Top Ten Photography Tips for Newborn Triplets
Updated: Jan 22, 2022
Three times the fun.
I wanted to start by saying that photographing one newborn is often a challenge, so photographing triplets has three times the unpredictability. This can be exciting to an experienced newborn photographer or intimidating to a new one.
Before accepting the challenge I recommend gaining experience in only one newborn before attempting three at once.
My goal last year was to photograph triplets. After photographing over 300 newborns I wanted that “unicorn” to photograph. For me, triplets is what I wanted to find. This came to me when one of my favourite clients surprised me with what she was growing — not just one baby for me to photograph but three! I’ve done many twin newborn sessions so I knew I had to be prepared for whatever these three tiny personalities shot my way.
Photographing newborns in a style called “baby-led posing” allows me to be flexible with my final images and offer the family a more relaxed session. If you want to learn more about my style of baby-led posing read this.
This post is primarily for photographers and is about my personal tips for photographing triplets.
Top Ten Triplet Photography Tips
1) Flexibility in scheduling
Triplets will most likely be born before their due date. Aim to book around their 40 weeks due date mark. Babies will still be sleepy and sessions often go more smoothly during this time frame. Most posed newborn photographers require babies in under 14 days old and often refuse to attempt an older more awake newborn. With my style of baby-led posing, there is more flexibility with the time frame of booking newborns up to two months of age.
This extended time frame helps out the family. Mom often needs more time to adjust at home before venturing out. Newborns can sense a stressed parent, so a happy and relaxed mom makes for a smoother session. NICU babies are often sensitive to touch (because of hospital blood draws, procedures, etc.) so be extra aware of their comfort and how much handling they can tolerate.
2) Plan more, not less.
I sketched out images I wanted for this session but kept in mind that not all would happen. It’s always good to have an initial plan but when baby … in this case babies are the boss you go with the flow. I started off with all babies swaddled and lined up in a row. This was my easiest shot to get as everyone’s arms were contained and they weren’t hitting one another and startling each other awake. Take advantage of sleeping babies!! Shoot from various angles, zoom in to show details, shoot wide to show just how tiny they are, shoot from the shadows and let that beautiful light light up all your subjects’ unique features. Do all this before thinking about moving one. Don’t cause a domino effect!
3) Keep it warm
Keep the studio warm and soft fabrics readily available for swaddling. Cold naked babies will not be happy photogenic babies!
4) Who’s the wild card?
Figure out which little personality is the wild card of the bunch. Pose this baby first. There’s nothing worse than having two perfectly sleeping babies for the third wild card to come in and startle the rest awake. No one wants to start over from the beginning.
5) A little extra help goes a long way
Mom most likely would have had a c-section and still sore. An extra set of hands makes a session go by alot faster…. still doable with two parents and one photographer but no one is complaining when there’s someone willing to help soothe or feed a baby to sleep.
6) Patience and flexibility is a virtue
Fifteen minutes might be all the time you have with all babies sleeping at the same time. You may be waiting an hour before you even see a glimpse of that 15 minutes open window to photograph. Parents will gather around wiping the sleepiness of their new life away and just feel the pure joy of silence for that brief moment. This is patience and stepping back for a moment and taking it all in… triplets amaze me and parents of triplets even more so. Take behind-the-scenes photos because this is something so unique in itself.
Willing to adjust means that with all the sketches and bucket list shots I had in my mind, all this was trumped when I heard that mom had never held all three babies at once. All other shots went out the window and my new focus was what the family would treasure the most.
7) Time is precious!
My baby led posing style allowed my clients to be in and out of studio in less time than a traditional posed newborn session. These parents are three times as tired and I didn’t want to add to it. I shot my swaddled safe images and then slowly we unwrapped each baby and let them pose themselves. These are my favourite images that speak to me… its as if a tiny dialogue would be made of all the secrets they were telling.
8) Quality, not quantity
Sure I could have spent hours upon hours photographing these babies (my unicorns!) but I wanted to respect the time my clients allowed me. My goal was to nail the images I could picture hanging on the walls of their new home. I also film while shooting to make memorable fusion films as a gift to my clients. This takes a tad more time so shooting with a smooth workflow cuts downtime in the studio. My clients were in and out of my studio in less than 2 hours with a final gallery of around 25 of their best images and a fusion film.
9) Individual portraits
Workflow comes into play here as well. While babies are feeding or being soothed use your time to photograph each baby individually. Each triplet is every bit as individual as their siblings and deserve a simple portrait just on their own. Keep it simple with soft light and a clean backdrop for timeless pieces.
10) Have fun! Stay calm.
You will be photographing some of the most beautiful relationships that have just begun. Be a special memory from your clients first experience with a professional baby photographer. Listen to their story, take cues from what is most important to them to take away from the session, be gentle and accommodating and breathe!