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5 Development Stages to Photograph in Your Baby’s First Year

The most significant year in a person’s life is one they can’t remember – their first. In just one year a helpless newborn develops into the person they will become. A baby’s brain actually doubles in size in their first year and they triple their weight (something we should only do once in our life!). But the transformation doesn’t happen overnight. Every month a baby is changing. They won’t look the same just weeks after birth. Photographing your child at key stages in their development will help you remember and cherish the transformation. And years later your child will also be able to appreciate those baby pictures because they will be able to see what they can’t remember.

There are five development stages we recommend you have your child photographed at in their first year. Each session will produce drastically different results as your baby matures, and skipping just one stage will leave a gap in the story of their birth. Here are the five stages and the developments you can expect to see in your child and tips for each photo session.


Having your child photographed within days of their birth is something you will cherish for the rest of your life. They will never look the same again. They will never be so small again. This is the beginning of who they will become. Ask your photographer to come to the hospital or your home as soon as you’re released to capture images of their tiny new features before they quickly grow. This is also a great time to include the proud mom and dad in the photos.

3 Months


  1. Smiles when you smile

  2. Can hold their head up when laying on their belly

  3. Able to open and close hands and grip objects

As your baby is still young, now is best to photograph them on their belly, back, on a baby poser or with mom and dad. This session is also a great opportunity to take images of their tiny fingers, toes, mouth and nose – and they won’t look the same as they did on day one. Your child is more likely to get tired during this session, so start with what is most important to you.

6 Months


  1. Laughter

  2. Able to roll over

  3. Able to grab objects

  4. Can sit up with support

Now that your baby is growing stronger, they can sit up with the support of a bench or chair. And since they can hold objects, bring a favorite toy or blanket to include in some photos. Your child’s personality is really starting to show, so now is the perfect time to preserve the countless expressions.

9 Months


  1. Starting to crawl

  2. Can sit up without support

  3. Can clap and play

  4. Beginning to stand

Your child is becoming independent and mobile! This is a great time for an interactive photo session. Choose a favorite game to play or even bring a pet. Nine months is also a great option for the bathtub and bubbles.

12 Months


  1. Able to stand and get around on foot with support

  2. Taking the first steps

This is a time of celebration for your baby’s first year (and first steps!) and for many more to come. What better way to celebrate than with balloons and cake? It might get a little messy, but the images will be adorable. This session will complete the story of the magnificent transformation of your baby’s first year. As you look back on images of your child’s previous sessions, you will be amazed at how much they have grown and developed. Don’t let your baby turn one without capturing each unique development. You will cherish the images from each session.

At IN-FOCUS, we make it easy for you to plan and take your baby’s first year photos. We work around you and your baby’s schedule and help you come up with ideas to make each session special. We also offer a baby’s first year program that includes a session at three, six, nine and 12 months and a 12×12 story frame for just $295. In addition, we offer pre-purchased baby packages to help you save on photographs and products from each session throughout the year.

Contact us to learn more about your baby’s first year portraits.

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