Skip to main content

Shoot: Parents with Toddler and Newborn

Lesson 11 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

Shoot: Parents with Toddler and Newborn

Lesson 11 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

11. Shoot: Parents with Toddler and Newborn


Class Trailer

Day 1




Psychology of Parenthood


The Power of a Story


Composition and Color


Psychology of New Parent and Connecting


Pre-Session Questionnaire


Posing Basics for Connection


Lesson Info

Shoot: Parents with Toddler and Newborn

Now we are going to d'oh we're gonna work with mom and dad and little miss darling here and we're going to dio I don't quite have the exact color, but we're going to try this in any ways more effect, let's go ahead. Yeah, list on this. We're gonna do what I call the floor shot. Okay? And I'm going to go ahead and keep memphis wrapped. Ok, he's awake, but he's happy I might wrap him differently, but that's kind of what? The way he's going to be? Because he's happy and contains and we can keep shooting. Ok, so, dad, come on over. Thank you for helping us today you get the easy job. Okay? What I want you to dio is lie down here, okay? On your back, make sure there's plenty of rug behind you. And I just want you to put your hands up over your head like this little memphis is gonna go right in here. I'm gonna pile the rest of the family and around you some good, awesome, perfect. So I'm looking at this shot from above this is exactly how I'm going to shoot it. Okay? It's really warm in here...

