Lately I’ve been having a lot of dogs coming to the newborn sessions. It’s actually a lot of fun and I’ll ask the family if this is their ‘first baby.’ So many married couples end up owning a dog before having children and the dog becomes the first baby. I love how they are protective over the new baby. Of course, safety is important, so I always ask families to keep their hands close by and photoshop them out if needed. That animal-baby bond is just adorable.
All the high-fives and heart eyes go to sweet toddlers that are willing to cuddle their newborn sibling. Did you know that transitioning a toddler from being an only child to being a big brother or sister is tough? I was reading a study that likened the transition to a husband bringing a mistress home to his wife. It’s a little dramatic, but the thought of going from the only star to having to share the spotlight must feel that way to a 2 or 3 year old.
Thank goodness for easy going siblings that slide into their role as big sister or brother with the greatest of ease.
Being a Older Sibling // Orange County Baby Photographer, Photos taken by Kristin Eldridge.
Photographing newborns is one of the best parts of my job, but also the hardest. I allow 2 hours to shoot a newborn session in my studio and I usually use up every moment.
Here’s how it all breaks down with shooting a newborn session in 2 hours:
1. The family arrives and I go over the plan with them. I ask about preferences and we talk about what shots are most important. Sometimes, they don’t have any ideas and I plan the session. Other families come in with lots of ideas.
2. I always start with the siblings together. I’m a fresh new face, but that only lasts for about 15 minutes! I find that older siblings will listen and cooperate right away, but after that I become familiar and it’s a little harder to get everyone on board. So, if the baby can arrive sleeping, that’s optimal.
3. If all is going well, the sibling shots will last about 10-15 minutes. I try to switch between looking-and-smiling and then give them cues to interact with the baby.
4. Next comes the family shots. I like to do all adults as soon as I can because the room is hot, so hair gets sweaty and make-up runs. I also want families to be able to relax and enjoy me photographing their baby. So, I like to put all the work at the beginning. I will vary up the family shots between traditional and then some more candid/interacting type shots. I also throw in some unique crops and photograph each parent with the baby if they are up for it. This can last 10-20 minutes.
5. After these shots are done, I check in with the parents and make sure they’re happy with everything we’ve gotten so far. Then, the can relax and just watch. I use a bean bag and layer the backdrops so I can quickly change from one to the other. If props are being used, I’ll make sure that the baby is sleeping soundly. So, I might be photographing the squirmy baby who’s not quite in a deep sleep on my bean bag and then once I realize they’re completely out, I’ll move to the prop. Then, I’ll move back to the bean bag to finish things up.
If you’re new to newborn photography, just don’t give up. You have to outlast the baby that just doesn’t want to sleep. So, be patient…it will pay off. If you’re a parent of a newborn, come in relaxed. Know that your photographer is a professional and will know how to handle any situation. A relaxed family = happy photos!
Using a light back-drop with newborns is the perfect way to add creaminess to their skin tone. Newborn skin is so soft and sweet that I love to enhance that instead of fight against it with darker or brighter colors. It’s just a personal preference, but I swoon every time I’m looking through creamy newborn photos.
Part of my newborn sessions always includes photographing tiny newborn hands and feet. I try to plan it in when the newborn isn’t quite asleep. That way, I’m not wasting any time. I’m waiting for baby to be soothed to sleep and getting some of the very important details. In fact, if babies are moving just a little it adds so much to the photo. Seeing toes curl up and hands grab on is just adorable.
There are times when it’s better for the baby to be asleep (like if you want fingers extended).
The other thing I like to do is photograph the series of details in the same color way. That way a parent could hang the detail shots together without worrying about contrasting colors.
Sometimes you don’t need everyone’s face in the shot. Sometimes the love is communicated through gestures and body posture. I love to include a good combination of traditional and modern crops into each photo session.
What are you drawn toward? Do you love traditional shots or do you prefer the ‘different’?
newborn photographer long beach
Baby C was a chill as could be. Which is pretty great when you’re the little brother. You have to learn to go with the flow.
He slept like a champ and let everyone hold him, even his toddler-aged sister. Speaking of his big sister, it wasn’t too long ago that I was doing her newborn session. And she was also super easy-going. Maybe it runs in the family!
Baby Photography Long Beach
As much as I love photographing babies in my Long Beach studio, going to a client’s home is also wonderful. People are generally more comfortable in their own home and they get to put in little touches of their style into the photos. Not to mention the totally cozy feel the photos have. So, if you’re on the fence about where to do your photo session, consider doing it at your home. These photos show just how beautiful an at-home session can be.
Orange County Newborn Photography