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Baby sitter sessions – when is a good time to capture your baby?

baby stter photography studio shoot at Mel Waite Photography

Right – so you have your newborn photos done and dusted. What’s next?

This is a question I often get asked by my clients when they’re picking up their newborn artwork. Like with many of the questions I get asked, it’s really up to each family, and what they want to do! If they want to capture their child’s progression from newborn to toddler, there are some fantastic options I offer which you can read all about here. However, if they’re after just a single shot to capture their baby in that in-between phase – while they’re still a baby, not quite a toddler – then I suggest a sitter session.

What’s a sitter session?
A sitter session is a baby photography session to capture your child when they are sitting up on their own and starting to move. These sessions are typically done at my studio, though I can certainly offer in-house or location options as well. I tend to recommend my studio as with mobile babies it can be easier to capture great photos of them in a more controlled environment.

When is a good time to book a sitter session?
It really depends on you and your baby! As everyone knows, babies progress at different rates. And while one baby might be happily sitting on their own at 6 months, others can take a little longer. Usually I kick things off with a chat to see what stage your baby is at. Ideally I like to capture sitter sessions when your baby is able to sit on their own – confidently, and for a good length of time. It’s also perfect timing if bub is just beginning to move on their own. Whether they’re bum-shuffling, crab-walking, snaking and wiggling, or good old fashioned crawling. 

While sitting and moving don’t necessarily come at the same time, they are a good indicator for me of whether your child is at the ideal age for a sitter session. Sometimes it’s worth waiting a little longer than you had planned to get the best shots, with the most fun and character! To give you an idea, most of my sitter sessions happen when the baby is around six to ten months old.

Is a sitter session just for our baby or can the whole family come along?
Like with the other questions, the answer is really up to you! Typically I like to focus on the baby in sitter sessions. Capturing them on a range of backgrounds, in a range of poses and with a range of expressions. If you are specifically wanting a sitter session over a family session, I usually suggest we focus on your littlest one. Then if time allows (and if your baby is still happy and settled!) we can bring everyone else in on the action. Like my newborn sessions, my sitter sessions are always baby-led. This means taking breaks when baby needs to and stopping for food.

From time to time, baby just might not be settled enough for the whole sitter session, and we might not be able to capture every single shot you’re after. So, if your focus is on capturing your whole family together, and you have a long list of shots you’d like, I’d recommend a family session where the focus is on everyone and not just your littlest.

How long does a sitter session take and when is the best time to do one?
Unlike newborn sessions, which can often end up taking around two to three hours. I like to keep sitter sessions under an hour where possible. During newborn sessions babies tend to spend a lot of time asleep. Whereas sitter sessions are done when the baby is fully awake and engaging with the camera and environment. This can be super tiring for a little one! So with that in mind, I always suggest that you book your sitter session for the part of the day when your baby is typically in the best mood. For most clients, this is mid-morning after their first nap. Though as I said before, all babies are different, so book a time that works best for yours.

And that’s just about everything you need to know about baby sitter sessions. The only thing left to do is keep scrolling, and check out some super cute babies during their sitter sessions!

Don’t forget as always you can check out my latest work here and find out more about my family and baby photography here.