Milestone sessions are reserved for babies 3 months to 1 year old. They are only this little once, capture all of those special moments while you can!
Tummy Time 3-4 Months
You’ve had a newborn session, now what? Your baby is changing by the day! At 3 months, your baby is now smiling! Yep, they know who you are! Babies at this age will smile and interact a lot. This is something that they did not do as a newborn. Some babies with also be able to have some tummy time. When positioned on a pillow or my favorite photography prop, the Boppy, a 3-4 month old will be able to place their head up and perhaps peak a smile just long enough for that quick capture! If you are finding that your baby is within this age group and is not yet ready for belly time, which is perfectly fine, wait, YES WAIT, until these shots are possible!
Sitters 6-7 Months
About this age, there is another milestone, your baby will be grabbing for toys, laughing, and even sitting up! This is a great age and one of my favorite to photograph. Again, if your baby is not yet sitting up, wait a few weeks until that is possible. Please know that sitting up with a parents help and balancing does count! Make sure it is safe and an assistant or parent is near by to catch the lean! Little ones may also enjoy some added clothing for this age. I don’t think babies need a lot of props to enhance photos or clothing for that matter, but as they get older adding them can be fun and their personalities shine so much that your little one for sure be the center of attention in any photo!
Standers 9-10 Months
9 months, not too much has changed. Maybe crawling, sitting much better and if you want that captured great. If you want to wait, I tell my clients to wait until something is different. As much as your baby has changed since they were born, the older they are getting the more subtle the changes are. I don’t want to disappoint my clients with photos from 2 different sessions that their baby looks the same, and does the same things.
Smashers 12-13 Months
Crawling, standing with help or even walking. Teeth! It’s all here by now. This is a milestone for sure! Never fear if your baby is not walking yet you will want to get their portraits done at 1 year! Some of my clients will wait just a couple weeks after their birthday because they know for sure they may be walking. Again, it is up to you. Celebrating your baby’s first year is for both of you! You have been with your little one now for 1 year and can’t imagine life any different. It is time to capture another fantastic moment if their/your life!
Children Session Tips
Your Child Portrait Session will last one hour and includes any additional Family Members. I suggest bringing 1-4 outfit changes, any specialty items you may have, a drink and snack if needed, hair bows, hats, sunglasses, necklaces, headbands, etc.
Preparing your child for their portrait session is the first step in creating a portrait you will treasure forever. Here are a few simple steps you can take at home to help me help you when you bring your child to the studio.
Relax .... sounds too simple to work but when a parent is nervous or apprehensive, children (especially under the age of 4) tend to get nervous and apprehensive right along with them. So take a deep breath.
Two Big No-No's to avoid ..... #1...never, ever coach or tell your child to smile...either here or at home. Children are born knowing how to smile naturally and then we as parents teach them to do a different way. If we don't tell them to smile, they'll smile naturally as a reaction to what's going on. After all, expression is our responsibility, so don't put any extra pressure on yourself or your child. #2...don't tell them they're coming to have their picture taken. Most children leave here never even knowing they had their portrait made...and the ones that do know don't care because they just came to play and that's what they did. If you have to tell them something just tell them you're going to do something fun.
What to wear .... I've found one thing to be true...they tend not to be real formal people. This is not to say a new Easter outfit wouldn't be good or that it has to be in jeans, but keep it comfortable. Here are a few little tips that can help you select an outfit that will both photograph well and have a happy child in it:
· Keep it simple. The more complex the outfit the more likely it is that part of it will be out of place during the session. Children are not miniature adults...they tend to move a lot more.
· Make your child the star of the show. In other words, select an outfit that doesn't compete with your child for attention when you look at the image. Strong primary colors are great on traffic lights because they grab your attention but they're not good on children because you have trouble looking at the child. The same is true of high contrast outfits (e.g. light top with dark pants or vise versa) such as black and white together. As a rule of thumb, put light colors together and put dark colors together...mid-tones can go alone or with either light or dark.
· Patterns are fine if they are very subdued...a strong pattern competes with your child for attention. Clothing is replaceable...children are one of a kind.
· Shoes are optional...don't spend a great deal of time searching for the perfect shoes. In most cases I prefer bare feet and so do the children. Simply put, I'd much rather see cute little toes than the bottom of a shoe.
· Hats...are great but to avoid crushing their hair or making them mad, bring it and I will add it toward the end.
Totally confused yet? Don't be...these are not carved in stone rules...they're just suggestions. If you're not sure, just bring 3 or 4 things and we'll help you pick the ones that will photograph best.
What to expect .... When most people arrive at the studio, they need a moment to get settled in. That's why we plan on taking the first 10-15 min. to let you get comfortable and let your child get comfortable with me. This is play time but it's important because it lets your child get comfortable with me and it lets us see what kind of things your little one reacts to. During this time, the best thing to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the show...the silliness is about to begin. Remember, it's okay to arrive a few minutes early but avoid coming too early because in most cases there's a session scheduled before you and we don't want to use up your child's patience just waiting.
Bribes .... I'm not above a little bribery as a last resort but we caution parents not to start with a bribe. In other words don't promise a special treat or trip if they're "good' while they're here. A properly placed bribe is a thing of beauty and can be highly effective if done at the right time. As a general rule...let us bring up the bribes and you can save yours as a last resort...it's rarely needed but nice to know it's there just in case.