A Non-Sitting Sitter Session??


October 14, 2022

Well, I had a different experience today…I photographed a non-sitting sitter. What is that, you ask? Well, it is just what it sounds like –> sitter session with a baby who is not yet sitting. Okay, well, why, Liz? (Lots of commas in that sentence, not even sure if some of them are correct and, yes, I am a homeschool mom…let’s move on 🤭). I’ll tell ya, pull up a chair.

non-sitting sitter lays on belly for portraits

Non-Sitting Sitter – The Evolution

Ryan. Ahh, such a cutie. He is one of my First Year Membership babies. These babies come to me for their newborn, sitter, and first birthday sessions. Ryan’s grandma gifted this full year of memories to him and what a lovely gift it is. He passed his newborn session with flying colors (and where is that blog, you ask? Well, you are full of questions and his name is on my ever expanding list of pending blogs so just trust me that he was adorable and he did great) and now he’s 7 months old and it’s about time for his non-sitting sitter session!

smiles from the non-sitting sitter

What I tell parents about the sitter session is that, ideally, the baby is able to sit upright for the full 45 minute session but *not yet be crawling* –> that’s the important part. I want a captive audience who can’t go anywhere 🤣 there’s time enough for exploration at the cake smash. Well. Ryan. He’s a special case. HE started crawling before he started sitting. Yep. I’ll share the email thread that shows the evolution of this non-sitting sitter:

Me: …reach back out when he’s sitting sturdily (and you think he could stay upright for the entire 45 minute session) and then we can choose a specific date…

Mom: Hi Liz! Soooo Ryan figured out how to crawl this weekend, but the kicker is, he is not any closer to sitting up.  It’s like 2 seconds and he topples over.  He is mainly army crawling, and he can get up on all 4’s, rock and then lounge/faceplant forward.  He isn’t moving quickly but he can move, this sort of came on very fast – wasn’t expecting it at all and this young.  

Me: That little stinker 🤣🤣🤣🤣 We can totally improvise – with a prop, like you said, or stick him on his tummy on a blanket and capture his expressions.

baby laughs while laying on belly

Non-Sitting Sitter – How We Made It Work

And that is how I came to be photographing a non-sitting sitter! It’s not ideal, sure, but there’s always a way to make it work. In this case, I knew that if we waited until he was *actually* sitting, he’d be on the constant move and every photo would be of the back of his head. Since the goal of the sitter session is to see the baby’s face and capture how much he’s grown since his newborn session, 75 pictures of the baby crawling away would be no bueno.

close up details of non-sitting sitter

Thankfully Ryan is a pretty chill dude so he tolerated our shenanigans fairly well. The light on the morning of his session was absolutely gorgeous (it was the first day of sun following SIX DAYS OF RAIN) so we started him in the grass on his tummy. Then we shifted to propping him in a wire basket that was the same one I posed him in at his newborn session. He was a little squished in that wire basket but, again, chill, so all good.

baby in wire basket to support non-sitting sitter

After that, we decided we were low on smiles so mom tossed him in the air a little bit, which got us some belly laughs and then mom thought he might do well on all-fours which became belly which led to Ryan saying ‘I’ve had enough of this malarkey’ and, boom, we called the session. Ryan was my first non-sitting sitter but I bet he won’t be my last. Thanks, Ryan, for the challenge! See you in February for the Big 0-1!

laughing baby and mom
mom tosses baby in air to get belly laughs
non-sitting sitter on all fours for sitter portraits
belly laughs at end of non-sitting sitter session

Liz Viernes Photography is based near Cloverly, Maryland, and specializes in maternity, fresh 48, posed and lifestyle newborns and first year milestone portraits.

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