When I hold a newborn photo shoot at a client’s home, parents often worry how older siblings will react. As an older sibling myself, I know how frustrating it is to suddenly be forced to share the limelight. So I fully appreciate how grumpy toddlers might be feeling!

I tell parents the best thing to do is relax and not to worry! I certainly won’t judge you or them! Whatever happens, we will get a gallery of beautiful images that reflect ‘true’ family life! And sometimes the grumpy photos are the best!

Grumpy toddler at newborn photo shoot


I recently photographed this lovely family in Wardington, Oxfordshire. I’d photographed their son the previous year and knew today’s grumps were totally out of character. So I advised the parents to relax and just let him play. There was plenty of time for family group shots later on. For now, I’d photograph their daughter’s tiny details.

Montage of images from a newborn photo shoot
Baby's tiny toes and fingers
Baby lying on a grey sofa gazing into the distance

After a while, we decided to try a family photo. But no matter what we did, he really didn’t want to be involved. I never force children to be in photos, but there are ways to incorporate them without them realising. In the case of the photo below, he’s sat in the background absorbed with his ipad. I love the way the photo tells a story about his true feelings on that day. And I know they’ll laugh with him in years to come when they reminisce about the shoot.

Family portrait photo with a newborn baby and grumpy toddler


It was time to make him the centre of attention. “Do you know how to blow a raspberry?” I asked. He looked at me with a cheeky smile! “Could you do a gentle raspberry on your sister’s forehead?” As quick as a flash he ditched the ipad and ran over to her. He proceeded to blow the gentlest little raspberry you could imagine. He then gave his Mum an enormous smile and bam, we’d got our shot!

Happy toddler meeting a newborn baby

Having decided that I was now fun and cool, he agreed to take part in a few more photos!

Before a shoot, I always ask parents what their children love. So knowing that he was a massive Peter Rabbit fan, I’d brought my own Peter Rabbit toy along. I balanced it carefully on my camera lens and, hey presto, we got another smile!

Proud big brother sat with his mum and baby sister


Working with toddlers is all about speed and fun! So before he had a chance to get bored, we relocated to the stairs! Here he got to sit on Dad’s shoulders and for our next shot, he did what kids do best…jump!

Family group shot sat on the stairs
Happy toddler jumping off the stairs whilst the parents and baby sister watch

I’m glad to report the family loved the photos and bought the entire gallery. So if your toddler doesn’t feel the love at the start of the shoot, then please don’t worry! There’s plenty of time to win them over and capture a galley of images you’ll cherish as they grow!


Most photographers say the first two weeks are the best time to hold a newborn photo shoot. Do I agree? Well it depend’s what you want the photos to capture?

Babies tend to sleep a lot in the first two weeks and it’s certainly a great time to capture their tiny features.

This little lady was 6 weeks old and very inquisitive about the camera.

But if you want them with their eyes open and a big smile, then it’s best to wait until three of four months. So not quite a newborn anymore, but still a small baby.

Why not give me a call and we’ll decide the best time to photograph your little one!

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