Today I would like to talk about the importance of taking newborn family photos. I pretty much always get resistance from parents when I say I would like to create these. I have made this almost to be mandatory in my studio and I always take family photos with a newborn baby.
In this digital I age I always say ‘I would rather take a portrait for you than you regret later that you didn’t get one’. It doesn’t cost you anything to get a beautiful family portrait. You can later decide if you love it, but at least you will have it.
If you have chosen the right photographer who knows how to light for a nice family, you will have beautiful portraits to cherish. It is not easy to pose family for the portrait, but more you do it, easier it will get.
How to create a family portrait.
First of all, prepare the family. Tell them that you will be taking a family portrait. Explain the importance of it.
They can decide what tone of clothing they will be bringing with them. On this page, you can see various tones of clothing. I have also made a whole what to wear guide where go more in-depth on clothing.
Print out some inspiration idea for family portraits. Especially if you are new to this. I always pose family members close in. I like to see how family connects with their little newborn baby.
Newborn baby and family photo ideas with different combinations.
Family photos with newborn and toddler.
I will start with newborn family photos including a toddler. This one is the most challenging and probably hardest to do it very well. I created the whole article talking about newborn sibling portraits. Adding parents into the mix sometimes can make things easier, sometimes…
The key here is to play the game. If the toddler is having none of it, then I would recommend thinking about adding some sort of bribe. You will see here that I hide little smarties or some sort of more organic snack so toddlers engage better and stay longer with a newborn baby.
If a toddler doesn’t want to sit but stand instead. Parents would sit down and leave the space between themselves so the toddler can stand and give cuddles. This family combination would need to be done pretty quick as a toddler will try to get away.
Want to add more challenge into your mix? Try to deal with a dog and newborn baby during the family photo :) Sometimes it works fine, but if you have a larger dog, it really can be challenging to get the dog to cooperate and at the same time look decent in the photo.
To keep the dog longer with you, I always recommend to brake treat in smaller pieces and keep in one of your hands. The dog will know the treat is somewhere around and will keep sniffing around. The reason for smaller pieces is to get the dog to eat it fast so there is no chewing happening.
TIP: Bring a sticky roller to your photoshoot to clean your clothes
Newborn with parents only.
I would normally ask parents what kind of family photos they would like. Something darker or light, something more artistic. I have a few examples in my studio and in my newborn portfolio. Parents normally would like a couple of looks. Something that their parents would enjoy like looking into the camera and something more artistic for their own wall portrait.
Mums can be very self-conscious. In ten years of experience, I have never met a mum who would not complain about something that is wrong with their body. If the photographer knows what they are doing, you will look gorgeous.
I know that within the first weeks after giving birth, this is the last thing what you would like to do, but trust me, you won’t regret it. Newborns stay small only for so short time. With these portraits, you will remember how once they were fitting in your arms. You will want those cuddles again.
Posing well, using light correctly and with the help of a little bit of post-processing, it is totally possible to have amazing mum and baby portraits. You can do more artistic look or more standard look into the camera. I normally do two looks. One looking into camera portraits and one looking away.
If mums are shy and just not sure if they want a baby and mum portrait, then dads definitely don’t know if they want a portrait. However after I have taken portraits for them, somehow I can see that their FB profile picture changes to my portrait.
I always ask if dad has any tattoos and he wants to include them. Mums love seeing their partner portraits with newborn skin to skin. Use some dramatic lighting to bring out tattoos details.
One of the most requested poses would be including only hands and newborn. Some sort of comparison to show how newborns fitted only in your arms. These can make some beautiful artistic portraits. Love details shots.