I don’t think I need to tell you about how sweet it is when older siblings immediately fall in love with their brand new brother. The photos tell the story. It makes my job so easy when the love is just oozing out of your every pore. Whether it’s a brand new baby or a family that’s been a family for years, it doesn’t matter. You can’t fake love. And you can’t deny it either.
When I’m photographing families, I’ll ask them to do things like snuggle or get close or just hang out like you do at home. It’s so much fun to see them show love in their own unique way. And to see older siblings (and parents!) welcome a brand new life into the family, it’s like heart warming and tear-jerking and all the heart eye emojis.
I’ve kind of always been a simple girl. In the 90’s my favorite color was black. That turned to brown in the early 2000’s, then white and now grey. What can I say, I love neutrals. 🙂 I’m so happy that neutral and SIMPLE is totally having a moment. Graphic design is pared down and color palettes are just basic. And I love it.
This also translates well to newborn sessions. I love a simple color palette for newborn sessions and I especially love neutral colors. It puts the focus on creamy skin tones and all the affection you have for your brand new baby.
This recent newborn photo session in Los Angeles is the perfect example of all the things I love best. Soft, simple and neutral.
Photos by Los Angeles Newborn Photographer, Kristin Eldridge
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’?
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!