There's no best age -- your child is changing so fast in these first few years that any time you choose for your session will be wonderful. Photographs of newborns can capture the delightful and often forgotten things -- those little hands, those feet. And after about 5-6 months of age, your child's back muscles will be strong enough to hold him or her up a little bit more, and the smiles around this age are great. I specialize in taking photographs of infants and toddlers up to about the age of 3, but love working with all ages.
Schedule your photo session at a time when your child will be lively, awake, and playful. Often just after waking up from a nap is best. Meal or snack time can be a fun time for photos, so you may want to prepare some snacks for your child for the shoot. Before you plan the timing of your session, watch the way sunlight moves through your house over the course of a day. It's also great to choose a time of day when one side of your house is brightly lit with sunlight.
I work in and around and outside your house so that your child will be relaxed and comfortable in the surroundings. I find that natural light is best, which means we should plan to shoot the session in different rooms in your house that get lots of natural light. I like to move around the house, trying different places - so the kids don't get bored. Please don't feel like you need to clean up too much - what looks like clutter to you just appears as "texture" in the background. We also might go outside if it's a nice day. Have some blankets that can go outside ready if you'd like to get some family photos outside.
Your shoot will probably last about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Little little babies take longer, closer to the 1 1/2 hours, because they sometimes fall asleep :). 2-3 year olds can be as quick as 45 minutes, because they run around so much that we get lots of great pictures quickly.
Have a few changes of clothes picked out for your child ahead of time. Solid colors work well. Logos, cartoon characters and bright stripes can be distracting in a photograph, so try to avoid them if possible.
For infants, often just a diaper and a bare belly is a great look. The clothes you pick out for very young children shouldn't be stiff, or complicated. We want everybody to be comfortable, and we want the focus in the pictures to be on the child, not the clothes. It's best to have some soft cotton form-fitting clothes in pastel colors (not white) available for very young children. (Pastels tend to photograph much better than white.)
For toddlers, think about the texture of the clothes you're picking out. Soft, fuzzy sweaters, corduroy, and terry cloth all though, the clothes should just be simple.
In family photos, you don't need to dress everybody alike, unless that's the look you're going for. Solid colors are best for adults, and that's about it. If you want a bit more information: light colors are good on dark days (because they reflect light up into your face), whereas darker colors are good on bright days. But don't worry too much about clothes. I can work with anything.
Oh, I understand, don't worry too much about it. If your baby falls asleep in the middle of pictures, I'm happy to wait through the catnap. (I'll often bring a book when I know it's a tiny baby.) Sleeping pictures can also be really beautiful.
Usually there's no need to cancel. Photoshop is a wonderful tool. The only time I'd suggest rescheduling is if the injury has distorted your child's face (like a black eye, or a goose egg on the forehead). Scrapes, cuts, bruises are all par for the course and I'm very used to them. Same goes for runny noses, unless your child is uncomfortable. Nobody wants their picture taken when they don't feel well.
I offer a guarantee on the sessions in case your child wasn't feeling well during the session, or if you just don't like the photos. I'll do a re-shoot on a different day at no charge.
Please don't hesitate to email or call if you have any further questions: 617.501.6078.