Photographing newborns with their older siblings who are only couple of years old themselves, can sometimes be a challenge. We all know how active toddlers are and how gentle we need to be with an infant. When I go to a newborn session and they have an older sibling I am very curios to see how the older child is around the new baby. It is such a big change for a little toddler, the first baby, who is used to being in the center of attention. Sometimes I see a lot of love and affection, and I feel more comfortable moving on with photographing the little ones together. And, of course, sometimes there is a little jealousy and resentment; it’s not easy to share mommy and daddy with this tiny stranger who takes up a lot of their time and attention…
Usually it is very important for the parents to try and have a portrait of their children together, and I work with them to find the best and safest way to do that. One of the safest poses to photograph a toddler with the new baby is by having them lay next to each other on the propped-up and cushioned floor. To make the toddler even more comfortable, often I have one of the parents right next to them.
That’s what we did here with Zea and Zoe. Zoe is only 2-years-old, and it took a few attempts to convince her lye down on the floor, but she did a great job staying there for a few minutes, even though she didn’t really want to put her arms around the baby LOL. What makes this image really work for me, is that you can see Zoe’s personality in it. Her playing with the rug, the silly smirk while biting her lip, the little fire in her eyes, it’s adorable! I can’t expect a two-year-old to pose for me with a newborn baby in her arm, I can only expect her to be who she is, a little toddler, and capture exactly that, as beautifully and safely as possible. Mission accomplished!
I got some more images of them together that you can see below. Those are also very safe for this age. I love the one of Zoe kissing the baby, I think it’s such a sweet little moment to remember.
This session went very well, but of course there have been cases, when it didn’t work out. Some toddlers are more active then others, and if they are between one and two years old, they don’t understand a lot of things yet, and we can’t expect them to be careful around the baby. I have had a few sessions when the parents and I decided that it’s best to just photograph the infant alone. If this happened to you, please don’t be sad! You will have more chances to have a portrait of them together, when it would be safer and won’t make your heart stop for a moment 🙂