfully posed newborns up to 6 weeks old) but we are less likely to achieve all the poses. And it's certainly more likely that you baby will be alert and awake for more natural shots. If you'd love your newborn photographed under 2 weeks old, it's important to plan ahead whilst you are expecting and book early.
These photos are incredibly special – each time you look at them you will remember just how tiny your baby was so soon after being born.
You can view more of my work on my website for additional newborn images.
This stage is lovely – your baby is starting to be more interactive and learning to smile and sometimes even giggle! The images captured at this age start to show off that smile and their growing attachment to Mummy & Daddy. They are discovering their own selves as well – jamming fingers (and whole fists!) into their mouths, grabbing for their feet and often trying desperately to sit upright! Babies in this age range photograph well lying on their backs and can tolerate a brief amount of tummy time but are best photographed in mum and dad’s arms.
If clients miss the newborn stage of photography, but still want photos of their babies as young as possible, I do always recommend waiting until their babies are 3-4 months old – they will be stronger at holding their head up for longer and tolerate small amounts of time on their tummy to add variety to the gallery. Babies in this age range photograph well lying on their backs and as well as brief amounts of tummy time but are best photographed in mum and dad’s arms.
This is my favourite age to photograph! Babies are at their most smiley at this stage. They can often sit up unaided for short periods of time and they have tons of character. The smiles and laughs are abundant, and their clothes fit them better which makes the 7-9 month age a must have photo milestone to capture! If your baby has older siblings who are still toddlers themselves, the sitting up age is a perfect time to capture that sibling relationship as the baby doesn’t have to rely on their older brother/sister to support them.
Obviously this is a big milestone to capture! The change between your newborn and your 1 year old baby is a dramatic one – which is often why clients who've had a newborn session with me, often return for updated portraits at 1 year old. I offer cake smash style sessions – these are usually a really fun way to celebrate your baby's special milestone and are designed around a colour scheme or theme of your choice. Or, if a cake smash session isn't your cup of tea, you can opt for a simple 1 year portrait session – you can bring along a few beautiful outfits for them to change into. Both cake smash sessions and 1 year portrait sessions are the perfect opportunity to gain a few updated images of you all as a family too!
You can view more cake smash session images over on my website.
If you are expecting a baby this coming year and would like more information about my photography sessions, do get in touch (E: email@example.com M: 07722087458) as I'd love to help document your baby's first year!
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NCT classes cover a broad range of topics and can give a good overview of the things you’re going to face as a new parent – whether that’s the stages of labour, your options for feeding your baby or how to change a nappy.
If you are wanting to prepare for birth and parenthood in more detail, here are some brilliant further options!
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