Bringing a baby home is a big adjustment for everyone, especially for the older siblings. Sometimes it’s a positive adjustment and sometimes it’s not. After years of being a newborn and family photographer, I have seen it all!
My goal is to make your older child feel special at the photoshoot. I spend time getting to know them and do my best to consider their feelings on becoming a big sister or brother. I’ve noticed that children enjoy the attention and the time to love and examine the their new baby.
Although we may appreciate how precious and fragile newborns are, even the well intentioned toddler may not be up up to the task of holding a newborn! Therefore, I typically get photos of the newborn baby and older siblings by placing the baby safely on a bed and inviting the other children to sit next to him or her, or by laying down next to the baby and snuggling close. Parents are always just an arms length away to assist when needed! Another great option is to have older siblings (around 4 years old or older) sitting on the floor holding their baby brother or sister.
I wholeheartedly believe that family photo sessions should be fun for everyone! That is why I encourage a playful and upbeat atmosphere during all of my sessions. I usually start lifestyle sessions by encouraging the older kids to show me their favorite toys. I love when they get curious about what I’m doing with the baby and want to watch…. that is when I invite them to be in some pictures. Stickers and balloons are great rewards for their participation!
Go with the Flow
Going with the flow is so important. Although I have a rough guide of how I’d like the session to flow, I allow the children to dictate our schedule. If a child is hungry, sleepy or just needs a break, I want to accommodate to their needs. After all, is a hungry child going to laugh and enjoy oneself or look unhappy?! Since lifestyle sessions occur in your own home, taking breaks, eating snacks, and going off to play while the session continues is very easy.
Consider asking for help from a family member to help alleviate stress. Having an extra set of hands allows mom a little extra time to prepare before the session as well as being able to prepare snacks and be a playmate during the session. If this isn’t an option, typically the parents will take turns with the newborn and the older siblings.
Newborn photographs with their older sibling tend to be some of my clients’ favorite portraits, which is understandable because what parent can resist an image of their newest baby alongside your first baby?
If you are interested in creating beautiful portraits of your newborn and his or her siblings in the comfort of your home, please contact me to reserve your session.