Photographing a 3-month-old baby can be tricky. They are not a bendy newborn anymore, and not yet old enough for that cute sitter poses. Don’t let that discourage you though. You can get just as many gorgeous shots with a 3-month-old baby.
Before diving into a session with an older baby, you need to understand how this shoot will be different and how to prepare for those differences. A 3-month-old baby is a lot different than a 5-day old, therefore, you need to tweak your technique a little bit. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you nail the 3-month-old session every time!
3-month-old babies are not nearly as sleepy as those squishy newborns. Be prepared for the baby to be awake and alert during the session, or at least part of it. Don’t be scared though, they have much better eye contact. It will be a lot easier to get those gorgeous eyes on the camera for beautiful shots. Not to mention, mommy and daddy can help you get a smile from their little bundle. Have mom or dad standing next to the lens to help get those cute little facial expressions.
Forget everything you know about posing for these sessions. You will only get yourself frustrated if you attempt posing a 3-month-old like you would a 5-day old baby. Instead, come up with flexible setups to match your older model. No older baby is going to stay in a polished pose for more than a second at a time.
There are a few options you can do that are easy and flexible for the baby to move around more. Our favorite is the tummy time pose with the baby lifting their heads up. This pose can be done on a fur rug or a bean bag. When doing a tummy time pose, make sure you use a Boppy or similar item to help prop the baby up. This will help those babies that are not too happy with tummy time, to lift their head up a bit more without getting discouraged.
The next pose is simple, lay the baby on their back on top of a fur or posing cloth. Add a teddy bear and a wrap as a layer over top of the baby to finish out the look. Make sure to put the Boppy or prop under their head so they are more comfortable. Have mom and dad help you get that amazing eye contact and smile. Oh, and don’t forget to get great images of those cute little toes and fingers! Let baby play and grab at their toes; you won’t be disappointed in the shots you can get.
Don’t be afraid to use buckets, bowls, and beds with your older model. Just make sure that you use them safely and properly for the age you are shooting. Remember that 3-month-olds’ are squirmier, but they are also not ready to sit up unassisted in a bucket. A large basket with some great layers or a bucket that is secured properly for a great over-the-edge pose will work great for this age. Just make you have a spotter to protect the baby against a potential fall and propped up well.
Include mom and dad like you would for a newborn shoot. This is the perfect age to capture the early connections between the baby and his/her parents. Shots of newborns with their parents are timeless, but you won’t get the same eye contact and connection that you can get with an older baby. Have baby take natural pictures in mom and dad’s arms and on their lap, let their connection and bond do the work for you to get an amazing shot.
What are your favorite 3-month-old poses? What advice would you give a photographer tackling this type of session for the first time?