We’ve been photographing babies for some years now and it’s fair to say that most people that come to our Croydon studio for a newborn photography session are having their first baby.
After a couple of years we get an email or a phone call to the studio which normally starts with “You took some beautiful pictures of our first baby and we’re having another one! We’d love to have exactly the same experience we had with our first baby but this time we’d like to include our absolutely delightful two year old in the pictures”
My answer is of course always the same. “Yes we’d love to have you back in the studio and we can certainly photograph both your children together.”
And then what I really should add is…
“A word of warning, this photoshoot might be slightly different to your first newborn session with us. In fact whilst I don’t wish to burst any bubble of bliss you may be living in it is entirely possible your delightful two year old may have a temporary personality shift in the days shortly after the arrival of your second baby.”
Then a couple of years later we sometimes get a text or a late night email which begins with
“I’m pregnant again…I’m due this weekend…when can you fit us in?”
My reply is often something along the lines of
“Let’s do this!”
What needs to be added is the following advice.
How to prepare your older child for their sibling’s newborn shoot.
Ask yourself an honest question. How successfully receptive to bribery is your child?
I’m not expecting any toddler to smile on command so if you’re planning on dangling the prospect of of a delicious chocolate snack in front of your toddler in exchange for a genuine happy expression then don’t be surprised if all we get is a pre-school cheesy fake grin.
Pack a picnic
Our studio is rather unique inasmuch as we do also have The Photo Cafe. Sadly we don’t sell builder’s breakfasts but we have a lovely snack selection and the best hot chocolate a photographer will ever make you.
The temporary sugar rush we’ll be able to administer will only be able to amuse your toddler for so long so we do suggest bringing that trusty bag of go to snacks with you.
Bring a couple of outfits for the older child
I know the prospect of finding a suitable wardrobe for your toddler whilst dealing with a newborn baby probably isn’t at the top of your priority list but it’ll totally be worth it.
The best outfits are the simplest ones. I know your son may be obsessed with Paw Patrol but Chase’s crazed expression learing over your newborn isn’t exactly the “timeless” imagery we really want to create.
Remember that cute little outfit you brought for the wedding? How about that overally fancy dress that someone gifted you that she has never worn? Now is the time to search them out and bring them along.
This exercise is probably best done before baby arrives…at least that way you’ll have the time and inclination to see if those outfits actually fit!
Word of warning : new shirts are great. New shirts straight out of the packet with weird creases all over them : not so great.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a life partner or business partner, your mum, sister or nosey neighbor. Two pairs of hands are always going to be better than one, especially when one of those sets of hands will need to hold a newborn baby at some point.
Seven pairs of hands on the other hand aren’t ideal. Whilst I’m not against including the entire extended family in the photoshoot maybe a couple of them could enjoy the cafe whilst we’re dealing with some of the shots.
Trust us and try and enjoy the experience
We’ve been photographing babies for over ten years plus we’ve raised a couple ourselves too.
We know what you’re going through and we’re here to make the whole experience as easy and stress free for you and your baby as possible.
If you are bringing a toddler to the studio with your newborn baby it’s entirely possible they will act up at some point.
No matter how badly you think your child is misbehaving I can almost guarantee we’ve had worse!
At some point it may seem like the shoot has turned into chaos but in between the madness we’ll certainly be capturing some beautiful portraits of your children.
What if you didn’t have a newborn session with your other children?
For families who already have children that book in for a newborn photography session it’s interesting to hear the reasons they want a newborn session for their new baby.
The most common reason of all is that they are disappointed that they didn’t have a newborn session with their older child/children.
It’s not entirely surprising that many first time parents do not in fact make it into a professional studio within the first two weeks of baby’s life. It is a big ask but at the same time the rewards greatly outweigh the effort involved.