It’s probably one of the questions I get asked the most: when is the best age for a shoot?
Sorry to be unhelpful, but there is no right or wrong.
There is no perfect age, and you’ve never missed the boat.
Every age and every stage is beautiful for different reasons.
It’s really just about working out what your priority is, and what you want to capture.
Here’s what you can expect at each stage – which one appeals most to you??
The Freshie Sesh – this is the tiniest and curliest, they’ll ever be. I visit you in hospital; I flit in and out in the blink of an eye. Documentary-style photography to capture you as you find your feet as a new family.
Sleepy, curly, wrinkly and fresh. This is the phase of newborn life that passes us by in a flash. A blur of night feeds, koala cuddles, and that newborn smell.
Although there is no ‘wrong’ time to capture your bub, generally I find that from 4-8 weeks babies can be more unsettled. As they ‘wake up’ and start to be more aware of the big wide world, they’re harder to soothe and more likely to suffer from acne outbreaks. This isn’t true of all babies, of course. I’ve had 6 week olds that slept like a dream, and 10 day olds who just wouldn’t drift off! But as a rule of thumb, if you’re hoping to capture the sleepy stage, aim for the first 2-3 weeks.
You might not feel ready to get out of the house, get yourselves shoot ready, and capture your bub in the first month. If you need a little longer to settle into newborn life and find your feet, that’s totally ok!
Around 8 weeks, your baby wakes up. Chances are, they will drift off at some point in the session. But we probably won’t be able to get them into as many ‘poses’ as we can with the tiny babies. They’re more alert, chubbier, smiling, and their skin has usually cleared up. Most importantly, you’re probably more relaxed, feeling more comfortable in yourself, and more present.
Out of the fourth trimester, with the first sleep regression behind you, and settled into the rhythm of life. The ‘Sitter Stage’ is often missed, but it’s SUCH a beautiful time to capture your baby. Managing naps can be a little more tricky at this age, but the pay off is a happy, chunky and giggling bubba. They’re starting to sit independently and explore the world around them.
Psssst I love a mini session at this age, as many babies around this time will struggle to stay engaged for a full hour at sunset!
I find the hardest time to capture your baby is when they are crawling. Once they can navigate the world on their own and get around quickly, they tend to be ‘head down bum up’ for a few months. They’re less happy in your arms, and if we put them down they just want to eat everything in sight!!
Gimme, gimme, gimme all the walking babies. As soon as they find their feet, they are just SO happy. Wobbling around, exploring the world, and happy as a clam!
Ultimately, every stage is beautiful. Whenever you feel ready to capture your baby is the right time to do it!