Let’s face it, us mommas and daddies love our babies. So, when we add a new little person to our family, it is only natural that we want to have a beautifully captured sibling shot. It especially makes our momma hearts go pitter-patter to see our babies together. As a momma and a photographer, I emphasize the importance of getting those shots in during your session. However, it is also my priority to do so safely and with consideration of every child involved.
My favorite go-to sibling shot is a lying down shot on the beanbag. My big Newborn Cloud beanbag gives us plenty of space to do this even with older siblings. The reason this is such a great shot, is that it offers a sweet nestled view of your precious littles, combined with the safety of the beanbag for support. Especially with toddler and preschool-set siblings, a parent, or both parents, can be right there on either side of the bag, to constantly monitor baby’s safety.
Even with older siblings, we try to pose in a way that doesn’t put baby’s weight into their arms. A baby can get heavy really quickly, and tired arms can sag, or readjust. Such a shift could lead to baby no longer being supported safely. Here baby is being “held,” but is really supported by the legs.
Sometimes, “big-brother” or “big-sister” are really only babies themselves. It is often asking quite a lot to want a toddler sibling to lie still with their new brother or sister in their arms. For a busy toddler or preschooler, even sitting safely beside baby, can be a stretch. When this is the case, we will try for a composite shot. If the newborn is able to be posed in a bucket, or basket, we can take a shot. Then, we can remove baby to the safety of a parent’s arms and attempt enticing the older sibling with a treat or toy in the basket/bucket to get their attention. This can give you that coveted shot of your babies together, while limiting frustration and without compromising safety.
Let’s face it, even as adults, we aren’t always really fired up about being in front of the camera. For a small child, coming into my studio space can be very overwhelming. I’m a complete stranger to them; it’s a strange place with many new distractions. While I really enjoy interacting with children, I also respect that they have different personalities and emotions. It is never in anyone’s best interest to try to force a young sibling to do something with which they are struggling.
I promise to work very hard to get you that sibling shot. I will change course and then revisit sibling shots after they are more comfortable. I will be patient and encouraging. I will even bribe (I’m never above a little bribery. Cheerios, anyone?) However, I will not force it. I want everyone in my studio to have a positive experience, including that little one who just had their world rocked with a brand new baby. So, sometimes, it is important to have realistic expectations, and to re-adjust those expectations if a child is truly unable to participate due to insecurity, shyness, crankiness, etc. We can always try again for a sibling shot down the road at a milestone session. Sometimes, a great family shot, with sibling interaction, can be just the ticket to helping the session remain enjoyable and comfortable for some of our smallest siblings.
As a momma of two boys, I know that the snapshots and photos I have of them together are definitely my treasures. I will always put my best efforts into capturing beautiful sibling moments for you, and I will do it with your children’s safety and comfort as my top priority.
Are you adding to your family soon? Would you like more information about your own Newborn Session with sibling shots? I’d love to hear from you. Send me a quick note here!