10 Ideas for Photographing Your 6-12 Month Old

Smartphone and baby blurred at background

This month I’m sharing my best photos tips for the first couple of years of your baby’s life by age. We’ve covered 0-3 months and 3-6 months, so this week, let’s talk about your 6 to 12 month old.

Every age is a favorite age, but as a parent and a photographer, 6 to 12 months is where it really starts to get fun.

The requirements of day-to-day care are getting less intense as your baby starts to become more independent and interactive—they are sitting, smiling, “talking,” learning to crawl and, as they approach 12 months, pulling themselves up to standing position and maybe even standing independently and taking first steps, although for many that is not the case until after they turn one.

Here are 10 ideas for photographing your 6- to 12- month old:

1) Capture new experiences

At 6 months, Jack loved sitting in the kiddie pool at grandma’s! It was the perfect opportunity to capture his excitement.

2) Get down low and take some quintessential shots

They can finally sit on their own! I think of this as the classic “Gerber baby” age, and after spending the first few months of life lying down, they are as excited and proud of themselves as you are, so find a nice shady spot at the park on a quiet day, get down low and get some quintessential 6-month-old shots.

3) Look for funny moments


This is one of Liam’s absolutely most favorite photos ever—he still thinks it’s hilarious that he put a digger on Jack, and I love this photo for how it captures their personalities and their sibling dynamic.

4) Get the action shots


At around 8 or 9 months your baby will start to crawl, which presents whole new opportunities for different shots of them in action.

Bonus tip: the playground can provide lots of opportunities for interesting angles and perspectives. Get more playground photo tips.

5) Look for natural interactions

Sibling shots can still be hard at this age, especially if the older sibling is a not particularly cooperative, as with 3-year-old Liam here. Posed sibling shots can be an exercise in frustration—the baby will cooperate but by the time your toddler will, the baby has had enough and is losing it.

Instead, look for natural interactions that capture the relationship between your baby and those around them. I love the eye contact and giggles between brothers here that tells the story of their closeness.

6) Cloudy days are great


I still remember this day very clearly, even though it was almost two years ago. It was late afternoon and had just stopped raining.  The light was gorgeous—soft and diffuse, rather than direct and harsh like on a sunny day. Also—chubby cheeks!

7) Catch them in the act


These developing little personalities start to get mischievous at 6-12 months, or with an older sibling sometimes it is just plain survival of the fittest! I love that I caught Jack in the act of making a play for one of Liam’s beloved cars. He definitely gives big brother a run for his money to this day!

8) Smiles are not required


Yes, the smiles are absolutely heart-melting at this age, but so is the deadpan look! I love the casual concentration here—”yeah, no biggie, I’m practically standing by myself.”

9) Capture their interactions with you


There is something you can capture that no professional photographer can—your child’s relationship with you. Your photos are YOUR view and experience of your child’s life. This photo is the photo of an almost one-year-old reaching up for his mother—ME. You’ll see this view a lot. Capture it.

10) Peer through things, just like they do


This was taken a few days before Jack’s first birthday. I always like to look for opportunities to photograph people by peering through something that gives you a sense of intimacy, and I loved that Jack peered back! And yes, again with the chubby cheeks.

About Alethea Fitzpatrick

Alethea Cheng Fitzpatrick is a family photographer and photography coach for parents with Photosanity. A former architect and interior designer, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and her two boys Liam, age six, and Jack, age three.Alethea is on a mission to help parents more fully experience the precious fleeting moments of their children's lives through photography. Find her on http://photosanity.com
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