Last summer, however, I had a bit of a change of heart with newborn sessions when one of my favorite friends, (Doe A Deery's very own Rachel A.), came to me with an idea that I instantly loved—newborn photos with a journalistic twist. She asked if I'd be interested in going to the hospital to document her older daughter coming to meet her new baby brother, and I was elated.
It was genius. And not posed. And had no props. And no studio. All I had to do was go be a fly on the wall to capture a beautiful moment in this family's life. And that is one hundred percent my/our style. This was a newborn shoot I could love, and being part of it in a background-kind-of-way was so awesome.
Recently I was able to do the same thing for another one of my favorite friends (and yet another of Doe A Deery's own, Alisia) when she had her second child almost three weeks ago, and I was reminded of how sweet every family's own little story is, and how fun it is to document it. And congrats to Ali on her new beautiful baby boy!! He is darling!
I wanted to share their photo sessions with you here as an idea you may want to consider—opting for a Meet-the-Sibling shoot (in place of a newborn shoot if you like, or in addition to a newborn shoot if you prefer) with a new baby that has older brothers or sisters to be introduced to.
If it can be in the hospital (or birthing center) where the moments are still raw and new and real, then my guess is while you may not be feeling at your peak beauty, you will be reminded of what the truest kind of beauty is. And it will be documented for you to remember and look back on whenever you need a reminder. The hospital is a moment when life seems to be on hold and a couple days of stillness seem to surround that baby and his/her new little life. I see it as the calm before the storm in my world—the stillness before the chaos of home, meals, schedules, daily needs (no wait...minute-ly needs) from the kids, (slow) recovery, sleep deprivation, and real life all set in. And oh yes. Feeling like a crazy person. That's my favorite part. I'm still riding the post-baby crazy-person wave, and my baby is 10 months old. But I'm off topic...I like that the days in the hospital provide a small window of time before all the craziness sets in and becomes the new normal, and I think documenting it can be a beautiful thing, in a very simple way.
This is something I personally would have someone else do, because as awesome as it is that Jon can be by my side taking pictures when we have a newbie of our own, we don't have pictures of us interacting with each other, soaking in the newness together, and introducing our older kids to the tiny new life together. And I would love to have that captured. I wanted to share some tips/ideas that I have used to help to make the most out of a Meet-the-Sibling session.
5 Tips for Documenting Your Own Meet-the-Sibling Story
1. Start at the very beginning.
Have the photographer follow the big brother(s)/big sister(s) up to the hospital room. It's fun to see the trip there from the child's perspective.
2. Let the photographer in the door first.
Have big brother(s)/big sister(s) wait just outside the hospital room door (with dad) when they get there while the photographer goes in to get ready for that first look and snag shots of their first expressions. They're golden.
3. Ignore the photographer and enjoy your family.
Don't stress over being picture perfect. Just soak up the new little one and each other. Those will be your favorite photos.
4. Let the big sibling(s) shine.
Let him/her hold the baby, smother the baby with love, and check out the new baby toes, fingers and nose. Curiosity is darling.
5. Give your other half a turn.
There's something about photos of dads with a new baby that I can't get over. They wear their hearts on their sleeves in those moments.
And don't forget to check out the winner of the Caravan Shoppe giveaway here! Happy Monday, everyone!