Guest Author - Kris Bigalk
One of my twin boys' first outings was to get their photo taken. Like many new parents of twins, I clipped a coupon and toted my boys to the closest Target portrait studio.
As I waited for the previous session to end, I looked through examples in books and on the wall. There were several siblings, families, etc., but no pictures of twins.
When we finally got situated in the studio area, the young photographer gushed about her aspirations to become a professional photographer and movie maker. Great, I thought. She'll know exactly what to do.
"So, what do you want me to do?" she asked.
Then I realized she had no clue how to photograph twins together, and neither did I. By chance, I remembered a classic photo of two children I knew.
"How about we put them on their backs, looking up, but instead of lying parallel to each other, we'll put their heads next to each other, feet pointing in opposite directions?"
This pose worked wonderfully for my 6-week-old twins, and also works well for twins who are able to stay in one position for longer than five seconds (four years old and up, perhaps?). But what about those toddler years, when twins are on the go?
Most photographers will tell you that the best way to photograph any person or group of people is to catch them doing something they normally do. If you twins play patty-cake together, take a photo of them doing it. If they play leap-frog together, take a photo; if they make mud-pies, take a photo. You get the picture.
It's always important to get photos of the babies individually, too. If your twins are like mine, one will have a better session than the other, but you will probably get at least one photo of each baby that shows off his or her personality. Then you can frame each photo and hang them next to one another. We have a great set of photos of our boys that were taken this way.
Now to the real nitty gritty: cost. I went to Target because I thought I would save money. After I'd ordered birth announcement cards and enough photos for all the relatives, I'd spent over $200--even with the coupon taken into account. After this experience, I decided that spending that much for an inexperienced photographer in a discount store is just plain silly when I could have hired a professional photographer for about the same amount of money. Many of these photographers will come to your home to take those "twins in action" shots that can't be taken in a studio setting, and that will really capture moments that you'll be able to remember and relate to your children. Another plus to hiring a professional to come to your home is that many of these photographers have experience photographing twins and other family groups, and will probably have creative ideas about how to photograph your family.
To find a professional photographer in your area, check your local yellowpages or do an online search. When you find one that looks good, ask questions about his or her experience photographing children, especially twins. Ask to see some of his/her work or to view his/her portfolio online. Ask about pricing, and if he/she has a multiple discount or will waive a session fee with a certain dollar amount purchase. It may take a few calls to find the right person, but it's worth it--preserving the memories of your twins as babies is priceless.