Milestone Sessions: What to Expect


The first year of your new baby’s life is one full of growth and change.  With midnight feedings and a constant state of sleepy haze, many parents forget the tiny but important details of their baby.  Because of this, many families choose to document these precious moments through photographs in hopes of never forgetting these important details.  

Better known as milestone sessions, I recommend scheduling these sessions as a newborn (7-14 days old), at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, culminating at one year.

It’s important to note that every child is an individual and each child will reach milestones in their own time.  With that being said, I will take these photographs based on when your baby is hitting certain developmental milestones, as the goal of these portraits is to capture how your child is growing and developing, rather than based on a specific age.  With that, let’s look at each of these ages, and see what is important and new for a child so you know when to schedule your session.

3 months

At three months, your baby is full of smiles!  As a parent, I always think about when my children were young and how they’d flash that huge gummy smile my way and the emotions it evoked; generally, it would melt my heart.  The goal of this session is to capture that smile and all those amazing facial expressions.  When thinking about when to schedule this session, do it when your child smiles and laughs frequently when they see you.

6 months

By 6 months of age, most children have acquired the skill of sitting up!  Once a child can sit up on their own, their point of view changes greatly.  Not only can they sit up and look around but they are now able to play with a wide range of toys that they couldn’t before!  This discovery often leads to a sense of pride that is clearly splashed across their face!  So at the 6 month milestone session, I love to show off this new ability of sitting and pride!  It’s a huge focus for me at this point.

At 6 months old, most parents will also start to notice that their child’s looks are starting to change.  A little girl may now have enough hair to pull back into a little sprout or be able to be clipped.  Some children may also have a first tooth making an appearance.  Most children at this age also have discovered their toes!  And there is nothing sweeter than watching a child grab their feet and squealing with delight at their discovery.  While the focus of a 6 month session is highlighting the ability to sit on their own, I also make sure to capture all these other important details!  Plan to schedule your 6 month session when your child is able to sit unassisted for a few minutes.

9 months

By 9 months your child can be experiencing a wide range of milestones!  Some children will be crawling while others are pulling themselves up on furniture, standing while holding onto an object, or even taking those wobbly first steps!  When scheduling your 9 month session, wait to schedule until your child is doing something new and exciting.  And if nothing new is occurring, I can still photograph him or her with that favorite stuffed animal or blanket that they won’t let go!

12 month session

The 12 month session is unlike the other milestone sessions; in that I’m not trying to capture something new or exciting.  Rather I’m trying to capture your baby’s personality as a one-year-old! Your child has changed and grown so much within the first year and by a year old we really are starting to see that personality shine through.  At the 12 month session, I document a child’s personality in three ways:


These sessions are your artistic studio sessions.  Your child is in outfits that reflect their personality and shows off who they are at this point in their lives.

Cake Smash

This is where things get messy and fun!  Your child’s smash cake will be decorated to coordinate with the theme of the 12 month session.  These photos will document how your child views getting messy!  Some children really get into getting cake and frosting everywhere while others prefer a more clean approach and will only stick a finger or two in.  Again, how your child interacts with the cake is one way we showcase their personality at this point in time!

Bubble Bath

After all the mess, we have to clean-up!  Bubble bath portraits again offer a fun way to showcase your child’s personality!  Are they having a blast with the bubbles everywhere or are they taking a more serious approach and wanting to make this a quick and easy bath.  No matter how your child reacts, I will be there to document and capture the amazing person he or she is!

As a parent, the days are long but the years are short and while you think you’ll remember all the small details, memories will fail.  But one thing that won’t fail you are the photographs you had taken of your child during their first year.  And trust me you will love being able to look back and see how your baby looked during their first year of life.

If you would like more information about booking a custom milestone session with Candice Swanson Photography, please click here for our contact page or feel free to email me at

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