and dad sweating a little bit, but that's okay, we can tell he photoshopped that out later, no worries, okay? So what you're gonna do is I'm going to go ahead and put a little towel under here that'll be like a pillow for memphis and you're just going to kind of control his legs here. Okay, mama, come on over. Okay, you can come, sweetie do you want to come help you? Khun, come help. Okay, so let me go ahead but I'm just popping a little wash class under here so that it pops memphis's head up so he's not he doesn't do the chin thing I want to chin I'll tuck down like this I want to bring it up a little bit okay, we'll put that they're okay mama, your instructions this right shoulder. Did you have a c section or you? Okay. Okay. Um this right shoulder. I'm going to be your bubble little bit. Dad, I apologize in advance is going to touch dad's left and I want this arm behind you in case you're kind of like this, you're gonna lean your head on his chest and then hold his hand like that. Okay, you get to be on the floor to look everybody's getting cozy. Shall we take a nap? No wants maps, okay, I'm gonna have you move your whole body this direction so we can squeeze a little sweet raylan right in between you ok, so what's gonna happen is we're going to separate here a little bit because I forgot raylan's coming in and you're going to connecting with braille in over here so let's go ahead and get memphis and you will put you in last sound good because you're the most important right? You get to come to the party last okay? We're gonna dress mom and dad up, get the shine away okay, I think what I'd like to do is go ahead doable rap on him so that way do a different style rap yeah, this is fine we're gonna do it with this rap so okay, so I'm gonna go ahead and change the rap did he let loose in this one? Sure I'm not sure you're gonna want your gonna be helping for me yeah, I think we let loose in this one so it might change yeah, go ahead and hold that for a second. Hold him and I'll pick a new one let's see color wise what are we doing here? We got cream with her so we'll go ahead do you see me combining colors? Do you see what I'm doing here? Let's see, what do you think matches you the best, huh? I think that's what you think I think that one let's do this okay, so um you know, we get to dress your brother up um he let go and this one's so we're gonna go ahead and re wrap him and I don't have everything with me so I'm I'm improvising little bit and since she is in a cream colored sweater I'm gonna go ahead and balance the image by putting him and cream as well okay how we doing he's such a sweet little easy going baby hi little man you're wide awake yes you are okay and I'm going to go ahead and put the long and on this side thank you so go ahead and when you get a chance left him up we'll go take that out easy, easy, easy okay, now I need to get this under get down keep the legs and for me thank you perfect and we're going to wrap this direction this time your little corner fell off already can he's has a little baby acne going on which is really common in this age in the two week rain going to go and switch sides with you okay that underneath I have a circle to do are you helping me, miss balin you are such a good helper my goodness can you work with me every day so I can help her help her all the time? Yeah, okay good thank you, my dear. Yeah hi peanut and sometimes if I have a really long scarf with a girl I'll tie a bow here just to give it that seven and look okay should we put him in your daddy's arms now yeah get your daddy to hold him uh hey peanut case wide awake well, sweet man, huh? Q t he's got this little baby acne going on but something that's easily correctable in post okay sometimes some babies are harder to correct than others I mean, I'm sure some of you have edited newborn babies before I spent hours on skin um okay, thank you. Good to know okay, okay, so I'm going to strategically kind of move this not over daddy sweaty armpits okay, that was a good thing. Okay? Are you ready? You're the most important part we can't do without you okay can you use pappas shoulder is a pillow and turn around and face me the lie on your back can you do that? I want to help you here. I hope you uh can we have a seat all snuggled eyes can you tolerate it dad for just second when we get the shot okay, you're doing great. Okay, miss sweet raylan you're gonna have to look up at me can you look up at me sweet girl way care pretty because we want you to look like a little princess here we go okay, can you put your arms down for me, sweetheart, which arms down here you know what little squishy, huh? Papa is kind of got a big head yeah, he does okay just like that you're a good girl okay my mind come snuggle with baby girl just little bit more you know for and this hold hands awesome sauce that's my kind of image yes it is okay look where I get to be right on top of you guys uh real close buddies each did you know? Okay mom and dad rule number one do not look at your child now miss balin did you know that there's a frog in my camera he'll wink at you if you watch closely ready yeah he's gonna wink atyou mama knows towards me just to touch relax the forehead good girl eyes at me both of you close your eyes good girl miss raelynn and everybody's gonna look at me on three one two weird my froggy ms palin only me just get you dicking me get you your team did did you see that watching close wait did you did you know his name is howard? Yeah, his name is howard and howard winks is he smiling when he wakes? You think oh, I think he's going to give you it you know, gorgeous so I can't see the kinship now they're looking pretty good not that lots of connections now obviously the tacos hands aren't perfect but I'm not gonna expect that from a three year old okay we use that mouth wanted you one more oh cute did she just say ok like a shooter forever, huh? Yeah daddy's gonna each you can eat your ear, huh? Okay, let's go ahead into a standing post do you think you could do one more you want to do one more I think we're gonna have to hold you yeah, you get to be in papa's arms that sound good, huh? Okay, so mom was really sweet and just informed me that we'll re wrap him. Um mama just informed me that she calls her daddy papa so she was confused at first when I said dad daddy so important little nothings to know especially with that age yeah is that your papa? I don't think we can get much cuter than you are, miss breeland. Okay, so let's go ahead and stand up. We'll change positions here. Thanks, daddy. All right? You know the feeling