Baby Milestones to Photograph in the First Year

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Your baby’s first year is filled with once-in-a-lifetime moments. First smiles, first giggles, first steps — those 365 days are filled with so many memories you’ll never want to forget. 
And while I’d argue it’s always a good time to grab your camera and snap photos of your baby, I do recommend four baby milestones to photograph in the first year.

6-month-old baby girl sitting and smiling for professional photo.

Maternity Photos (28–34 weeks pregnant)

True, this stage may be more for the mom than anyone else, but I can’t think of a better reason to capture it. 

The maternity stage is one of the most important milestones to photograph because it’s your opportunity to celebrate your body and the incredible changes it’s going through. Plus, as your baby gets older, they’ll appreciate being able to look back on that special time when they were in mommy’s belly. 

Pregnant mother holding baby bump and looking away from the camera.

Perfect for capturing:

  • How strong and beautiful you are
  • First “family” portrait with everyone and last official photo before the new baby arrives
  • Parents together one final time before baby comes
  • Siblings with their new baby brother/sister in belly

Expert tip: Schedule your maternity photos for between 28–34 weeks. At that point, you’ll have a nice-sized belly but will still be comfortable and mobile during your session.

Young daughter touching pregnant mother’s belly for professional photo.

Newborn Photos (0-4 weeks)

The newborn stage flies by so incredibly fast. Yet all too often, it’s the one we remember the least because we’re so exhausted.

This is one of my favorite baby milestones to photograph because it feels like I’m freezing time. Babies change so quickly, especially during those first few weeks, and this is your opportunity to remember how tiny they were for this fleeting moment.

Close up of sleeping newborn’s fingers and toes in professional photo.

Perfect for capturing:

  • Your newly expanded family
  • Baby’s tiny features like fingers, toes, eyelashes, lips
  • Big brothers and sisters with their new siblings
  • Grandparents with the new grandbaby

Expert tip: This is what I like to call a “rare crystal” moment — one of those once-in-a-lifetime stages you can never get back. To get it right, invest in a photographer who’s experienced in newborn photography.

New mom and dad holding twin newborns and looking at each other.

“Sitter” Photos (6–7 months)

A lot can happen in 6 months, and as your baby continues to grow and change, their personality is really starting to shine through!

I call this the “sitter” stage because your baby is starting to sit on their own. One of the most fun baby milestones to photograph, this is where you get the chance to document all the fun things your baby has already started to do, like smile, laugh, and move around on their own.

Perfect for capturing:

  • Big belly laughs and goofy smiles, first teeth and all 
  • Your little one in action rolling over from back to belly
  • A close-up of baby’s favorite nibbling snack — their teeny tiny toes!
  • The diaper shot showcasing all of your baby’s adorable rolls

Expert tip: Keep it simple! This stage is all about the baby’s personality, so while parents and siblings can certainly be in the photos, this is a good time to focus on your baby.

Baby looking at camera and pursing lips in professional photo with black background.

First Birthday Photos (12 months)

You made it through your baby’s first year, and now it’s time to celebrate!

Your little one now has a distinct personality, so this is the perfect time to get an updated family portrait for the wall. (For many, this becomes the first “official” family portrait since the baby is now alert with eyes open.) This stage caps off a year of baby milestones to photograph, so take advantage — and maybe make it an annual tradition for years to come.

Baby’s first birthday eating birthday cake with frosting on face.

Perfect for capturing:

  • Milestone family portrait
  • Baby’s first birthday cake — yum!
  • Baby standing/walking/first steps
  • Sweet expressions and bonds shared between you and your baby

Expert tip: You’ll want to remember every detail about this special time, so incorporate some of your baby’s favorites in a subtle way. A beloved book, lovie/stuffed animal, or toy will add that extra detail that you’ll never want to forget.

Professional photo capturing baby’s first steps in nature while holding mom and dad’s hands.

Your baby’s first year will be a whirlwind filled with change, growth, and so many milestones to photograph. 

Enjoy every stage, both now and in the future, by capturing these moments while you can. And remember: If you miss one stage, there’s always another one (that’s just as much fun and photo-worthy) right around the corner!

To help make the most of every milestone (and make the process simpler for you), ask about our “Baby’s First Year” package. This annual membership includes three staggered sessions (newborn, 6–7 months, and 1st birthday), and an option to add on a maternity session, so you can schedule your photos now and know you have the first year of photos covered.
Our studio has limited spots for this unique membership offering, so book your spot today. And, as always, feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.

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