You want to get newborn photos of your newest addition but you aren’t so sure how things will go with an unpredictable big brother or sister. Not to worry – this isn’t my first rodeo doing newborn photos with a sibling. I LOVE working with big brothers and sisters – they keep everything FUN! I love to capture both those sweet snuggle pictures and the real life everyday pictures too!
Schedule Newborn Photos with a sibling around nap time.
My first trick is I schedule the newborn photos session time when the older sibling(s) will be at their best – so not at their nap time. Then I give the siblings the first attention when I walk in the door. I connect with them immediately to make sure they know this photo session is just as much about them as it is the baby. Sometimes they will show me their room or around their house and then I will pull out my camera with them and give them a quick show of what it does and how it works – I will often as them to be my test model and show them the first pictures. Bonus – now you also have adorable pictures of your older kid(s) too! This gets your newborn photos with a sibling off to the best start.
Start with the newborn photos that are most important.
Once I have big brothers and sisters warmed up we immediately jump into either family pictures or sibling and baby pictures. If you have a toddler you already know – their interest in taking photos is going to last for about the next 5 minutes!
I decide which one to do first based on how comfortable the sibling(s) are with the baby. Let’s face it some toddlers want nothing to do with a new baby. While others may love that baby just a little too much. Let’s say we start with the whole family – the older siblings always get their first choice of which parent they would like to be with and baby gets the other.
It takes less than one second to take a picture so that sitting and looking at the camera picture is done before they know it! If they are not into sitting at all then we will sneak it into the middle of play time! We get to tickle, snuggle, look at the baby, jump on the bed, read a book etc. If they still don’t want to get close to everyone else for a picture together – that’s ok! – then we fly them in like an airplane really quick, dance close by or make a game of running to daddy to be lifted up!
Keep it Fun!
Whichever one we started with family or just kids – we will jump quickly to the other because again – short attention span! Some older siblings are happy to hold the baby and others are not. If they do not want to hold the baby we have some options. They can sit with you to hold baby together or we can set it up so they can lay next to the baby or approach the baby without having to do any holding. I will ask questions like can you smell baby’s toes? Are they stinky? Want to give them little tickle? How does baby’s hair feel? Sticky – oh no! )if they need some more incentive we can put little snacks on the baby for them to go get which can be edited out easily!) At this point – they are done and the rest is just bonus and fun!
Take a Break
They did it! From here on out everything is a bonus – let them go take a break and have a snack. I promise they will make their way back to where all the fun and action is when they are ready! I will focus on pictures with each parent and baby. Then I guarantee they will arrive wanting your attention – I will grab some pictures of you with them together.
Beauty in the Chaos
This time off in your life is a bit of a whirlwind! Which is part of the reason you want to capture it! Remember to smile through the chaos – the older kids shenanigans are going to be adorable when you look back at them in 10 years (even if they aren’t feeling so cute right now). Make sure you are smiling – it is not cute when they are causing trouble and the look on your face is upset. I promise you they can do no wrong during your newborn photos with a sibling just keep on smiling and let me do the rest!
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