Sibling Poses for Every Age
Sibling poses is by far my most requested shot for newborns. Every parent wants them, but they are also usually the most challenging ones to execute.
Take an already temperamental toddler, throw in a bit of jealousy over the new baby, and sprinkle in the foreign environment of your studio, and you have your work cut out for you!
The best advice I have is to make sure the parents have realistic expectations. In my studio, it’s a “we get what we get” situation – I will try my best to get one of the coveted sibling poses, but if the sibling is simply not having it, it may not happen. And I never, ever, ever, put the safety of a newborn at risk in order to get a sibling shot.
You’ll notice that the newborn is wrapped in most of these photos. It just allows for easy handling, there is a better chance of baby staying asleep, and is overall a safer choice.
Here are some ideas for sibling poses that you can try, for different ages, both in your studio, and in clients’ homes.
Lying down on flokati poses
Suitable for: Any age
The overhead shot on a flokati or a blanket is very popular, and always a hit with parents who recognize the intimacy of their little newborn cuddled up in the crook of their sibling’s arm.
The trick to this shot is to place some support under the sibling’s head (and under the newborn’s head, if needed), both for comfort and for a better angle. Use posing beans, a small pillow, or just a few rolled receiving blankets.
ALWAYS use your neck strap when standing over the children. I talk more about the importance of neck straps here.
When lighting this shot, I prefer to place my light in the 2pm position above baby’s head. That will allow the light to flow down the children’s faces, without the older sibling’s bigger head casting a shadow over the newborn’s face.
Sibling Add-In Poses
Suitable for: Any age, but especially useful for very young or squirmy siblings
One of the simpler sibling poses to incorporate into your sessions is the sibling add-in. This involves simply posing the newborn in a safe way, and then bringing the sibling over into the frame. It works well in both studio and lifestyle sessions.
They don’t have to hold baby in any way, so this can work for even the youngest of siblings. First prize is to get the sibling to interact with the newborn in a safe way – kissing, smelling, touching, counting toes – but always make sure to have someone close by as a spotter. But failing that, even just having them in the same frame, with the sibling looking at the newborn, is a win! (And sometimes, you don’t even need their faces in the shot – just hands or feet will do too!)
Suitable for: Slightly older siblings who can follow instructions
For those siblings who are ALMOST old enough to hold baby on their own, these assisted sibling poses are perfect.
Start with a tightly wrapped baby, and then use the sibling’s lap or knees to support the newborn. For in-home sessions, a few well-placed cushions can also do the trick for young siblings holding the baby on a couch or on a bed.
You always need a parent or spotter to keep hands on baby until the moment you take the photo.
Suitable for: Older siblings who are comfortable handling newborns and supporting the full weight of baby
There is no magic age where I would recommend these holding sibling poses, as each child is different. But do follow the parents’ lead on this one, as they know their child best. But it’s always better to be 100% safe and still have a parent act as a spotter (I even have parents spot for one another during parent poses!).
For the child and tween crowd, a simple holding pose would be perfect. If you have older teenage siblings, you can pretty much pose them the same way you would pose parents.
For specific instruction on sibling posing in the studio, check out the Newborn Essentials Masterclass where we cover exactly how to achieve those sibling poses parents love.
And pin this post for some inspiration later:
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