2022 was a busy year of twins for me! While twin sessions can be daunting for newborn photographers, they are super rewarding at the same time. Depending on the babies, the session can always be a challenge when trying to pose them together. I have had babies who didn’t have a care in the world when their sibling was posed next to/on them; but I’ve also had babies who did not want to be touched! …It was actually quite comical! In some cases, I have had twin babies that spent a decent amount of time in the NICU after birth, due to prematurity, that when it came time to attempt those sweet poses together, they did NOT want to touch each other (at this point, they were so used to being apart, they didn’t want to be together!) With patience and years of experience, we are always still able to get some amazing photos of twin babies tougher, no matter what the circumstance!
Through the years of being a newborn photographer, I have come up with a few tips to help ease the stress of a newborn twin session. They aren’t guaranteed (…as we know babies will do what they want to do!) but they have helped me with my success in these sessions throughout the years.
First and foremost – plan ahead. Write out your entire flow for the session. BUT, have a plan to be flexible with it. When the babies arrive in my studio, I always take a moment to chat with the parents to see how they’ve been doing that morning. Is one happier than the other? Sleepier than the other? If so, that’s the one I will start with! I will typically start my sessions off with photos of the babies together for the simple fact that those will be some of the most important ones for parents to have. Regardless, I highly recommend writing our your posing flow in the event it doesn’t go as planned, I personally sometimes get flustered and a mental block will happen and I sort of freeze up. For me personally, it’s nice to have poses written out that I can refer back to and regather my thoughts!
Second – don’t stress….Relax! I know, that can seem easier said than done. However, one of the most important things I have had to learn (as an OCD planner!) is to just relax – with all newborn babies no matter if it’s a singleton or if it’s multiples – and just go with the flow. All babies are so, so different! Take a moment when they arrive to watch their reaction as you’re getting them prepared and into their first pose. Do they startle easily? Are they a limp noodle? This will give you a hint as to how the session could go and how you may need to adjust some things. Chances are that one baby will be a little more easy going than the other so you will need to figure out which one is which and adjust your poses accordingly.
Finally, use an assistant. I cannot stress this one enough. I have an assistant that I use for all of my sessions. But when I didn’t, I would always hire one on for a twin session. There’s two babies and you will undoubtedly have a much easier time with an extra set of hands! I am not a fan of using mom & dad as an assistant like some other photographers do for so many reasons. My main reasoning is that the parents have hired me to work for them to create their portraits and they are not versed in newborn photography and posing; I do NOT want them to work at all during their session as this is a time they can take a break and briefly relax.
At the end of the session, I always do parent portraits! And sometimes, when grandparents come and wish to do so, I always have them jump in for a photo or two. Generational photos are such a sweet touch and all clients really appreciate having that option at the end of their session.