Should you include older siblings in your newborn session?
Newborn Miss A and her family, including big sister, came to my studio for her newborn portraits. I had photographed big sis as a newborn, six month old and one-year-old. Spoiler alert: I love being able to include big siblings into newborn sessions. Especially when that sibling is one I’ve been able to photograph before. Because now I get to meet her in her new important role as older sister!
But the question is, “should you include your older children in your newborn portrait session?” My answer is resoundingly: yes! It may feel like extra work when you can barely get yourself and the newborn out the door. But it is worth it. Not only is including siblings a great way to celebrate, capture and remember the early bonding between new siblings, it’s also a great way to help build that bond.
Also remember that I have photographed over 400 newborns and their families to date. All you have to do is get yourself to the studio, I take it from there! I have tips and tricks to help the session run smoothly. For example, I always have an assistant for newborn safety. But the assistant is also there to help with your older children. We distract when it is needed by singing and playing and generally attempting to make your life easier!
Miss A’s newborn session is a great example of why I love to include older children in their new sibling’s portraits. Big sis gave some awesome, huge smiles, so clearly she’s happy with the new arrival! And she even got to play model herself again, getting some solo photos taken. Scroll all the way to the bottom to see those, they are adorable.
I always start with the family and sibling portraits so you can relax after. Then depending on your preference, I focus on the newborn. And Miss A slept peacefully throughout the session, letting me get plenty of photos of her curled up sweetly by herself.
Styling For A Newborn Session with Older Siblings
Styling your big and little kids for a newborn session does not have to be difficult. In fact I usually have some outfit options available for you to use. My first suggestion is always: neutrals. Neutrals do not have to be boring, or even completely solid. Big sister is wearing one of my dresses (I have it in a few sizes!) and it is neutral so it doesn’t distract too much. But it is not boring. The dress has ruffled sleeves and a slight texture to the fabric. It is soft too, which I find very important when photographing newborns and children in general.
I do customize each session in line with what the family is comfortable with. For Miss A’s newborn photos, the main color choices were white and purple. Big sister’s dusty pink tunic (also in my studio collection along with the white leggings) added just a tiny pop of pink. The color purple was incorporated in a few different ways, and in a few different shades. In the photos with big sister, Miss A is wrapped in a darker shade, and has a headband with different shades of purple. For her solo shots, Miss A is on a light purple blanket with a slightly darker hat. This is a great way to use a single color throughout a session, without having them all blend together too much.
The use of white throughout the session is another way to really make the purple pop. White is such a great choice for newborn photos because it’s so crisp and clean. And I love the way the white fur looks like a cloud, making Miss A look like she’s sleeping peacefully on top of a fluffy cloud.
All in all, I think it is a good idea to include your older children when photographing your new baby. The photos of your children together will likely be some of your favorite portraits ever taken.
Are you looking for a newborn and family photographer in northern MA? Contact Kate today!