The trickiest ages to photograph babies and toddlers

Babies and toddlers grow and change so much in the first couple of years of life. Throughout these stages and changes come with them some tricky ages to photograph. Here’s my list of the top tricky ages to photograph babies and toddlers.

Tricky age to photograph #1 – Newborns between 6 weeks and 3 months

Newborns between 6 weeks old and 3 months of age are at a tricky stage to photograph. For younger newborns, there are often skin issues (baby acne, etc.) as well as developmental leaps with the peak of unsettled crying at around 6 weeks of age. Between the 6 week mark and the 3 months, stage babies aren’t typically very interactive and are too old to go into the sleepy newborn poses.

Babies are limited by their physical capabilities before they are able to sit independently. For this reason, between the ages of 3/4 months and around 7 months can be a tricky time to photograph and get a great variety of images for you baby photography session.
Image of twin 3 month old brothers, Copyright Amy Tong Photography 2021.

Tricky age to photograph #2 – Babies between 4 months and 7 months

Between the 3/4 month stage and about 7 months it can be tricky to photograph babies as they aren’t able to sit independently. Whilst you definitely can photograph babies between these ages, the amount of different setups and types of photos you can get are a little limited. Babies at this age can only lie on their back or do “tummy time”for a short period of time.

Tricky age to photograph #3 – Toddlers older than 13 months

Once toddlers get older than about 13 months they get more mobile. Walking turns very quickly to running and a huge desire to explore and be constantly on the move. This makes getting in-studio images more and more difficult the older they get. For this reason, the limit of sessions that I offer are cake smash sessions at around 12 months of age.

Toddlers older than 13 months get more and more difficult to photograph in the studio as they get older. They usually have a very short attention span and are wanting to be on the run. For this reason you may want to consider doing a lifestyle family session outdoors.

Want to find out more about my newborn and baby photo sessions? I offer sessions for newborns, at 3 months, sitting sessions (about 7-9 months), and cake smash sessions for 1 year olds.

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    Cake Smash Photography Tips

    Interested in celebrating your baby’s first birthday in a fun way? Here are my top tips for cake smash photography sessions:

    Tip 1: Plan the photo session time

    As most parents know, when it comes to babies – timing is everything! It’s super important that your photo session time works well for your child. It should fit around their normal routine so that they don’t require a nap/snack. If your child is hungry or tired it can be a recipe for disaster! I always hold my cake smash sessions in the morning as I find that babies tend to be easier to work with in the mornings. I always try to give my clients lots of flexibility though when it comes to the start time. I only photograph one session per day so that I can give my little clients the best opportunity to be rested, fed and happy for their session.

    cake smash photography sydney

    Tip 2: Choose your cake wisely

    Due to allergy concerns I always let my clients arrange their own cake for the cake smash (or fruit for a fruit smash). There are a few tips when it comes to choosing a cake however. My number one tip would be not to choose a chocolate cake. The results can look a little untoward if you know what I mean…. and it can look like… well to be brutally honest – poo!


    I usually suggest a vanilla or other non-chocolate flavour and I have a few recommendations for local cake suppliers but otherwise something simple from Woolworths or Coles can work beautifully.

    Tip 3: Wardrobe

    When it comes to what to wear – there are a few suggestions I have. I’m probably what most people would call a “minimalist” photographer – I like my photos clean and simple. For me you really can’t go past beautiful neutrals and pastels. The most important things are to avoid bold patterns, stripes etc. I have some cute outfits on hand which you are welcome to select from for your baby’s session as well.

    I hope these tips are helpful for you! Be sure to click here to FIND OUT MORE ABOUT MY FIRST BIRTHDAY CAKE SMASH SESSIONS.

    Best wishes! Amy xx

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      My favourite baby photo

      As a newborn and baby photographer over the past 9 years, I’m often asked to choose my favourite baby photo I’ve ever taken. It’s difficult as I have photographed well over 300 babies and newborns over these years and I have so many photos that I’m super proud of!

      Of course, being a Mum of 3 small children, I would be mean not to pick a photo of my own as babies. I do try to take a photo of my children every day for my Photo a Day project that I’ve been doing for the past 6 years so I have a lot of photos to choose from!

      What is my absolute favourite photo?

