This is one of the most common questions I’m asked when it comes to newborn photography – can siblings and parents be part of a newborn photo shoot?


The answer is yes, of course.  Although when it comes to parents, not everyone is keen to get in front of the camera so it’s not obligatory.  Parents can be involved as much in the session or as little as they’d like – whether they want a family portrait or just to get their hands in there (I’ve got a whole post about hands and newborn photos here).

Brothers and Sisters

Siblings are a little more complicated in terms of getting them involved in a new baby photo session.  They’re always welcome to be part of it but it does depend a little on the age of the sibling as to how it’s best to do it.  If they’re a bit older and are happy to sit through the session, watching a movie or playing a game on a tablet or just watching the pictures being taken then it’s great to have them there the whole time.

If they are small, then what I normally recommend is that mum and new arrival get dropped off and then dad and sibling go off to do something more interesting for an hour or so.  Then they can rejoin us at the end of the session so they are fresh and can enjoy being part of the experience.

Smaller siblings particularly will be going through a big life change as this new person has entered their family and so there’s never any pressure for them to ‘perform’ on the day.  I have a range of no-stress posing options to help them be as involved as they are comfortable with.  When you book a newborn photo shoot, you also receive membership to my Baby Photography Club so there’s plenty of time to capture them together over the course of the year if they aren’t keen to get involved in those early days.

Newborn sessions can be long, hot and boring for a toddler and there’s nowhere for them to play when they’re at the studio.  This means that you can end up with a fidgety little one jumping all over you while you’re trying to feed or just relax and enjoy watching your images being created.

It’s not essential that they go away from the session (I have no problem with them being there from my point of view) but I’d definitely recommend it as the most relaxing way to enjoy your newborn photography.