There is never a time in a child’s life when more changes than in the first six months.
They go from being floppy little bundles of love to little people, who smile, drool, and can captivate a room.
It seems like for the first 6 months every time that sweet little baby wakes up, they have learned a new trick to entertain and delight.
Each month will have a myriad of achievements to consider, but here are some of my favorite images to capture at each of those milestones.
The “squishy baby face”: You know what I am talking about here – the crazy faces babies make when they are new to this world. It’s like they want to cry, laugh and yawn all at once.
A squishy face can be anything from a huge yawn, a cross-eyed stare, or their own uncontrollable hands smooshing their cheeks together. This is a quintessential newborn photo and it will make you smile for years to come. And it certainly shows more personality than a peacefully sleeping image.
I find the best way to do this is to lay baby awake on a neutral blanket (you are going to want all attention on that face so no patterns to distract) and take the image from right above their face, centering baby right in the middle. Then all you have to do is wait. Your sweet little one will put on a hilarious show all their own!
Their focused gaze: Around this time babies learn to control their eyes and look at the world around them. Those eyes are big, alert and beautiful so it’s time to really capture them!
I find this shot works best if you are between baby and a light source like a window so that you have a lot of contrast. Babies love contrast at this age and it will allow them to lock their eyes on you.
This has the added benefit of giving them gorgeous catchlights in their eyes. I like to angle my camera with one corner up a tad so that baby’s face is in the upper right-hand corner to get the visually pleasing rule of thirds composition.
Their details: Baby is working on their grip and learning to control those sweet hands and feet. If you put something in baby’s hands and watch to see what they do with it, you are sure to get some sweet images.
This is a great time to use a macro lens or a lens with a longer focal length that will allow you to get closer to those sweet features.
Smiles: By three months, baby will be past the gassy grins and will be giving you true smiles. Not at a wall or off into space but at you and man oh man is it amazing.
Those smiles of recognition are something you will want to save and treasure forever, and at 3 months they will be a welcome sight for parents.
I get directly above baby when they have just had a nap or have just fed and talk to them until they give me some smiles. If they aren’t connecting with you, see if you can get someone to talk to them directly over your shoulder so baby looks like they are looking directly at you and into the camera.
Tummy time: At this point, babies will have much greater control of their heads and you can get some beautiful images of them on their tummy looking directly at you.
By speaking gently to them so they can see my face and then quickly looking through the camera, I usually can get some really lovely connection from them. I tuck their arms up under their chest so that they get good lift and I make sure we are on a soft surface (in case they topple or get tired).
If baby needs a bit more “lift”, you can always put a boppy or pillow under their upper torso to get them a bit higher.
Eating their toes: This is a classic baby pose, them on their back with their toes up by their mouth. There is nothing cuter than a flexible little baby in just a diaper grabbing their feet.
Babies this age have so much wonder about the world around them as well as their body. Everything is new and special and everything goes into their mouth. I adore catching them in this pose from multiple views: side view, above and from their bottom with their feet in the air.
Sitting up: One minute they are rolling over and the next they are sitting up!
This is the perfect way to sum up their 6 months of milestones. They go from a defenseless little newborn to a baby that is upright and taking in and interacting with the world around them.
Gently place baby in the sitting up position on a soft surface and have a spotter nearby, we don’t want bumped heads when photographing this milestone. If baby is more stable tripoding (leaning their weight on their hands in front of their feet) I would suggest starting with that.
Another trick is to place baby between two throw pillows to give them a bit of stability. You really only need a second or two of baby in the upright position to capture this milestone.
I love to photograph this pose from the front on as well as the profile view of baby!
So there you have it, 6 months of exciting, fun and overwhelming changes. Make sure you keep your camera on hand to savor each and every milestone!