Far too often I have clients contemplating booking the first year package for their little one and then I hear, “I just don’t think we need the six month stage photographed.” My heart sinks as this is one of my favorite stages to photograph in the first year. I believe that the biggest changes come between that newborn and sitter session. Babies go from this crazy sleepy curled up state to sitting, smiling, laughing, and their personalities just melt my heart.
In the past I have focused more on the age of this session as a “six month session”. I’ve changed my wording for this session calling it simply a “sitter” session. To be honest, most of my sitters have been coming to see me closer to seven or eight months of age . Why? The biggest physical milestone at this stage is sitting. Some babies can master this skill early on around 5 months but many do take a bit longer. I stress with my clients that baby needs to be able to sit on his/her own for 10-15 seconds unassisted without toppling over.
Think if you were to stand on a tightrope for the first time….scary right! Would you have a smile on your face, make eye contact with someone in front of you or feel comfortable? Probably not. But as you master that skill and become stronger and more confident in your abilities you get more comfortable and relax. The same goes for these babies. I want them to be confident sitters when they come to see me.
So what do you dress your sitter in for his/her session? Lucky for my clients I have an extensive wardrobe in the studio for my sitters. I recommend my clients bring a few things they love but almost always they will end up using something of mine as well. Think simple, soft and moveable. I want these sweet little things to be able to sit and grab their toes comfortably. Fabrics such as denim are a no no at this stage. Save them for the one year session!
I stick to three basic poses during these sessions.
LAYING DOWN. It is fun to see how different babies are at this stage. Ones that have really mastered the sitting and are coming close to crawling, hate to be on their backs. Like they are just too advanced for that now.
Quiet is sometimes the best solution. Sitters more often than not are taking in every bit of their surroundings. Sights, sounds, new people and things around them. They can get very distracted and over stimulated very quickly. Keeping lower voices and noisy toys out of the picture is often a better choice than lots of entertainment from parents, toys and cell phones.
If you are on the fence about adding a sitter session to your baby’s first year of photos don’t hesitate. This sweet and simple studio session often produces many of my clients favorite photos.
Thank you to sweet little Berkley for being the poster child for this post!