How to Involve Siblings in a Newborn Photography Session

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If you have more than one child, you know that adding a sibling to the family is a BIG change. When there's a new little crew member in the house, family dynamics always change.

Photo shoots for newborns are already tricky. Newborns don't have any temper tantrums, unlike children ages two and older, whose tantrums you have to put up with. Instead, they are frequently hungry or sleepy. But isn't that a good thing? With the baby sleeping, the sibling newborn photos should go off without a hitch, right? Well…not exactly.

Newborn sibling photos can be stressful for both children and parents. And, while they look adorable together, there are a lot of things to think about when both siblings are involved in the shoot. Here are some tips and tricks I have up my sleeve to ensure that the older sibling not only tolerates photos but enjoys getting to know their new brother or sister while I capture their love and closeness as no other photographer can.

Prep your toddler

You know your children better than we do. Remember when you told your toddler they'd have a baby brother or sister after 9 months? Yes, you will essentially be doing the same thing, getting them ready for the photoshoot way before your appointment. Except for the nine-month wait, of course.

A newborn photo shoot with siblings by a professional photographer who specialises in newborn and baby photography lasts about 2 to 4 hours. We also allow for feedings, diaper changes, and cuddles as needed. So, I must emphasise to parents out there that this is not your average newborn photography with siblings.

For a few years, your toddler was the centre of attention. When the baby arrives, parents may not openly admit it, but the baby receives the majority of the attention for all the right reasons. However, your toddler might not fully comprehend this.

The best thing you can do for any age child is to make them feel special and that they are an important part of the photoshoot.

Bribery: It eliminates negotiation

Of course, you want to make sure your toddler behaves while also keeping them interested in the shoot. And you know what that means. That’s right. Bribery. Just like what you'd say or do on a family road trip!

Some parents believe they are cheating when they bribe their children to behave during newborn sibling photos, or when they bribe their children in general.

But I'm here to encourage you. PLEASE bribe your children for the photo shoot. It's not every day that you get to take newborn photos. Even a regular photo session may occur only once or twice a year.

Offering your children a special treat or activity before and after photos not only keeps them focused on what they are doing, but also gives them something to look forward to the next time you take photos.

Then everyone wins!

Older sibling photography poses

Most of the time, it is more difficult for children, particularly toddlers, to sit upright while holding a baby. They simply lack the strength to sit still long enough to get everyone in a comfortable position. But do you know what's good about this? Newborn sibling photo poses would be relatively simple. They can lay on their bellies, with their arms out in front of them, or even on their elbows!

Another way to get your toddler to interact with the baby is to have them point out their favourite features of the baby. It's usually the baby's nose, but it can also be their mouth, toes, or ears. This is adorable on its own, and seeing how your kids are endearingly looking at each other may make you cry! This frequently results in calm, candid shots of both of your kids.

Most importantly, mum or dad needs to be nearby for a quick grab if necessary. Of course, this includes peek-a-boo and singing all of your favourite baby songs!

Final thoughts

Sibling newborn photos are frequently among the most treasured memories a person has. Capturing their interaction and affection for one another in a single photograph is an incredible achievement. But what makes it truly special is that they will remember the time and place where they first had their newborn pictures with siblings as they grow older.

But we must also remember that kids will be kids and that we should simply allow them to be themselves rather than pushing them.

So, what are you waiting for? Make an appointment with me so we can begin creating timeless images that will never go out of style.

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