We such a valuable guest post for you all today on a topic all photographer’s face: Tips and Tricks for Photographing “2 Under 2”. Our response would be patience, so you’ll really love and learn from Jenn of Jenn Brookover Photography today as she shares great tips and tricks you’ll use immediately for your holiday photo sessions..  We really appreciate all of this great information  from our valued directory member – Jenn Brookover of Jenn Brookover Photography

xo, Lisa and Rachel 


When I had my second baby, I couldn’t wait to get a picture of my 20 month old with his new baby brother. But, if you’ve ever tried to get a 12-24 month old to “pose” for a picture (or really, to do anything you want them to), you can imagine how challenging this was! So, what can you do when you have “2 under 2” to photograph together?

Tips and Tricks For Photographing “2 Under 2” TIMING IS EVERYTHING Be sure to choose a time for your session that is good for both your newborn and your toddler. Morning or in between toddler naps is usually a safe bet. Be sure both babies are fed and have clean diapers. Set everything up so that you can move from one idea to the next if what you are doing isn’t working. Consider starting the session with the toddler/family images so that you can maximize young sibling happiness levels.

ENLIST HELPERS THAT KNOW TODDLER Invite grandma, aunt or a known babysitter over to help with the session. They can help give big sister a break or hold the newborn as you catch the toddler set up the family for next shot. Keep in mind that big brother or sister is just learning their new role, may not understand what is going on, may have stranger anxiety or could just be having a off day. A “known helper” can be a lifesaver!

SAFETY FOR THE NEWBORN Young children make quick decisions on when they are “done” with something. For family sessions, I’ll start out by assigning a parent to each of the babies (I’ll say something like, “Ok, dad, you have little Sam, and mom, you are in charge of little Sarah”). That way they know who they should hold/work with/protect. Usually I have dad take the older sibling as mom is recovering from birth but sometimes little Sam will only go to mom so we’ll switch. Bare feet are perfect for toddler. This not only helps with the safety of the newborn but can also protect mom/dad/photographer from getting accidentally kicked. It’s best to just start with them barefooted (versus having to remove shoes and socks right before which can cause undo upset). PRO TIP: Double wrap the newborn in two wraps (one lighter for a nice tight wrap, one the color you want to show) to make the baby easier to move the around. This can also help to keep things calm as the toddler moves around.

POSING IDEAS FOR SUCCESS Of course, the image we all have in our mind is that of the older sibling holding and looking lovingly at the baby but the reality is, your toddler age child may not Tips and Tricks For Photographing “2 Under 2” have held the baby yet (or be able to safely). Many (ok, let’s be honest…none!) also don’t comprehend “gentle” even if they mean to be sweet to baby. By having some ideas before you start of what to try, you’ll have a greater chance of getting your shot. Some of our favorite “go-to” poses are below.

LIGHT TO CATCH THE MOMENT Natural light is beautiful for newborn sessions but older toddlers move fast. Using flash or strobe can help avoid blurry arm movements. This also allows you be able to stop down to f/4 or f/5.6 to make sure both children are in focus. Consistent lighting is also great for future compositing in post-production.

TIPS FOR TODDLER INVOLVEMENT STICKERS Have stickers handy to put on the inside shoulder of the baby on their wrap (bonus points if you find out ahead of time what toddlers favorite character is), then have toddler point to or kiss the character. You can also have the toddler hide the sticker in their hand, put it on the baby’s wrap or take it off of the wrap.

GAMES Ask them “where’s mommy’s nose?”, then “where’s baby’s nose?” (tip: don’t ask about the eyes!) TOYS. Be careful with using toys to get your older ones attention as they may “want” them and have “grabby hands” in the pictures if you don’t give it. I use a toy of theirs so that if it ends up in the pictures it just becomes part of the memory (small matchbox car or doll work great for this).

Tips and Tricks For Photographing “2 Under 2” TREATS If you MUST use a treat (as always, check with mom ahead of time), use something that isn’t messy (yogurt drops, puffs or gummy snacks). I hold off as long as we can on this because then they may want to keep eating them or hold the container. Photographing “2 under 2” has its challenges but it also has it’s most darling rewards. I hope that these tips have given you some new ideas for your next sibling photo session. Check out the images below for more inspiration!



Jenn is an on-location maternity and newborn lifestyle photographer. She is honored to join families throughout South Texas in creating artistic portraits that reveal their unique personalities and style. During the past ten years she has been privileged to photograph over a thousand newborns in their homes. Her style is clean, natural and interaction focused. By combining items from around your home with her pint-sized accessories she will work together  with you to create distinctive images that tell your story. She loves finding the light in new places, snuggling with days-old newborns and turning clients into friends.When she’s not capturing other family’s memories, she’s making her own memories with her four boys (five if you count my husband!) and three dogs in San Antonio, Texas.

Janie and Jack Sale on Now