      If I really had to choose just one photo, I think I would choose this one:

      nsw aipp awards 2015 silver

      If you’ve been to my Balmain baby photo studio you might recognise this image as it hangs on my wall. I get so many compliments on it which is lovely. It’s special to me as it is of my grandfather (now almost 96) and my son as a baby. I love my grandad’s expression (it’s so him!). The contrast between his weathered skin and the perfect newness of my son. It hangs proudly on my wall at home and it makes me smile as I pass it each day. In years to come when we no longer have my grandad here it will become even more special to me.

      Baby photography is forever

      Fads and trends come and go but classic baby photography that captures these special fleeting moments is forever. It’s amazing to me that my photos hang on hundreds of walls in homes all over Sydney. I hope that they will be looked at by generations to come. I can’t think of any more special job than that!

      To capture your special moments forever, be sure to find out more about my newborn photography here or learn more about my pricing.

      Amy xx

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        Newborn Photography Pricing and Products

        Happy 2021 everyone! I hope you have all had a restful and happy Christmas and New Years with your nearest and dearest. Here’s hoping this year delivers on the potential for being a better year than 2020!

        I’m excited to announce that I’m starting the new year with a fresh new price list. I’ve taken the time over the break to source new products and to re-think my old collections. I think you’ll love my new collections so I’m super excited to share them with you.

        Above is the stunning woodprint wall art collection that I’ve named the Balmain. It comes with 9 different woodprints of your favourite images from your gallery. These arrive ready to hang easily on your wall. I’ve received lots of feedback about this beautiful collection so I’m super excited to be able to offer it to my clients. This is just one of the three new wall collections I’m excited to share!

        I’ve also made my digital file collections a lot simpler. My old digital packages which included prints and canvases have now been simplified to include digital files only with the option to add other products if you wish to.

        For more information on my pricing as well as more information on my three wall art collections, be sure to get in touch!

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          Photoshop Skills for Baby Photography

          People often ask me what are the hardest images to get during a baby photo session. The answer without doubt is SIBLING PHOTOS! This is especially true where the older brother or sister is under three. As most people know – kids under three are super unpredictable, very independent, and always on the go! Getting them to keep still and cooperate for a newborn photo shoot isn’t always easy!

          If you follow my blog posts you might remember an earlier post of mine: Tips for Photographing Siblings. If you haven’t already checked that out be sure to have a read.

          But what can photographers do when a sibling really doesn’t want to participate in a photo with their new baby brother or sister? We have another tool up our sleeve. Photoshop.

          Using Photoshop to Get the Best Baby Images for Your Clients

          Sometimes parents are really concerned if their child is acting up during a photo session. The pressure is on you to get a great sibling photo. How can it be done? Head swaps in Photoshop are your friend. To make this work I try to encourage the child to sit or lay with a favourite toy, or even play their favourite song or show on an iPhone and sit it right next to your lens so they look at the camera. Snap away and hopefully you’ll get a shot you can use to stitch together with another image of the baby.

          To do this, simply use the lasso tool in PS to select the head (or perhaps even the whole body of the baby/child) and copy and paste them into another image. Use a layer mask with a soft brush to brush around the edges of the layer to make it blend in realistically.

          Here is a recent example. These images are SOOC (Straight out of camera) so please excuse my ugly feet in the shot 😉

          baby photographer sydney inner west


          baby photographer sydney inner west


          baby photographer sydney inner west

          Learning how to use head-swaps in Photoshop is a win win for everyone. The parents get a beautiful image of their children, and you as the photographer get more variety and images for your clients.

          Good luck!

          Amy x

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            About amy - newborn & baby photographer sydney
            - Academy of newborn photography
            certified photographer

            - Over 9 years experience

            - Current CPR & Infant first aid

            - current whooping cough vaccination

            - multi award-winning

            - COVID-19 Infection control training
            experience & Safety

            Hi! I'm Amy Tong. I'm a newborn baby photographer in the Sydney Inner West surburb of Balmain, Australia. I'm Mum to 3 little ones, and wife to my best friend of almost 20 years. I've always been creative. A lover of music, art and history. Photography has been an important part of my life since I first picked up a camera as a hobby back in 2008.


            I began my career as a professional baby photographer back in 2012 and have had the honour of photographing over 300 babies since then.
            To me, photography allows us to preserve moments in time for future generations. I can't think of any better job in the world. I'd love to hear from you and help you hold on to these special moments too..

            Amy xx

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