Newborn Photography in West Sussex

When you bring a new baby into your family, it’s of course totally natural that you would want everyone to be involved in the newborn photo shoot.  So when people ask if it’s OK to have siblings / parents in the picture, the answer is emphatically yes.

However, how we accomplish this is totally dependent on the age of the siblings.  It’s a guideline age as obviously all kids are different but I’d say if the big brother or sister is about four, it’s totally fine for them to attend the whole of the session.  I’d definitely recommend bringing along some things to entertain them as it’s a boring place and they may not get much of a kick out of watching the photos being created.  The thing to know here is that our mobile signal is woeful so if you’re planning on using phones / ipads to keep them occupied, then definitely download what you want before you come to save on frustration.

If they’re under this age, then I don’t recommend that they stay throughout the session and if they’re 2-3 then definitely not.  It’s a very boring and confining place to be as there is nowhere for them to play.  Plus they’ve just had a major change in their family life and are likely to be having some ‘big feelings’ so watching the new person get all of the attention for a considerable period of time is unlikely to prove popular.  All of which combine to make it a not very relaxing session from your point of view.

The main reason however for not recommending that they stay throughout is that, and if you’ve met a 2/3 year old then you’re going to relate to this, once they’ve decided they don’t want to do something then they aren’t going to do it.  No amount of persuading or bribery is going to get them to lie down with the new arrival (obviously we don’t ask them to hold them).  The chances of them getting in a ‘no’ mood are greatly increased by an hour or so of boredom and confinement up front, and then that’s your sibling photos out of the window.  The best thing to do is to get dropped off with the new baby while a parent / carer takes the older sibling to the park / soft play / dealer’s choice for an hour or so and then they join in later in the session when they are fresh and it’s all still exciting.  If the timing works out perfectly (and we make sure that both parties have mobiles so they can stay in touch if we need to adjust) then they walk in, get sibling photos then family photos and walk back out a happy guy / girl.  I find that doing things this way probably triples your chance of compliance when it comes to sibling pictures – of course there are no guarantees cos, two years olds but it’s the best roll of the dice we have.

When it comes to how we take the pictures of siblings together, then that also varies according to age.  Where siblings are still very young themselves, I don’t ever ask them to support the new baby as it would be a safety risk for the most part.  Secondary to this is the fact that even if they can hold them, it’s not likely to be in a very photogenic way.  So we have two options here – we either photograph them laying down on a fluffy rug shooting from the top down so everyone is safe and sound or we put the newborn onto something (my miniature bed and trolley are good for this) and ask the toddler to sit behind it and get things done that way.  In either case, there is always a parent just out of shot and close at hand to provide a safe pair of hands and a bit of a reassurance if it’s required when I step away to take the picture.

When they are a bit older, say four or five, with close parental supervision (again I always have someone just out of shot) they should be able to hold them while sitting on the floor.  This is made much easier if the new baby is swaddled and wrapped as they are much easier to hold if they are kind of ball shaped and not able to wriggle.  We only attempt this when we know the baby is pretty settled and likely not to present too much of a challenge and swaddling definitely helps here as well so I recommend if for younger sibling shots.  My aim in creating beautiful brother / sister images is to simplify as much as possible by removing all unnecessary complications and flailing newborn limbs and an unsettled baby can just make you feel like you are spinning plates – my motto is pretty much let’s make it easy!

Obviously with older siblings, holding and providing safe support is not a concern although I still do usually work with them sitting down so I can more easily pose up the newborn and make adjustments to make for a pretty photo even if we already know that it’s a safe one.

All children are different and you’re going to know best what works for yours regardless of age but hopefully that’s some helpful insight into how we get the job done!

Newborn Photography

A newborn photo shoot is best when your baby is between 5 and 10 days old as this is when they are at their maximum sleepiness and poseability to capture those dreamy shots.  For this reason, I definitely recommend that you book when you are pregnant as this is one less thing to worry about scheduling when you’ve just got home from the hospital.   We make an appointment for your due date plus 7 days and then adjust it as needed.

My newborn shoots include your three favourite digital images which you select from your online gallery a few weeks after your photo shoot – I don’t make you attend a sales or viewing session.  Sessions take place in my warm and cosy studio in Crawley Down and cost £95.