In my opinion, newborn pictures with siblings are a must-have for any professional newborn photography shoot. However, sometimes getting the perfect sibling and newborn shot can be challenging.
Tears, bribery, and frustration often occur when we bring the smallest siblings to join a newborn in photos. Now I can’t promise tears won’t occasionally happen because children are tiny humans with big emotions. However, as a Spokane photographer, I can share my favorite ways to set yourself up for success in a photo session.
Read on for fun, stress-free, and safe newborn pictures with siblings.
Prepare siblings for the newborn photoshoot
Occasionally, I see parents springing a photo session on the youngest family members. While I understand wanting to contain the excitement, this often doesn’t work well.
Instead of waiting until the last moment to talk about your upcoming photos, get siblings involved early in the planning. Brothers and sisters can choose their favorite toy, blanket, or whatever to include in the photoshoot. I once had a little girl bring her baby photos, and I thought this was the most fabulous addition to our newborn session.
When you talk about your photos for the new baby, make sure you phrase them like family photos with the baby so they understand they are just as crucial to the day. Simply reframing how you speak about the images changes the perspective of little ones.
Newborn Photos With Siblings Should Start With Siblings
Without fail, the first 15 minutes I’m in the door is the most engaged siblings are with our new baby photos. It’s this golden window where more than likely, they will take gentle direction and want to be part of the process.
I always try to crank out the photos involving big brothers and sisters right at the start. After that, I let them choose what they want to do next. Most of the time, kids run off to other adventures while we continue the flow of our newborn shoot.
Sometimes after breaking for a bit, siblings want to join back in, and I can capture some of the best photos of the day.
My expectations of siblings are super low at sessions, but I know I can get a great series of photos in the first 15 minutes.
Remember Safety When Posing Newborns With Siblings For Photos
While safety is always my number one concern, I pay extra attention once we include young siblings.
Where we photograph babies with siblings matters. Capturing the sibling shots in the middle of a large bed or on the floor is my first choice for pictures with all the kids together. I avoid couches and chairs with kids. It gives them more freedom to interact safely and avoid the stiff, posed shots.
Swaddling is also an excellent way to keep a new baby secure when held by a bigger sibling. A tight swaddle makes a compact little burrito that brothers and sisters can navigate better.
A Few Tricks to Keep Up Your Sleeve with Siblings and new babies
- Keep it fun and light. Tickles, games, and cuddles all around.
- Reading their favorite book with the baby is a great way to capture everyone in a group shot.
- Ask them questions about the baby. How do they smell, where are their feet, and can you see their eyelashes?
- Feed kids before the session and plan dry snacks to have on hand during the session.
- Dress siblings in comfortable clothes so they can play around with ease.
- Take a few portraits of the sibling alone, so they feel a bit of extra love.
I believe the best newborn photography is all-inclusive
If we’ve ever worked together, you’ll know I stress the importance of sessions including everyone (family pets too). The natural beauty of bringing a new baby home is how the family all changes and grows together. Creating a situation where everyone can feel safe and included during our photoshoots is essential.
I’ve also written a post about including your family dog in newborn photos at home. Dogs can be some of the trickiest family members with newborn photos, so give that post a read if you have a fur baby at home.
Hopefully, you’ve found this post encouraging for your upcoming session that might include siblings with the new baby.
Can’t get enough babies? Here’s my page all about in-home, documentary newborn photography.
MB – A Spokane based newborn photographer serving the pacific northwest
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