Ashlie Behm


5 Tips for Preparing Older Siblings for Newborn Photos

Preparing older sibling for newborn photo session

I recently shared some tips for prepping your newborn for their photo session. But how do you prepare when there is also an older sibling involved? Today I’m sharing five tips for preparing older siblings for newborn photos. 

Most people want to include the entire family during their newborn photography session. I’m all about it! I adore watching the entire family dote on their newest addition. Including older siblings into the newborn photo session is important because you’ll always want to remember your babies together at this stage. That sibling bond runs deep and having professional photos of all of your babies together will be something you will cherish forever. 

A newborn photography session with an older sibling usually takes 2-4 hours, depending on how many breaks we need to take. I start by getting to know your little ones so they feel comfortable. The goal is to have photos that feel natural, where your kids are at ease.  When older siblings are involved I begin with photos of them and your newborn. This way your older child can be done first. Many families will bring two cars so one parent can leave with the older sibling and the other parent can stay with the baby for the remainder of the session.

Let’s talk about what you can do to prepare older siblings for a newborn photo session: 

1. Set expectations before the session

Setting expectations before your session is the key to happy kiddos. Which leads to great photos! If your little ones are old enough to understand, I recommend preparing them for what’s to come before the session starts. Explain how much the photos mean to you and how much you are looking for them to be on their best behavior. A lot of families pick something fun for the older sibling to have after the session. Like lunch at their favorite restaurant or their favorite snack as a treat for afterwards! Bribery goes a long way!

2. A little rest & full bellies beforehand

It helps if your kids are well rested. A good nap or some quiet time for older sibling(s) prior to your newborn photo session will set them up for success during the session.

Making sure kiddos have a full belly prior to your photo session is crucial. I encourage you to bring water and their favorite snacks along.

3. Bring a favorite toy

Depending on their age, bringing along a favorite toy that I can use to their attention can yield great results.

4. Let them be kids

My favorite trick is to take photos of kids when they don’t realize they’re being photographed. This leads to natural and authentic photos of your entire family. I start by allowing older siblings to take a moment to explore and relax. This is easiest if parents are able to relax and be observers too! My experience has taught me that the best photos capture the moments as they happen. 

5. Breaks are totally fine

I always plan a little extra time for a snack break if needed. But if we can power through without we’ll have more time to capture some magical family photos together. When an older sibling does need a break,  I take it as an opportunity to get individual photos of your baby so you can take a break with the older sibling. This is also a great time to take photos of the baby with just one other family member.

Documenting this time for you and your family in a timeless and authentic way is my passion. I love being invited into these beautiful spaces of love. Knowing you will have these memories to cherish forever brings a crazy huge grin to my face.

Ready to book yours? Head on over to my contact form and let’s make some magic together!

Preparing older sibling for newborn photo session
Portland Newborn Photography Session, Parents each photographed separately with their two babies
Older Sibling with Newborn Baby - Newborn Photography Session
Dad with his two babies, Mom with her two babies. Family dressed in neutral colors. Fresh, Modern Newborn Photos
Older sister cuddling with her newborn baby brother at his newborn photography session
Mom sitting on bed with 3 year old daughter and newborn son at newborn photography session

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  1. Nice post! Newborn photography is most important.
    I really enjoyed this article. Thank you

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