Newborn and toddler photos
So you have booked your newborn photo session (or thinking about doing it) and while you are excited about having lovely natural images of your new baby, you may also worry about your other child, the older sibling... How is he/she going to react to being photographed? How will we get him/her to co-operate on the day of the shoot? This concern is nothing new, I get this a lot from clients who book me for their session while already having older kid(s) at home. There are few tips and tricks I have for achieving beautiful and natural newborn and toddler photos.
Let go of expectations
You may have ideas in your head for your newborn photo session. You may think of specific images you would like of your two (or three, or more) children. You know which ones? The ones where both baby and toddler lay down together, engaging with one another, smiling at each other. As much as I would love to be able to get these photos for you, you really have to let go of expectations and go with the flow on the day of the session. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for a very frustrating experience and ultimately a feeling of failure. I always take the lead from the baby and the toddler (if present) and photograph candid scenes as they unfold. In fact, almost always I witness heartfelt moments that could not be scripted and they show the kids as they are, right there in the moment.
Sometimes the stars align and you get both your newborn and the toddler laying together, cuddling, smiling and maybe even looking at the camera... then you bet I will be taking photos of them! But don't let this scenario be your goal for every shot. Be flexible, think about natural interactions, what happens when I'm not there to take the photos - how does your older child react to the baby? Does he/she help out with feeding? Or entertains the baby in a funny or silly way? These ultimately are the photos that make up of your family's story. These are the moments worth capturing, not the staged unnatural poses.
Prepare to take breaks
Becoming a big brother or sister can be exciting but also a bit challenging. Having all of this attention on the baby can be difficult, which can result in even shorter attention spans. Acting out or throwing a tantrum can happen and you need to prepare to take a few minutes just to cuddle with your big one. Don't worry, there is no rush, I always allow for extra cuddles or short breaks. Offer a reward, something for older kids to look forward to (like snacks, or a favourite game or book later). This ensures the child stays relaxed and excited about the experience - and that's the idea!