Thursday, September 17, 2015

6 Tips for Taking Sibling Photographs with a Newborn

It turns out there is no higher goal, nor greater challenge, than capturing loving and beautiful pictures of newborns with their big brothers and sisters. You guys have no idea how many times I have dreamed up perfect pictures in my head, only to find myself unable to execute said plans because of uncooperative baby or siblings. Sigh. 

That said, here are 6 of my best tips for taking the best possible pictures of your new baby with their older brothers and/or sisters. disclaimer: I'm no expert, and best-possible doesn't equal perfect!
1. Don't force it - It's so tempting to try and take pictures on my timeline, when inspiration and convenience strikes. However, forcing pictures when the four year old isn't feeling it? Doesn't work out great . . . and I only end up frustrated. Instead, try and have your camera ready so that when your older ones are feeling loving and cooperative, you can capture the magic. And then pretend it happens all the time. 
2. Notice good light - Repeat after me: It's all about the light. I love love the light in our back hallway right when the sun starts to set. So the other day, I asked my more cooperative child (Jayci, obviously) if she wanted to sit in the pretty light and hold her brother for a minute. Because a minute is usually all it takes, really. Find that interesting and pretty light, and notice where it falls in your house during what times of day. And then take pictures in said light (but again, don't force it if the kiddos aren't feeling cooperative).
3. Use windows in your own house. Because it's hard enough to get out of bed these days, let alone out of the house (am I right?) Bonus tip: wrap baby up in a cute swaddle to keep hands from blocking face, and then you dont even have to fuss with trying to pick an outfit and wrangle him into it! 
These pictures are on the ground under a window in the master bedroom. I like taking pictures on the ground with a newborn because there's fewer chances of falling, rolling, jostling, (and so on) by an exuberant four year old. Also, remember if you're taking pictures yourself without someone to help/spot to be extra careful (safety first folks).
4. Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. The unscripted moments are my favorite. In this shot, Jayci was cracking up because Isaiah just farted. Real talk. But I love how it turned out because you can see her missing teeth, his cute expression, the interesting light . . . 
Maybe it's just me, but I'd much rather an authentic picture of our real (messy, beautiful, far-from-perfect-but-still-amazing) life in this quickly-fleeting newborn phase, than anything that's perfectly scripted or posed. How else will we remember it all through the haze of sleep deprivation and overwhelming love?

I promise this is a gentle hug and not a headlock.
5. If all else fails, hire someone fabulous. Especially if you have a super-talented friend who will deal with all-your-crazy (thanks Megan)!
And here's my tip for a professional photographing your kiddos: trust them. I left Megan alone with my kids to work her magic and capture them all together. Because studies show that children are 800% worse when their mothers are in the room

Also, you could hire me. Just saying. 
 6. Finally (and importantly!), print your pictures. I have a really bad habit of leaving all my lovely pictures sitting on my computer, though the lucky ones will possibly make their way to fb/blog/instagram. My goal this year is to figure out a good/manageable system for printing pictures and documenting our lives in tangible ways that my kids can treasure and share and look through for years to come.
I printed these with Artifact Uprising, whom I love and highly recommend. Plus, sign up now and they'll give you 25 free prints! 
*Note: Artifact Uprising doesn't know I'm writing this, I just love them and what they do. 


  1. I'd totally hire you if I was near you... or had any kids :) haha... love your pictures!


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