Newborn Session for Baby #5 in Studio in Tampa, FL

We all know Newborn Sessions can be hard. Now imagine it with four extra kiddos in the mix! That was my day with the Dillows, who had a newborn session for baby number five! Truly one of the sweetest families I have ever gotten the pleasure to work with!

Family newborn session for baby #5 in studio. Photo by Brittany Elise Photography.

My main goal for a newborn session is to not rush the baby. I want to keep them comfy, warm, and relaxed – just like the parents! But, with four other kids running around that can be difficult. Various ages, attention spans, and different interest levels presents lots of challenges. Now, that’s not to say that big brothers Levi, Hudson, Rhett and big sister Eliana weren’t perfect – because they were! Their mom, Nicole, is active duty military and a physician so she knows how to multitask! Five kids ranging from 8 years to a newborn would be daunting for some but Nicole, and her husband Jeremiah, handled their brood with a grace and patience that will warm your heart! But, with that many little feet running through the studio it can be hard to keep everyone focused on one thing, no matter how magical the parents. Luckily, I have some go-to ways to keep it all manageable. My Five Steps to Manage a Family of Five.

Step One: no devices. The minute the iPad comes out I’ve lost the kid. Toys and tangible games are fine but nothing with screens. I am happy to play their favorite songs as well but no videos. We want their full attention on me and the camera, even if they don’t always love it!

Step Two: my secret weapon; The prize box. Now, prize boxes may seem daunting (the question is always what to put in there?) but, an easy trip to the dollar store for toys and games for all ages can really save you later on. Maybe even toys your kids don’t play with or ¬†have never even touched can find their way in there as well. I know we all have too many bouncy balls and legos at home. You will find yourself in a moment where you just need a few more photos to finish the session and the older kiddos are not interested. Mentioning that a trip to the prize box is in their future if they’re good will have them bouncing back in no time. An important part of making this work is not mentioning it until you have to or it will back fire. I always keep my prize box a secret until the end of the session!

Older siblings holding their baby brother for newborn photos. Photo by Brittany Elise Photography.

Step Three: connect with the older kids. You want them on your side! Ask them questions, let them know this is just as much about them as it is about the baby. Give them something to do, let them know how important their role as big sibling for the photo is, and most of all don’t let them wander off! You’ll never get their attention back if they find something in the studio they enjoy more.

Four older siblings laying with their baby brother. Photo by Brittany Elise Photography.

Step Four: keep them laughing! I’m never afraid to put on a funny face or make a funny noise to make the kids laugh. You’ll find you have a hard time getting a smile out of some kids but you’ll find it easily in a laugh! Just like they say, laughter is the best medicine. I can attest that laughter can cure the grumpiest of children.


Finally, Step¬†Five, the overall thing that helps a big family session go smoothly is…preplanning. We have a full wardrobe at the studio for parents and kids of any age. We like to schedule wardrobe appointments in advance of the session. So, when the family arrives the day of their shoot all the outfits are waiting for them. Then I have my hair and makeup team ready to go as well or I have them meet the family at their home before they head over. This is all in an effort to create a stress-free environment for the parents and the kids. No going to the store and no rushing to put on make up and brush their hair when they are trying to wrangle five kids out the door on time. All I want the families to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy making lasting memories.

Mom with her five children. Photo by Brittany Elise Photography.

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