Newborn babies love to be warm so crank up the heating for the shoot. If baby is cold, they won't settle and it'll be much harder to get any photographs of them unwrapped. The general rule is: if the adults aren't sweating, it's not warm enough!
Babies and toddlers lead the session. The best way to get older siblings to cooperate is to be present, be patient, and work quickly. Games, songs and cuddles are the order of the day. (Bribes also work well!) Don't be afraid to take the initiative and do things you know they love. Focus on getting them to have fun and enjoy the experience. Be flexible in your expectations of what the sibling shot is going to look like.
Once we have what we need from your toddler, I will suggest that Dad takes them outside - into the garden, or to the park. Toddlers will not focus for 2 hours and we will have more success with the newborn portraits if things are calm and quiet.
Your baby should be awake for at least an hour before your shoot starts. Get your hair and make up done, but don't get dressed yet. About 20 minutes before I'm due to arrive, undress baby and change their nappy. Then wrap them in some warm blankets (neutral ones, if possible) and give them a nice, big feed - even if it's not quite time!
When I arrive, I'll set up and once baby has finished their feed I'll take them from you and swaddle them tightly while you get dressed. Your baby should be ready for a deep sleep by that point!
If they're not, please don't worry - your session is baby led. They all sleep eventually!
I'm looking for images full of connection, warmth, and love. Try to not worry about the camera. Any awkward poses, double chins or other bloopers go straight in the bin and never see the light of day.
Connect with each other. Take a deep breath. Relax. Snuggle. Leave your inhibitions at the door and focus on enjoying each other for a few hours.
stacey rolfe photography
I'm a Sydney family photographer, newborn photographer, maternity photographer and pregnancy photographer. I work in the Eastern Suburbs, Sydney CBD, North Shore and Inner West.