special when you're tired okay, so um spring in the stool gonna go and bring it back okay, mom, I'm gonna have you sit in the stool for me and this time we're gonna go ahead into a potato sack rap on him I'm gonna switch over to a stretchy fabric, okay? This is unfortunately the only stretching rabbi brought which surprises me but we're gonna have to make it work okay so I'm gonna do what's called a potato sack crap okay it's basically what it sounds like but I'm like a little second potatoes okay like I said he's awake is the two weaker I actually think it's really awesome that he's been awake this whole time because it shows you what you can do with an awake baby okay um all right let me get my stuff out of the way here oh can it how's he doing a little bit fussy mister you make your mink he's running a little bit is he eat a lot she's sucking his growing prospered to it go spurt his routine a little bit so what? I'm kind of wondering if maybe we bring in lacy and um ezra and let you feed him a little bit and that kind of popping back we've got forty five minutes so we're good and that will give her a break too so why don't we do that and um and come backto mr memphis has got some beautiful images of the two of them and family so that's good okay so let's give her a blanket thank you so much, miss braille and you were such a big helper you did a good job honey did a great job. Okay, so while we're waiting for lacey and as her to show up as it was four weeks old I came so we're gonna work with an older baby again um it's one thing to shoot babies who sleep all the time with another to shoot once that are weeks I'm glad you guys are able to see the older children more challenging situations you probably learn a bit more that's a good thing so any questions right now we're waiting for ezra and lacey and matt to come in there's lacey teo lacey who is in fact part of the creative life family she is one of our line producers here, so we're very excited her and her baby yar she's awesome so cute any questions before we move on yo good good lots of questions let's start with I don't know can I ask a post question like her the way her arm is in that picture would you do any post on that? Yeah liquefies your best friend, huh? I liquefy on my mom's very really I mean occasionally there'll be a mom who comes in here like brie who's like a size zero and that's just wrong on so many levels anyway, but I will sorry your darling, but you're an anomaly and it just doesn't happen it's a compliment I hope you don't sometimes my compliments don't really come out that way yes, I will use liquefy and and help that along that shot was a little tight honestly, I love that child so much I went and just shot for the kid not for the mom the ones before if we can pull up on image previous where it's a little wider that's going to give me more freedom teo tone that down yes so I would go ahead and you can see how we can see the clip that we were holding the fabric on all of this will get tucked just a touch not a ton I don't want to seem like something she's not there's a couple of things in the image that are bothering me do you know what there there's always something I mean I'm so nitpicky with my own work it's ridiculous but if I was really focusing on fixing this the light and mama's eyes is not perfect okay the baby's channels talks we can't see his face that's the biggest flaw he's awake so trying to get him to do that is a challenge so sometimes you have to take what you get don't sacrifice connection for the post okay and the child was connecting so well with her mother and with me I went with that really honestly toddler stuff the number of times you get it absolutely perfect is very rare but when I say perfect I mean competition ready perfect that's what I'm talking about everything is in is in line and it doesn't happen that often with a taller and this was pretty good what we did here okay so any other joan I asked, is it okay if I ask about the last section session? Yeah, you had her used the plate, potter podia ir was because she had smaller hands and it was a bigger baby. They're almost to the prayer a prayer. I was really prayer. Both platter and prayer are one of those poses that the baby has to be sleeping and this one was four weeks old, so I was evaluating and trying to judge and most of the time, not with siblings, but with just a first time mom, I've had the entire first part of the session to read the baby that's why I do the baby first on the beanbag because I can wrap him up, fuss with the move them, see how how sensitive they are some babies you just move in arm and they wake up, they're so sensitive, and so maybe you know anyone with them, they'll stay asleep. Okay, so I have that whole previous first part of the session to gauge that here. I don't have that. So I have to be very cognizant of kind of reading the baby as I go. Go there gonna tolerate this. They're going to be okay with this, I'm not sure yet. And that's why at the very beginning I'm trying to do poses with babies that are a little bit fussy caleb was a little bit he hadn't quite fall into deep sleep and I was asking to do things that weren't necessarily good things for him to do at that time. Does that make sense? So yes her hands were small, they were tiny, putting her and propose would have been even more challenging for her because of the size this was a little bit easier, but honestly, probably the best pose for her looking back, you know, hindsight is twenty twenty would be to do burt post, which is what I want to do with lacy here, okay? It's a very simple pose that can be easily done with awake baby or in a sleep one and there's some poses that you can do with older babies where, because they're starting to lift her head up, they're they're starting to get strong and they can do that and you could actually get them with their eyes open. Okay, so the answer questions on any other questions before we move on? Yeah, tons, I love this and when you're working with the babies that are awake, you know, I asked you before when do you call it? When do you feel comfortable that you've got enough poses or images to present to the client with a fussy baby. Good question. I have a pretty much a system and it it holds true for probably every client awake or asleep. Um we do four looks on the beanbag for poses for looks ok, one in a bucket we do mom with baby down with baby family, two shots family and that's it that gets me thirty to forty finished images to show my client so I will within awake baby, I will do my best to get all of that doesn't happen