St Louis Photography Studio | How to Work With Toddlers At A Newborn Session

St Louis Photography Studio Explains How to Work With Toddlers At A Newborn Session

Toddler Sister Looking at Newborn Brother at St Louis Photography Studio

St Louis Photography Studio – Siblings are important and should be included in your newborn session! However, toddlers can be a bit tricky!

Some toddlers are carefree, excited, gentle, and eager to jump in on photos with their new baby. Others are timid, shy, scared, jealous, etc of their new sibling. It’s difficult to know how your toddler will react to your new addition. If their reaction is less than ideal, I promise it’s just a phase and it’s something we can work around when it comes to your newborn session!

I love getting creative and finding the best ways to incorporate toddler siblings in a way that makes them comfortable and keeps your baby safe!

3 Simple Rules To Follow

  1. Keep the focus on the toddler
  2. Keep the session fun and at a slow pace
  3. Never push a toddler to do what they don’t want to do!
Family with Newborn at St Louis Photography Studio

Keep The Focus On The Toddler

When you enter my (St Louis Photography) studio, I will show attention to your toddler first! It’s been a whirlwind for them since you brought home their new sibling and their world has turned completely upside down! So I try to make sure they are the center of attention throughout the session. I do this by changing my studio sign to “Welcome Big Brother Jack and Baby Isla” to make sure they are in the spotlight too. I start by asking them their name, complementing their outfit, asking what their favorite show is, taking a photo of them by themselves, etc.

Big Sister With Newborn Brother

Keep The Session Fun and at a Slow Pace

Toddlers need time. They need space. They need reassurance. After all, they are known for having big overwhelming feelings at times and they have a lot going on. They just brought home a new baby who cries a lot. Mom and dad are not able to give them 100% of the attention they are used to getting, they just walked into a place they’ve never been before (the studio) and they are expected to be on their best behavior and smile on queue. This is a big ask!! (let’s face it — even dads struggle with this too, haha)

So, I will do my best to keep them having FUN throughout their time at the studio. We will move at whatever pace they need us to move. If we need to start the session with them to keep them interested, we will. If they need time to warm up, we will add them when they are ready!

Mom, Big Sister, And baby Brother dressed in silver and white at St louis Photography Studio

Never Push a Toddler To Do What They Don’t Want To Do!

Progression of a Pose with a Toddler at a Newborn Session
Progression of a Pose with a Toddler at a Newborn Session

This is SO important!! I will not push a toddler to do what they do not want to do because it is NOT safe. If they do not want to hold their newborn sister, we won’t ask them to. If they change their mind at the end of the session, well go for it but I will never push them just for a photo. There are PLENTY of posing opportunities we can do to include them and their sibling in the photos.

Three Safe Poses To Try If Needed

  • We can capture them alone in the image first, then capture the baby alone in the same setup. Then I can photoshop a composite of them together in one image! It will look as if the image was taken with them in the photo together!
  • Have mom or dad hold the baby while the toddler is snuggling on the other side.
  • Have one parent hold the baby and the other hold the toddler with their back turned to keep baby hidden from them.
  • And many more!

I’ve learned a few tricks as a mom of 5 (soon to be 6) and as a professional photographer for 10+ years! I will work with you and your toddler to make a fun, stress-free, and safe experience at your newborn session!!

Be sure to visit my newborn session portfolio to view my work. Then send me a message to request all of the booking details and secure a spot on my calendar for your newborn session!


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A rating of 5 is not high enough for Kelly!! Kelly is an amazing photographer, was absolutely wonderful to work with, and was quick to reply to emails. Shes an upbeat and positive person, which made out photo sessions comfortable and fun!! Kelly is professional in more ways than one and I highly recommend her to anyone in the St. Louis area wanting some maternity and/or family photos taken!

Angela, Family session

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