When taking photos with babies and Toddlers, you may feel a bit frazzled. You have one child that holds still and another running wild! When you have a Newborn Session with siblings, you become the child wrangler!
I have four kids of my own so I always have a few tricks up my sleeve, but I am going to share some ideas with you that have worked for me:
1. Give the kids somewhere to sit or stand:
I love to bust out a stool for them to stand on or put them in their parent's arms. This helps to contain them into a space they feel is their own.
Make it a game of pretend and tell them it's the top of the castle or a mountain. They think it's fun and are more willing to cooperate.
2. Give them a job:
It makes them feel important in such a time of change. Ask them to do something such as give their sibling a magical kiss.
Sometimes as adults I feel we lose a little bit of their imagination, but make up some wild story about how their kisses keep their sibling happy.
When they are young, they eat this stuff up! If they are too young such as under two... they have no clue what you are talking about.
3. Show them a photo on the back of your camera:
Kids get SO excited to see themselves in a photo on your screen. Most of the time when I do this, they ask me to take more pictures and I generally get 2-3 minutes of full-cooperation which is plenty of time to capture the images mom wants.
4. Ask them to bring someone to help or have an assistant:
Whether Dad or Grandma join the fun for the Newborn Session or you find someone to help.
I always, always start with shots that include the siblings first so that the helper person can either take them outside to play or take them home.
In my case, try to schedule these sessions just shortly before my daughter gets home from school and if I need her, she is there and willing to help.
This will also help the remainder of your session go so much smoother when you don't have a wild child running or screaming in the studio and startling the baby.
Mama is able to relax on the couch while I take care of baby for the remaining hour or so. She will go home feeling like a new woman!
5. Tell mom to play with her kids as she normally does: