Newborn twins aren’t newborns for long. One minute they’re helpless little bundles of joy. The next, they’re up on their feet causing trouble. Blink and you’ll miss it. That’s why it’s so important to capture the earliest days in their big new world. Taking newborn twins photos, whether you’re a professional or a parent, is about stopping time. You’re capturing some of the most fleeting and fragile moments in your child’s life.
Newborn Twin Photography
Photographing newborn babies can be challenging. They are fragile and vulnerable little humans. You can’t treat a newborn shoot like a photoshoot for normal family photos. There are extra things you need to consider.
That’s especially the case when you’re working with newborn twins. When there are two babies, you really have to be on your toes. You can’t get distracted for a second. You have to be patient when you’re working with newborn twins. They may be small, but if they’re unhappy, you’re going to know about it. And if one starts to cry, the other could kick off too. Your shot will have to wait.
But if you’ve never done photography with newborn twins before, we’ve got some tips and ideas to help you out. So put down the bottles and pick up your camera so we can get started.
Do The Pre-Shoot Preparation
If you’re a professional photographer, the best way to start your preparation is to speak to the parents. Find out the gender of the twins. Ask them if they would like gender-specific props and accessories.
Don’t jump to any conclusions by using blue for boys and pink for girls. The mum and dad might want to keep colours neutral. Or they may have different colours in mind. Once you know, you can start gathering the appropriate materials, such as coloured blankets or baby clothes. If you’re going to include toys or props, make sure they are soft.
Have all your props ready in advance. But for any newborn photography shoot, keep your studio space as clean as possible. You want to remove any clutter and have a clear space to work in. This not only makes things easier when you’re taking pictures, but it also keeps the newborns safe. They’re fragile little beings, so you need to make sure the photography area is safe to work in. This also applies if you’re doing a photoshoot at home. Create a space that is open and clear of clutter.
Think About The Babies’ Needs
If you’re a photographer, communicate with the parents about what the newborn twins need. Schedule extra time in case the babies need attention. Mum and dad might need to feed the twins at some point during the shoot. It might interrupt the photography procedure, but you have to be patient. The babies’ needs must come first.
The twins will have to be changed at some point too. These things are to be expected when working with newborns. But when dealing with twins, these things can take time. Twins aren’t always in sync. They might want to be fed at different times. One baby might be crying while the other twin is sound asleep. Don’t despair. This can be a good moment to get some photos of one baby at a time.
Use A Camera And Lens For Portraits
You can use a DSLR or a mirrorless camera. Both will give you excellent photos if you have a good quality camera. One advantage of mirrorless cameras is that some newer models have a silent shutter. Newborn twins spend most of their time asleep, so having a quiet camera can be a plus.
As for lenses, a prime lens will serve you well. You’ll have the freedom to move the camera to get the shot you want, so a zoom lens isn’t necessary. A 50mm focal length lens would work fine. But ideally, you should go for something close to 85mm. It’s an ideal focal length for portraits of all kinds, not just newborn photography. You don’t need to get too close to your subject and you can play with the depth of field.
Go Easy With The Lighting
Photographing newborn twins is a delicate procedure. You have to be gentle, especially when it comes to lighting. Avoid strong, harsh lighting. A bright flash could distress the newborn twins. Natural light is perfect if you have enough of it. Light from a window is soft, even, and it won’t upset the babies.
The problem might be that the light is coming from one direction, leaving shadows on the photos. Reflectors and mirrors are the best way to even out the brightness without using electric lights. If the weather is suitable, you can try an outdoor photoshoot. This can be difficult with newborn twins because the weather has to be just right. And the weather isn’t something you can plan for well in advance.
If natural light isn’t an option, you can use studio lights and flashes. But I recommend using softboxes and a less intense flash. Perhaps use an off-camera flash that isn’t pointed directly into their faces.
Use Soft Props
Safety is a priority for any photoshoot. But when it comes to newborn babies, you can’t be too careful. Even something small can do a lot of harm, so take any and every precaution you can. When selecting blankets and material for wraps, make sure it’s soft and non-abrasive. And if you’re wrapping a baby in a blanket, it has to be clean. A basket is a common prop in newborn twin photography. Wicker baskets look great and keep the newborn twins contained. But you need to make sure there are no sharp points anywhere on the basket.
When it comes to toys and other props, avoid hard plastics. Make sure all the toys are soft and cuddly. Even hard eyes can cause problems. Use soft props to create a safe environment. You want to capture great shots, but safety is paramount. Keep everything low to the ground, and don’t place the twin babies on any raised surfaces.
Try Different Newborn Twin Poses
When it comes to poses with newborn twins, there isn’t much you can ask them to do. All they do is lie down asleep or, if you’re lucky, lie down with their eyes open. But that doesn’t mean your pose options have to be limited. Have the newborn twins lie together on a soft surface. You can wrap them gently or let them sprawl out. Only unwrap them if the room is warm enough.
Twins always look cute in matching outfits. But you can also try differing costumes to emphasise their individuality. They may be similar, but they’re not the same. You can have them pose together you can capture each twin individually. They can face each other or they can point in different directions.
If the twins have older siblings, you can include them in some of the shots. If they’re old enough, they can hold the twins. Or the twins can rest on them. The same goes with parents too. You can include the mother and the father in the images. Each parent can hold one twin or one parent can hold a twin in each arm. Lying together is another option.
Including other family members can make for some extra special family photos. Families change quickly when the children are young. It’s important to capture those moments together.
Newborn twin photography can be a tough gig. Every newborn is a handful. And when you’re working with newborn twins, you have twice as much work cut out for you. But it’s also incredibly rewarding. If you’re a professional photographer or a parent, newborn photos are something to treasure. Those first few weeks are fleeting but incredibly special.
Be patient, take your time, and always keep safety in mind. Get the environment right, and you’ll capture some incredible newborn twins photos.
originally posted on expertphotography.com by Christopher Bryan-Smith
About Author: Chris Bryan-Smith is a travel and documentary photographer based in Europe. Originally from the beautiful green hills of North Wales, he is currently located in Barcelona, Spain. He studied photography in college and has been documenting his explorations ever since. You can see a selection of his work on Instagram; @kbs.photographs.