A question I often hear from parents is how to best prepare their toddler for joining newborn photos! I totally understand this concern as there is a lot of uncertainty and unpredictability when it comes to toddlers and newborns, especially when expectations for photos are involved. Over my years of being a Minneapolis newborn photographer, I have found that the best strategy for setting toddlers up for success is to take the pressure off! Toddlers (and kids in general) can sense when you are stressed and wanting them to do something really specific, and that can often (unfortunately) backfire! We want to make sure that the older siblings feel welcomed, involved and excited about taking photos as a family!
Here are a few Minneapolis newborn photography tips:
In the days leading up to your session, get your toddler excited about being a part of the photos and tell them all about how the photos will be on mommy’s phone, or on the living room walls! Get them excited to be involved and for the final product. Ask them if they want to get a photo with just baby, or just mommy and daddy! Make them feel special, involved and excited.
Keep bribes to a minimum, as toddlers tend to get over-focused on their future reward and can be hard for them to not get upset! Instead, focus on little ways to make the photo experience genuinely engaging and fun for them. At most sessions, we start with the posed, everyone-smile-at-me family photos when toddlers are still interested, and then focus more on candid moments, with the pressure to “perform” off. Don’t worry if you know your child will need lots of small breaks during our newborn photo session together, that’s totally normal and expected!
For some families, it helps a lot to invite a grandparent, aunt/uncle or family friend to come and help so that older siblings can take breaks away from photos without pausing the session entirely. If grandma can go give big brother or sister a snack and a play break, we can continue photos with just baby and you and your partner.
Ultimately, release your expectations and take the pressure off of yourself and your family to be perfect! I fully expect toddlers to be toddlers, and our ultimate goal is to create some beautiful memories during your session – so have fun, be present and trust me to ebb and flow with the needs of your little ones to capture those sweet, connection focused photos that you’re dreaming about!
Natalie is THE BEST!!! She makes the whole process from start to finish smooth as butter! Her photos are ABSOLUTELY BREATH TAKING!!! They are real, beautiful and US! That is my favorite thing about Natalie and her photos - is she takes them as they are and brings that to life. 100/10 have already recommended her to all my family and friends! BOOK HER NOW!!!!!