What Is The Best Age To Have A Portrait Made?

The short answer is: ANY and EVERY age! And that is really true. Think about it. Newborn babies. It is common for hospitals with maternity wards to have a staff photographer, or a photographer on contract to come in and make photographs of every newborn baby. I really don’t know of any photographs of this type that qualify as ‘portraits’, but it is common for them to be made.

I feel that it’s best to create a portrait of newborns in a studio or in the home when they are 10 to 14 days old. By then their skin is adapted to the air and they are a little stronger than when they first emerged from the womb. And beautiful newborn portraits can be created when attention is paid to the lighting and background, and props.

Because babies are constantly changing and growing, they should have their portraits made at, (besides when newborn), 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months. Then portraits should be made of them at least once a year up to and throughout their teen years. At the very least, portraits should be made of children at the completion of pre-school, the completion of elementary school, at the completion of middle school, completion of junior high school, and in their senior year of high school. Portraits should absolutely be made to commemorate the graduating from college or university!

Portraits should be made at the entry into the business world with the first job, or entry into the military. Whenever there is a change in career, or a promotion within a career a portrait should be made.

Portraits should be made when a couple gets engaged, and are a must at the time of the wedding! Portraits should be made when visiting exotic locals such as when on vacation with your spouse or family. These kinds of portraits also remind you of the place you visited and the experience of the place as well as recording you in a relaxed and happy frame of mind.

The first family portrait should be made when the couple is pregnant with their first child. And of course maternity portraits are a wonderful way to commemorate the expectancy of a child.

Speaking of family portraits, generally as long as there are children in the house a family portrait should be made every 5 years. Of course as discussed above, the young children should have portraits made every year, or at least with every change of school level, but with the family at least every 5 years. Then after the children have left the “nest”, a new family portrait should be made every 10 years at least.

Now with regard to family portraits, there are many ways that the whole family dynamic changes through the years. When your children have children, and you become grandparents, this is another perfect time to have a family portrait made. When parents retire from their careers is another opportune time for a family portrait as well as a portrait of the one retiring.

When grandchildren get married, essentially the family is growing, and this of course is a good time to have a new family portrait made.

Now as I’m writing this, I am reminded of another occasion for portraits. When a lady is engaged to be married, it is not uncommon for her to have boudoir portraits made as a gift for her husband to be. In fact that is not the only reason to have boudoir portraits made.

In case you aren’t familiar with the term “Boudoir Portraits”, these are more intimate and sensual portraits. Boudoir is a French word referring to a lady’s bedroom, or dressing room. Typically in these type of portraits the subject will be wearing lingerie, or draped with some kind of material, or even nude.

As I said, boudoir portraits make for a very special gift for a husband to be, or as an anniversary present. But there is another reason for young women to have boudoir portraits made. In my career as a portrait photographer I have had many young ladies come to me for boudoir portraits not as a gift for anyone, but to have as a record of how good they looked at a particular age in their life. One such young lady told me she wanted to be able to show her granddaughter one day as proof that she was in fact “Beautiful back in the day!”

I’ve mentioned many examples of “ages” or times in life when it is appropriate to have portraits made, and there are more. Any milestone in life is a good time for a portrait, and this continues on throughout life. Life definitely goes on after retirement and there can be many more accomplishments that should be commemorated with a portrait.

When great grandchildren enter the picture, (so to speak), of course this is a great time for a new family portrait, but also for a multi-generational portrait, such as 4 generations of the women of the family or 4 generations of the men of the family. And many people will have a portrait made in later life to use as a memorial portrait when they die. It’s just another way of planning for the future, and saving surviving relatives from having to scramble to find a photo for the obituary or to display at the funeral. So, let me say again that any age, and every age is the right age to have a portrait made!