Creating relaxed newborn photos at home is the best way to capture the full story of a new life. It’s a story that can be as intimate with simply a birth parent or as inclusive with siblings, pets, grandparents, and maybe more.
A larger group doesn’t mean you have to lose the connected and intimate feel of an in-home session. I’m a newborn documentary photographer from Spokane, WA, and this is my best advice to create the new baby photos I’m sure you’re craving.
Include Everyone in the planning process of newborn photos
Newborn photos can be especially challenging for bigger siblings, who often deal with big emotions as the new sibling arrives. Involving older kiddos in what they want to wear, ideas of who might want to hold the baby and where, or even planning something special they’d like to include.
Big siblings often love bringing their favorite stuffed animals or drawings into some of the photos. This is a fun way to make the older kiddos feel important on this day.
Have breakfast together as a family or watch a movie. Involve grandparents or other adults participating as well! Invite them early if you’ve got anyone else coming to the session. Nothing is more awkward than having someone walk in the door and go right into having their photo taken.
For more ideas on including big siblings with baby – Newborn Pictures with Older Siblings
My favorite tip? Playing more and worrying less
There will absolutely be 150 times you’ll want to tell that toddler to “PLEASE just come sit quickly for a photo” or “Don’t scream at the dog .” However, the best thing you can do is push those thoughts aside and be super present with all your kids.
Have tickle fights on the bed or read a book together while one parent is cuddling the baby for photos. I always tell my families I only need seconds with everyone together to get that one shot you probably want for a Christmas card.
Moments will happen during the entire session. You will not even notice, but I promise I see them. Furthermore, I am ready to document them so you can remember exactly what life felt like with a new baby.
For relaxed newborn photos, keep your routine
Things start to go off the rails when babies need to be changed or fed. Or even Dad needs a quick snack break, too!
Don’t muscle through the photos and think…
- “I’ll just feed them in 10 minutes.”
- “I’ll grab a water when we are done.”
- “Baby can nap when it’s over.”
Did you know? 7 out of 10 sessions have a baby that needs to eat, be burped, change a diaper, and fuss a bit (or a lot) before passing out. Those seven sessions often have the best photos because no one feels rushed, and everyone’s needs are met.
If you’ve followed my brand before, you’ll know dogs are my jam. I spend a lot of time photographing people and their pets all over Washington. But I didn’t mention them in this post. That’s because I’ve got an entire blog devoted to including them in newborn sessions. I
Do you have dogs at home? I highly suggest checking out Including dogs in family photos. This post has all of my tips and tricks to make your original babies feel safe and secure.
Head here for more of my newborn work serving the Pacific NW babies and their families.