The Best Time to Professionally Photograph your Baby’s First Year Milestones

The Best Time to Professionally Photograph your Baby’s First Year Milestones

I get sad thinking about the fact that both of my children have grown into toddlers already. I love the baby stage so much I would almost consider having another baby just to experience it again (don't tell my husband!)  A baby's first year is such an exciting, fast, and exhausting stage of life for parents. There are so many milestones that happen  – they grow and change so fast!  Some of my absolute favorite images of my children are from birth to one year old.

A baby's first year is a great time to invest in the experience of a professional portrait session and the memories of photographs that you can’t replicate yourself. All babies are different and hit milestones at different ages and stages. Generally speaking, the age of the baby can dictate what types of photographs you can achieve.  Adjustments for premature babies or babies on their own schedule can always be made.

Here are my tips for the best time to hire a professional to photograph your baby's first year.

Newborn sessions are best within the first two weeks after birth (5-14 days old). During this time, newborns are super sleepy. If they have a full belly and are tired, they typically don’t mind being moved around without waking. They are more likely to prefer to curl up into the ‘womb-like’ positions they are used to and stay asleep for longer stretches.  It is not only the ideal time to pose your baby in the curly, squishy poses everyone loves, but to also capture natural portraits of stretching, yawning, and sleepy little smiles. This is a time to reflect on the true, untouched expression of your baby as themselves. Professional photographers who are experienced working with newborns know how to capture this special time in an artful and beautiful way.


It is best to contact a photographer while you are pregnant so you have time to plan and prepare before your baby arrives! 


After the newborn stage, the next age for baby portraits is around 3-4 months old. This is when babies have good head control for adorable tummy time images! This is a great stage to photograph because they are still so very ‘baby’ but are laughing and smiling and starting to show their true personality. Babies at this age tire quickly so you can easily capture adorable sleeping baby photos at this age as well.


The 6 month to 9 month range is a fantastic time for milestone portraits. Right when baby is able to sit up unassisted, but they are not yet crawling, is ideal. Babies are so giggly, smiley and easily amused at this age by everything around them.  If your baby is not yet sitting on their own, it’s best to wait another month or two until they are comfortable sitting. They also love exploring and grabbing their feet and hands. This is such a happy stage for baby!


Of course, the First Birthday is a milestone that is so important! You and your baby are celebrating your first year together! At 12 months old, your baby is becoming a toddler. They are doing all sorts of activities at this stage.  It is a fun time to capture them standing on their feet, clapping, walking, laughing, and just being silly with all that is around them. Since a birthday calls for cake, photographing your baby eating their first birthday cake usually results in some hilariously messy and memorable photos!


Danielle Sara Photography specializes in all the stages of baby's first year our beautiful Rockville, Maryland studio! We also offer a baby's first year portrait package so you don't miss a moment.