How to photograph newborns with siblings
Photographing siblings with a newborn is a bit of an art form in itself. I’m very comfortable and familiar with this situation – I have photographed hundreds of families with siblings.
I totally understand how nervous parents can feel about a session like this will go, though. The experience will be so different from a newborn portrait session with just one baby. How will it work with a toddler in the mix?
Well, my years of experience mean that I can read your oldest child’s mood as well as your newborn’s. I adapt the format of the portrait session according to their needs. If one child wants a break, that’s fine! If your toddler wants some time being the star, that’s also fine – I can work with whatever they like doing.
I’m more than happy to incorporate siblings in the portrait session. In fact, I love capturing the developing bond between siblings!
Choosing the best time of day
We’ll usually schedule the portrait session around your oldest child’s routine. Typically, a 10am start works well. The best time is when they’ve had something to eat and they’re not tired. Little ones tend to have more energy and be at their best in the morning.
Children can be overwhelmed by having a new baby in the family and not sure about the idea yet. If that’s the case, it can be worth scheduling your session for when your newborn is six weeks old. This gives your toddler a chance to adjust to having a sibling. It also allows for the bond to have developed more between them.
Find out more here: www.louiserosephotography.com/scheduling-newborn-portrait-session/
“I was impressed with Louise’s sense of calm. She has a natural ability to engage with children. Our baby stayed calm throughout, and there are some fantastic photos of her with our son. The photos are everything I hoped they would be and more – there are so many beautiful pictures. Louise managed to capture us all extremely naturally. I will always treasure these photos of those special early days. Thank you Louise!” Nell
On the day
As soon as I arrive, I make sure the older child feels as important and interesting to meet as the newborn. I pay more attention to your other children beforehand, and pay little attention to your newborn at first. It’s not that I’m not enchanted by your new arrival! I’m using a bit of child psychology to help us get the most out of your portrait session.
Depending on your older child’s mood, I’ll usually photograph your older child first. This gives them a moment in the lime light to minimise any jealousy issues.
I’ll resist the urge to verbalise throughout how gorgeous your tiny little newborn is!
We’ll choose the moment for photographing the siblings together based primarily on the older child’s mood. Likewise, if they want some time to play or have a rest, I take the individual shots of the newborn during that down time.
It’s helpful to have both parents present. That way, one parent can take the older child off for a bit while I photograph the newborn. Another parent can be on hand to help settle the newborn.
I’ll keep the mood nice and calm so your newborn is in a safe environment. Unless you’re holding your new baby safely out of shot, this isn’t the moment for jumping on the bed!
Keeping your older child engaged
I’ve got lots of tricks to make this a fun experience for your toddler.
Years of experience means I know how to keep toddlers on side. You can trust me to capture the developing bond between toddlers and newborns.
Positioning the baby safely is very important. We’ll only place your newborn where your toddler won’t suddenly turn and squash the newborn. We’ll choose places where their fragile little head is protected. And a parent can always stay close by, to reach in if needed.
How long will the portrait session last?
There’s a lot going on with a newborn! Most of my newborn sessions are 3-4 hours, especially with newborns and siblings. Having a good few hours buys us more windows of opportunities if your older child has a cranky day. If your newborn doesn’t have the most settled morning, we have time to calm them. However, it’s absolutely doable in a shorter 2 hour session. So don’t worry if your budget won’t cover a longer session.
Do get in touch and I can recommend when would be the best time for you and your family.
Rest assured that no matter how old your children are, I can still take gorgeous photographs of your family and your new addition.
“This was the fourth time we have had Louise come and take photos of our family. We are delighted with the pictures from this session of our 4 day old baby boy, and us as a family. We love the way Louise managed to capture him in his quiet moments and the detail that she could focus on. The eyelashes, lips, hands and feet these images are stunning. Even with the constant sleeping of a newborn, we have some stunning photos of our wee one with his eyes open staring into the world. We particularly love how she managed to capture beautiful moments of both of our sons together. We will definitely be seeing Louise again next year and would highly recommend her.” Jamie