Images of their children together are usually one of the most important photos for parents to achieve during their newborn photo session, however they can also be one of the most challenging.
Engaging with siblings
Most of the siblings of newborns that come to visit me are two or three years old. Their world has just been turned upside down by this new arrival who has taken its place at the heart or their family, and taken some of Mummy and Daddy’s attention too. Siblings all react in different ways. Some love the new baby and want to hold and kiss them constantly. Some can be a little over enthusiastic in their handling of their new brother or sister. Others become very clingy to one or other of their parents, and some act up to try and regain Mummy and Daddy’s attention. All perfectly normal reactions, but all ones I need to take into consideration when planning family photos as part of their newborn session.
When the family arrives I always make sure I make sure that I give the sibling plenty of attention, and let them know what an important part of the session they are – that’s it’s not all about the new baby. I give them plenty time to explore my home studio to that they feel relaxed and comfortable in their new surroundings. I spend time chatting to them to make sure that they start to trust me. We might play some games, but for this type of session it’s a fine line between making them happy and getting them over excited when they are going to have to be calm holding their sibling. Sibling shots are always done at the start of the session as I know we will have a limited time to hold big brother or sister’s attention.
Baby and sibling poses
When siblings are young one of the best ways to shoot them is to have them lying down with their arm round they baby. I always keep a parent right beside the baby as small children do make sudden movements. I keep a squeaky toy on my camera lens to keep the child’s attention on the camera, and often ask the children to look carefully for fairies or dinosaurs inside the camera.
Another great pose is to have the baby curled up on the bean bag and the sibling on a stool behind leaning over to look at their new brother or sister, or even to give them a kiss. Sometimes this can be a step too far and the child is reluctant, so on occasion I might have to tempt them up to watch a little Peppa Pig on my phone, or sometimes even to find a raisin hidden behind the baby’s ear!
Sometimes it’s best to keep baby in a prop and have brother or sister beside them…
Older brothers and sisters may be able to hold the baby themselves, but I have a chat to Mum snd Dad about that first to see if they have held the baby before, and always, always keep one parent right beside them to make sure baby is secure throughout.
If you would like more information on newborn photography and how best to include your older child, call me for a chat 07768 700829 or drop me an email at [email protected]