top of page

Capturing Connection: The Art of Sibling Photography in Baby Portraits

The addition of a new baby to the family is a momentous occasion, not just for parents but for siblings as well. Photographing siblings together, particularly when one is just a newborn, presents a unique opportunity to capture the essence of their early relationship. These photos not only become cherished family heirlooms but also serve as a tangible representation of love, connection, and the beginning of a lifelong bond. Here’s how to master the art of sibling photography in baby portraits.

Setting the Scene for Sibling Harmony

Photographing siblings, especially with a considerable age gap, requires patience, planning, and a bit of creativity. The key is to create a calm and comfortable environment. For older siblings, explain what will happen during the photo session and involve them in the process. Let them choose a toy or a book they would like to include, making them feel important and valued. For the newborn, ensuring they are fed, changed, and comfortable before the shoot is crucial.

Capturing the Genuine Moments

The most memorable sibling photos often come from genuine, unposed moments. Encourage interaction by asking the older sibling to tell their new brother or sister a story, sing a song, or gently place a kiss on their forehead. These actions can lead to beautiful, candid shots that reflect the siblings’ true personalities and their nascent relationship.

Safety First

When planning poses, safety is paramount. Always have a parent or assistant nearby to supervise, especially if the sibling is holding the newborn. For very young children, lying down poses can work well, with the baby placed securely on a soft blanket and the sibling lying next to them. Alternatively, have the older sibling sit with support and place the baby in their lap, ensuring they are comfortable and secure.

a newborn baby laying next to big sister
Their first photos together are an important celebration of their lifelong relationship

Embrace the Chaos

With children, it’s important to remember that not everything will go as planned—and that’s okay. Sometimes, the most memorable and authentic photos come from the unexpected moments. An older sibling’s curious gaze at their new sibling, a spontaneous laugh, or even a display of momentary jealousy can offer a glimpse into their complex emotions. Embrace these moments, and keep the camera ready.

The Right Timing and Lighting

The best time for sibling photos is when the newborn is sleepy and more likely to stay still. Use natural light or continuous lighting whenever possible, as it’s flattering and less likely to disturb the baby. Morning sessions can be ideal, following the newborn’s feeding time, ensuring they are at their calmest.

Involve the Family

While the focus is on the siblings, involving the whole family towards the end of the session can add another layer to the narrative. These family portraits underscore the newborn's place within the family unit and the collective joy of the new arrival.

Photographing siblings with a new baby is an art that goes beyond simple poses and smiles. It’s about capturing the essence of their early relationship, the warmth of their connection, and the promise of their shared future. As a photographer, guiding the session with patience, creativity, and an open heart can yield images that families will treasure for a lifetime. Whether it’s the protective embrace of an older sibling or a shared laugh at a silly face, these are the moments that tell the real story of a family’s love and the magical bond between siblings.

Best wishes!

Amy x


bottom of page