There’s so much excitement surrounding the milestone of becoming a big brother or big sister! As a Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Virginia newborn photographer, we’ve photographed hundreds of sibling sets together over the years. (And even some cousins!)
Some of these big brothers and sisters have been adults or teenagers and some of them have been school aged children. Most of the time, these siblings are amazing! They are such good helpers and ecstatic about the arrival of a new baby in the family! They follow directions perfectly and can hold the baby with such confidence.
The toughest age (and most common for us to capture) is those little toddlers, 14 months to 3 years. They really do run the show! 😆 How do we ensure that we almost always capture at least one adorable sibling portrait? We have been capturing siblings and family portraits for more than 15 years so we have lots of tricks up our sleeves.
First and foremost, we consider the time of day when your oldest is the happiest. If she usually naps at noon, we’re not going to schedule the session for 11. We have found that 9:30am tends to be a great start time for newborns and their big brother/sister.
At this age, we start the session off with family and sibling portraits. This way they are typically happy and curious. We give them just enough time to get comfortable with us, but not so much time that they’re bored and antsy.
As soon as you arrive, we ask big brother/sister who they brought with them and let them introduce us to their new baby. We show them our camera and lights and let them help us pick out a swaddle and/or headband for their baby sibling. If they’re still hesitant, we’ll even ask that they help us take a picture of their new baby. They LOVE to press the button and make the lights flash.
If none of our fun tricks work, we can take a break, focus on baby and then try again. And this would also be the point where we tell you not to hesitate breaking out the bribes! No judgement here, haha! Whatever it takes – fruit snacks, the promise of ice cream, a visit to the park, the ipad or all of the above!
If all goes as planned, the family and sibling portraits are complete in the first 30 minutes and Dad and big brother or sister are free to go on a special one on one outing to the park or out for lunch while we focus on the new baby. Of course, they’re welcome to stay and watch the entire session, if they’d like!