The worst call/email I can receive is someone asking if I can just meet them to take one or two photos. “All I need is one good shot of the family.” Makes sense. No one NEEDS 30 great images…you just need one or two photos. But, what people don’t understand until they’ve worked with a photographer is that the magic happens along the way. See, we’ve never met before. As we get to know each other, we find common ground. We start laughing and relaxing and things all naturally fall into place. So, I can’t meet you for one or two photos. I wish it was that simple.
Instead, we meet like new friends, cautiously at first. Guards are let down, reserved smiles turn into genuine ones and everyone walks away happy. So, as you’re thinking about hiring a photographer, invest into the person. You’ll feel and LOOK yourself and then, magic.
This sweet baby girl joins a family who loved her before she was even here on this earth. Her older siblings anticipated her arrival and now that she’s finally here everyone wants to hold her. It’s gotta be great to be the center of so much love.
She will have connections with each of her older sisters and her older brother in a unique way. One might want to rough and tumble with her and another might teach her to read before she starts kindergarten. I love seeing big families. They dynamic is so loving. That lucky baby will be adored times four..plus her parents.
Her newborn session went so smoothly as her older siblings doted over her and kissed her little head. She woke for a bit and then went right back to sleep for her photos alone. What a perfect baby model!
Photos by Long Beach Newborn Photographer, Kristin Eldridge.
Hello, nice to meet you. Newborn sessions are so sweet because really, this new little being has only been on this side of the womb for a week or so. They’ve heard your voice and felt your warmth, but they’re still getting accustomed to the sites and sounds of the world. And you’re still learning their coos and cries.
This sweet little newborn session took place in my studio in Long Beach. Just the soft, simple white wall, parents and their brand new baby girl.
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!
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.
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!
This tiny little bit is joining the ranks of girls in their home. I love photographing big sisters with their babies. They are such ‘little mommies.’ These two big sisters were the best, snuggling and cuddling little baby S.