Typical Milestone Picture Sessions - Baby Photographer in San Diego

Milestone Pictures are a great way to document your baby's growth throughout the first year of their life. 

I absolutely adore milestone pictures. It's some fun to see these babies growing up, developing their own little personalities, learning how to sit, stand and walk. As a baby photographer in San Diego, CA (and previously in Minnesota) I've had the pleasure of seeing so many cute babies grow up. Whenever I have a newborn in my studio for their newborn pictures, it's like they all become my little babies. So having them back in the studio for their milestone picture session completely makes my heart swell of love and excitement. 

During the first year of your baby's life there are 4 milestone months that are fun to capture. Below is a little list I've put together of what months to plan your sessions for, and why they are good milestones.

Newborn Pictures

Obviously the year start with your infant pictures at the newborn session. This is month 0 (0-2 weeks to be exact) and is your chance to have your baby's tiny features documented for eternity. These images will help you forever remember their little newborn fussy hair covering their body. Their tiny little fingers and toes. The images will bring back the memory of their newborn smell and warmth of their newborn baby. This is the first and biggest milestone session you can have documented.

3-4 months

3-4 months can sometimes be hard to capture as your baby has yet to learn how to really lay on their belly and lift their head up. They can't sit by themselves or hold themselves up without proper support. So if I have a client wanting milestone pictures for their 3-4 month old baby I generally approach it more of a family session. And then include some individuals of the baby laying on his or her back. 

6-7 months

This is probably my favorite time to photograph. Sometimes I tend to book the session closer to their 7 month birthday vs the 6 month birthday as by 7 months most babies have learned to securely sit by themselves. This is also the time when they've found their toes and figured out how to look eyes on you. This means you end up with some absolutely amazing images of your baby sitting, laying on their back playing with their toes, and connecting with the camera. 

9 months

Your baby has truly started to develop their little personalities. They laugh, and smile and make noises that can melt any heart. Their sitting is becoming even more steady and you can maybe even put them in some shallower bowls or on top of crates (always with a protective hand nearby!). While they have yet to learn how to walk, they may be able to stand up while supporting themselves on furniture or props. But mostly, 9 month olds love to crawl. This milestone, and the one year milestone is the most active milestone session you'll have. Your baby will not like the idea of sitting still so be prepared to run around a little bit. (Hint: outdoor sessions are cute for this milestone! It gives your baby more room to move around) 

12 months

This is the second biggest milestone (after your newborn pictures). Your baby is turning 1 and it needs to be celebrated. This big milestone is usually celebrated with something called a cake smash. This can be done with either a small cake or a big cupcake. Keep the frosting in plenty and watch your baby literally smash the cake!

Pro Tip: introduce your baby to frosting prior to your photography session. It's a sticky and weird consistency, and if you're baby hasn't encountered it before they may freak out a little during the session. While it may result in some cute crying pictures, you may not get the fun smash pictures you were looking for.

At 12 months your baby is talking, standing and may even be walking a little by themselves. Generally I start with pictures of your baby alone, with some balloons, confetti, cute outfits (or whatever you want to see in your milestone pictures). The cake smash comes last. Because once the cake smash is done, your baby, you and me will all be covered in frosting and cake. And by then, your baby will move into a sugar high and smiling pictures may be hard to capture after.


These are the most common months during your baby's first year to do milestone pictures. And while you should definitely keep doing yearly pictures with your babies after their one year. The quarterly images are more important for the first year. I can't wait to meet your babies and provide you some beautiful newborn pictures and milestone sessions!