When babies are born close together, sometimes it’s hard to realize you’re not the only baby in the family anymore. It can be a little bit of a transition for young toddlers to add a new baby to the mix. But, the flip side is that the transition tends to go quickly. Days and weeks later, the routine becomes normal and the siblings can hardly remember a time without each other. [ Newborn Photography Long Beach ]
I’ve been photographing newborns for 10 years and I notice this really unique bond formed between siblings that are close together. The older sibling wants to give all their love to the new baby. They shower the baby with kisses and hugs. Toddlers can also become little helpers and wanting to feed the baby and quiet her when she cries.
I think this bond is so special and I love being able to capture these sweet little moments.
At the end of this at home Newport Beach newborn photography session, we headed out to the beach for a few additional shots. It was a little chilly, but I’m so glad we did. The baby was all snuggled and warm, so she was happy and content for this part of the shoot. She’ll most likely grow up by the beach, so I love that her first days of life are documented there.
**Photos taken by Kristin Eldridge, Newport Beach newborn photographer
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.
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.
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.
Photographing older toddler siblings and their new baby sister or brother can be a little tricky. I always try to get them close on the bed or sofa. If that doesn’t work, I use this stump (or any chair/bench) to get the baby all nice and comfy (and still!). Then I add in the toddler. We play games and point out the baby’s feature. Sometimes a kiss will happen. But, it allows the toddler to move around and not be required to hold or even touch the baby. It still creates a feeling of intimacy even though there may be no physical touch.
Of course adding parents in always helps, but if you’re trying to get those adorable sibling shots, this is a little trick I use!
Photos by Orange County Newborn Photographer, Kristin Eldridge.
It’s not often that I photograph twins, so when I do, it’s pretty special! These guys were born early, so we had to wait a little for them to come home. After spending a few hours with them, I learned he’s always hungry and she’s definitely the GIRL. This sweet family stole my heart…and I can’t wait to see more of them as they grow up.
Life doesn’t stay the same for long, does it? I’m sitting here on the eve of the last day of school. Tomorrow will conclude the 2013-2014 school year. In the fall, we’ll enter Jake’s laaaast year of middle school. I don’t even need to tell you what comes after that. After talking with a friend who is feeling a bit weepy about her daughter leaving middle school, I starting thinking about all the new stages of life. Whether you’re in the business of adding a new little baby to your family or saying good-bye to pre-school, elementary or middle school, EMBRACE the change. Love the opportunities that each stage brings.
And most of all, love summer. Because summer starts tomorrow y’all! We’ll be picnic-ing, beach-ing and in general, party-ing!
// At home photo session by newborn photographer orange county, Kristin Eldridge.