Photographing Children with Special Needs

Photographing Children with Special Needs

Photographing families with special needs has truly been a blessing and I have learnt some very helpful lessons that have changed the way I prepare for all my phootgraphy sessions. I hope these few tips shared below will help you to have the same wonderful experiences I have had capturing children and their families with special needs.

special needs photography Nicky Mclean



1. Get to know your client’s special needs before the session

It is really important that you get to know and understand your client’s special needs before your session. An initial consulation gives you an opportunity to get to know your client and find out more about them and their family.


2. Use a reward system to connect and encourage children with special needs

A reward system works with all children and particularly children with special needs. It is important to mention this to the parents in your initial consultation. Rewards gives you an extra toll to use while photographing children.  These rewards can vary with each child so it is essential that the choice of reward is discussed with the parent.

You may find that the agreed reward might even come out during the session if you find you are battling to connect with the child. A reward that you ca use to play and interact with gain the trust of a child.


 3. Allow extra time for children with special needs

All family sessions can become challenging due to many different aspects. Sometimes it can just depend on the mood of the child. With special needs, it helpful to have allocated extra time. It helps to slow down as a photographer and allow the child to get to know you. Giving the child a few extra breaks is also very helpful. You want to document the child being themselves. These are the images your clients are truly going to cherish.


4. It is helpful for mum and dad to understand the session flow

Parents are usually quite nervous about a photo session especially parents with children with special needs. This really helps with understanding the process and enjoying the shoot.


5. Know when to end the session

Family sessions with special needs run the same as any other family session. However, you will come across a photo session where nothing is working. You can try every trick up your sleeve, be as prepared as possible but sometimes it can all appear impossible. You cannot force a child to have photos taken.

Sometimes, it is best to just reschedule and try again. It happens. Another day is a different day. It does not mean that it is doomed to fail. It just means, today is not the right day. You will be glad you did not push.


6. Choosing the best location for a child with special needs

Look for a location based on the child’s special needs. If your little client has sensory issues, then a quiet location would be best. Look for a place that is safe and has space for a child to explore.

Consider the child’s personality. If your little client is shy, don’t go for a busy park but maybe a private, quiet space where the child can relax and enjoy.





All that said, a newborn photoshoot is still worth the effort. The 3 hours you’ll spend having your newborn photoshoot will give you a lifetime of joy and pleasure. Every time you look at those photos on the wall you’ll remember just how teeny tiny your baby was and how much love you have for that child.

Two-week-old babies are great for newborn sessions. They are still super sleepy, easy to pose in traditional newborn poses. This is why many people that teach newborn photography use it as the date to gauge when a baby is too old for newborn pictures

Children develop neck strength at different rates but between 12 and 16 weeks is usually about right for a photo shoot. This is such a lovely age, still tiny babies but full of personality.Amazing maternity, baby, infant and cake smash portraits in the best studio in Scotland. Edinburgh and Murrayfield maternity, newborn and cake smash portrait photographer.Award-winning family photographer, specialising in newborn, maternity & family photograph.Edinburgh based baby cake smash photographer Nicky Mclean will captures those special moments that families treasure for a lifetime.

Edinburgh’s most loved maternity and newborn baby photography studio based in Murrayfield, Edinburgh. See why families come back year after year.

Maternity and Newborn photographer Edinburgh. Nicky Mclean Photography specialise in creating beautiful images from bump to baby & beyond! Relaxed newborn baby photography. Professional Edinburgh Newborn Photographer. Family and newborn photographer serving Edinburgh and Glasgow area.

Older Newborn Photo session

Older Newborn Photo session


Newborn Photographer Edinburgh, Scotland

My older newborn sessions captures your baby’s 1st few weeks which with a set of beautiful images of your beautiful baby and family potraits. 

The early days of having a baby can be a whirlwind so I keep things as simple and relaxed as possible so you can enjoy this amazing experience. I will make sure you are are prepared and enjoy your shoot and afterwards you will have beautiful images to enjoy.

Newborn baby in these images was 2 months old.

He slept half of the session and the other half we captured gorgeous awake images and family images.

older newborn photography Edinburgh
2 month old baby boy newborn photography. Edinburgh Newborn Photographer. Nicky Mclean Photography
older newborn photoshoot Nicky Mclean Photography


newborn baby boy

Older Session fee is £450

This fee includes:

* preparation emails and telephone calls to help you feel relaxed and prepared for your photo shoot

* 2 to 3 hour older newborn session at my studio, including family and sibling portraits.

* professional editing and retouching of the photographs from your session

* a private viewing gallery where you can see your beautiful photographs

* Your Full Gallery (Minimum of 25 Images) in Colour and Black and White

The session fee does not include prints or products; these can be purchased afterwards once you’ve seen the photographs.

A £100 Deposit is required to book your session.

Balance of session is due on the day of your older newborn session.