I'm sharing my secrets to successful sibling photos during your newborn session plus my favorite go-to poses!
If you're a parent or a photographer tasked with capturing photos of siblings, you know that it can be both challenging and rewarding. Sibling photos can be some of the most cherished and timeless memories that families hold onto for years to come. However, getting siblings to cooperate, smile, and look natural in front of the camera can be quite a task.
In this blog post, I'll share tips and tricks for taking beautiful and authentic photos of siblings. I cover everything from tips & tricks to my favorite poses and more! Whether you're working with young children or older siblings, these tips will help you capture memorable and meaningful photos that families will treasure for years to come.
By following these tips and techniques, you'll be able to capture sibling photos that are not only beautiful but also authentic and meaningful. Whether you're a parent looking to document your children's bond or a photographer looking to expand your portfolio, these tips will help you take your sibling photos to the next level.
Scroll to the end to see my favorite sibling poses in action!
8 tips for capturing sibling photos with your newborn
#1 No pressure!
Toddlers can sense fear 😂 But really, don’t put pressure on the child to hold baby. One of my favorite poses if older brother or sister isn't so sure they want to hold the baby is to pose baby in a prop such as a bucket or basket. Ask them to sit next to the baby or bucket. If they still aren't sure about that, photoshop can be your friend, take a photo later of the sibling sitting next to an empty bucket and photo-merge the two together. If he/she seems like they may be slightly interested in holding baby, start with minimal holding/posing such as laying on a blanket with baby next to them. Start by sliding an arm under baby and go from there! See what the child is comfortable with and work with that comfort level.
#2 Parent Poses
If siblings aren’t quite sure about photos just yet, start with parent poses. Kiddos are much more likely to want to be involved if they see mom and dad laughing and smiling. This helps take the pressure off of them being the star and helps them to really just enjoy the moments together and forget about that big scary looking camera. They won’t want to be left out of all fun with mom & dad, trust me!
#3 Take Breaks
Don’t focus so much on your workflow. Work with what you have and be ready to adapt. Each child is different. After 9 years of experience photographing children and toddlers, I can usually tell the minute they walk in the door, how the sibling poses are going to go. Sometimes we take sibling photos right away, other times we take them in the middle of the session, and sometimes towards the end. It completely depends on how fast the child warms up to me and the idea of photos. We work them in where we can!
#4 Family First
Let everyone get acclimated to the studio, once they have shown a little interest in what you are doing or your space, start with family photos. It's usually a great sign if the child starts asking me questions because I can see they have some interest in what's going on and will eventually come around to the idea of photos. If I feel the child is ready for their close up, I typically like to get these out of the way first while children are still patient and interested!
#5 Words of Encouragement
Give big bro or sis those compliments! Reinforce how special they are! The more you get them chatting with you and/or asking you questions, the faster they will build that trust to understand that that photographer lady isn't so scary after all! I love to compliment little kids on their clothes or hair or how great of a helper they are! Kiddos love compliments, not to mention they are so easy to compliment because they are all sooo dang cute!
#6 Give them tasks
Most kiddos love to be helpful! So give them something to do! Ask them to find baby's toes or touch babies nose or give them a kiss on the cheek! My personal favorite is to have them close their eyes like baby. This usually results in funny faces and lots of genuine laughter! Giving a little bit of direction can help capture timeless & authentic moments!
#7 Practice makes Perfect
Practice holding and kissing baby at home. I always try to be aware of the child's boundaries and interests, if kiddos tell me "no" I simply move on and try again later. Sometimes holding their baby sister/brother can be intimidating for kids, try starting with a fake baby doll or teddy bear. Once they realize it's not so scary to hold that item, they may show a little more interest in giving it a try with the real thing.
Bribes can absolutely come in handy depending on the age. If your child typically responds well to bribes, this is one of the simplest ways to get their full attention. For me I keep Pez dispensers on hand at all times! These little candies are the perfect size and dissolve quickly so they make for a great fast reward. And they come in every character imaginable from spider-man to cinderella to minions and everything in between. I let the kids know that if they smile really good for the Minion, he gives them candy! This is usually a fool-proof way to get excited and interested kids that give out smiles non-stop!