In a newborn photo session, the sibling image is the most sort after and requested image by parents. Parents are very excited to capture this image to display on their wall. But – not everything goes easy and as planned at the photo session. Typically 1-2 yr old siblings want nothing to do with having a photo and it’s a ‘take what you can get’ in some cases (and a few head swaps!). The 3-4 yr old sibling is usually easily persuaded and cooperates for a few minutes to get those sibling images.
By following some of my tips below, the photo session can run smoothly and that sort after sibling image can be photographed!
TIP NO# 1. PHOTOGRAPH YOUR NEWBORN AND SIBLING FIRST
Usually when siblings first arrive they’re happiest and more willing to cooperate. For this reason I photograph your newborn baby and sibling first, then family photo’s after. Once that portion is done, the sibling is not needed for anymore photos. I recommend dad or another family member takes the sibling home or to the park after their photos are finished. Then we can concentrate on getting your baby’s newborn photos.
TIP NO# 2. I BUILD A RAPPORT WITH THE OLDER SIBLING.
When you first arrive, I like to get down to your child’s eye level and talk to them and find out their favourite things. This helps your child feel a little relaxed and less scared of this stranger talking to them. This allows me to gauge what type of personality they have – if they are more shy or outgoing. I can then decide on the best approach in getting that sibling photo.
TIP NO# 3. PATIENCE IS KEY
Being a newborn photographer, I have a lot of patience. Some children can not be rushed when it comes to having a sibling photo taken. Some take a little extra time warming up and feeling comfortable and that’s okay, the end goal is a beautiful photograph of your newborn and their sibling together. Lots of gentle encouraging and staying calm usually results in a beautiful photo.
TIP NO# 4. SAFE AND SECURE POSING
During your baby photography session, I always have the safety of your newborn in my mind. Young siblings can be unpredictable at times, for this reason, the poses I do are simple and with the safety aspect in mind at all times. Poses will vary from your child laying on their back on a flokati rug, sitting and holding your newborn and sitting next to a prop with your newborn in it.
Now not all young siblings will want to sit near a basket or bowl, they’ll sit for a few seconds or jump around etc. if this is the case then I will do a composite image (a few images edited together in photoshop) or do another pose.
When it comes to the sibling photo, I like to have mum or dad close, right besides the young child. This is to help support their arms when holding your newborn or to be in close reach for your newborns safety.
TIP NO # 5. NO CHEESY GRINS OR SMILES
We all love a natural smile and the best way to get a natural smile from your young child is to be silly! I avoid the key-words like ‘smile’ and ‘say cheese’, these words result in a forced unnatural smile. Instead we talk about their favourite cartoon character, sing their favourite song, bounce a ball off my head, pretend sneeze and just generally I can act a goose! This gets young children smiling and laughing. If all this fails, I get dad involved just behind where I’m shooting being silly and playing peek-a-boo. Children love seeing dad (or mum) acting silly!
We will try all the silly things I can think of – anything to get the shot!
Well I hope these tips can help you with preparing for your baby photography session that includes an older sibling!
PS – For more information on newborn and child photography, please contact me!