all the time, especially with a toddler. You know, there are times I shot one time I shot belinda was with me, my sister had to help me, we shot trip newborn triplets and two year old twins at the same time they're in the same family wonderful family is my best clients, I love them dearly and we photographed two sessions for them a year and they're amazing. Okay, now those children are at five and three five kids at five and three are easier to shoot than most year olds I work with, ok, they're just wonderful kids but at the time, the new warns the triplets were six weeks old because they were pre me, okay, triplets are going to be primi and the two year olds were in that jealousy phase do you know what I'm the honeymoon period's over and any of you have multiple kids not all the time but this could be the case the first baby is born they're the center of attention on the second baby comes along over the first week everything's all hunky dorry and they're fascinated with the new baby and they love it and they love helping out then they start to realize that that child is taking mom away from them and some kids don't react well to that and that session we did not get any of the two year olds they were had nothing to do with those triplets they did not want to be near them okay so it happened now they love them to death and they get great family images but mom was it was very easy going and kind of knew that was gonna be the case but sometimes you know it's what I like to call a crap shoot you just don't know which you're going to get some times of the taller and have to be willing to accept vulnerability and let that happen if it's going tio okay any other questions someone else have? Yes don okay so on this particular pose teo get because I do this all the time and I always get the baby's chin tokyo how did you get the baby and I put a towel underneath there? It wasn't quite enough is the towel supposed to be under their shoulders because baby's head's length on dad? What neck right? You're doing babies like this if you put a blanket underneath there, had it like pops, they're neck up and their chin up does that? Does that make sense so that I should have done and that image because you can see you can't really see baby's face, which is like bothering them with academy under there? I just didn't it wasn't enough. I should have put more than any of my second question, yeah, I also get parents, mom, dad, baby and I tryto cuddle them all in together and it seems like if mom's holding baby and then dad comes in or either way, it's always like they can't reach around or something is the stool like my best friend and I need to get one and that would really, really help because they're always standing up and I, my husband's like a foot taller than me, but these couples come in and they're like the same height where few inches different and it seems like wrapping around is is no matter how tiny the mom is or if they're the same height. It's awkward, yeah, and this stool does not move up and down, but why one of my studio spins and goes up and down okay, so the classic posing stools great I think we actually even have one here somewhere and I think lacey and matt are you guys the same height? Excuse me? You're about the same height okay so this is gonna be a great example we might actually have to get a stool that goes up and down so we can lower lacey enough so max can get around her so it's the height it's the height thing yes and sometimes which you'll notice his mom will be a little bit larger than that I mean, she just had a baby if pete's sake and she's got some weight to lose and we're going to come back that a couple ways number one we're gonna angle her just right number two we're gonna light it right number three we're going tohave dad helped kind of camouflage that and then before we're going to shoot it from above to minimize the hips the hips line and extent the baby and shoot down the noses so we're not going up the nose okay so and then yes after that post processing is your best friend like I said, I liquefy every single mother who comes from my studio and I don't do it so that they don't look like themselves but I am going to make everything look really talk and that's that's what your clients want I mean if they didn't they would shoot their own snapshots that's. Why we're professionals, we have the tools at our disposal to make our clients look their absolute best. Don't overdo it means stay with portraiture, those skin softening stuff don't overdo it, but enough that it looks natural, beautiful and it's, not a distraction. That's the keyword. I have plenty of moms who come in who are heavier, and they're beautiful, beautiful, full faces and full bodies, and you can photograph those women. Justus wella, sze yu can't ask anyone, oftentimes going in close. Remember how I, how I would say, don't move, I'm coming in closer. That shot is like a key with a heavy woman, because it it all of a sudden takes the focus off her weight and on to the baby.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

BD Design Cards
Butterfly ClamShell Lighting Set Up
Newborn Posing Design
Newborn Prepartion Sheet
Standard Lighting Set Up
Studio Gift Card
Gear Guide
Downloads with RSVP

Ratings and Reviews

Natalia Malinko

This is the second course with Julia I have seen. And it's amazing and very inspiring in so many ways! I appreciate so much the honesty of Julia, her spirit for doing things she loves. Like a photographer and artist myself, I feel identified with her perception of world and the passion for artistic and family photography. This course is about never give up, it's about hard work, and also it's about cultivating creativity and honesty. I highly recommended this course to every photographer who want to grow and understand himself and the business of professional high-quality photography. Thanks, Julia and Creative Live, for this one!

a Creativelive Student

So glad I bought this class - well and truly worth the investment. This course has helped me realise why it is so important to make an emotional connection and how to use it to my advantage {while giving my clients the very best too}. I cannot wait to try some new printing/mounting glad Julia was kind enough to share this! I got a lot out of this course and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to take their newborn photography business to the next level.

Jenny White

This class was amazing!!! Julia does a great job of showing her process, how she captures beautiful images from start to finish. It was worth every dollar I spent!!

Student Work