Photographing Toddlers

So, you’ve got a toddler and you want some photos.  Good luck!  No, just kidding!

Whether it’s a photography session or you’re a parent chasing around your kid with a smartphone, photographing toddlers can be a challenging experience.  But for all the effort it takes, it’s worth it in the end when you get that perfect shoot!  Here are some tips to help you prepare for your toddler’s photo session, so your photographer can get that perfect shot.

1) Don’t expect your toddler to pose!

Toddler dressed as Supergirl

Have you seen any of my photos with toddlers and wondered how I got them to pose that way?  Yeah, I didn’t try to get them to pose.  That was a combination of patience, running around (on my part), and working with a fast shutter speed.  Toddlers tend to be go, go, go, so asking them to sit still isn’t likely to happen for long.  If you want to have a family portrait, try it at the beginning of the session when your little one is feeling a little more shy.  Once they warm up to the photographer and the location, they’re more likely to want to go exploring.

2) Props + toddler = good times

Props are a great way to bring out a toddler’s personality!  But, not every prop will work for every kid.  Props are something you should  discuss with your photographer before the actual photo shoot: what types of props you want in the photos, what types of props your child will be interested in, and who is bringing what to the shoot.  I recommend bringing your child’s favorite toy (or two) to a photo session as a backup in case the other props don’t work.

3) Playgrounds are where it’s at!

Toddler playing in Clearwater Florida park

One way to get a toddler more interested in a photo shoot, is to make it feel less like a photo shoot by holding it at playground.  This also works great if your child happens to be shy.

4) Bring drinks and snacks!

You probably already know this one, but make sure to have drinks/snacks on hand.  Snacks can also be a great reward if you really want your toddler to do something, such as going over to a particular location, look at the camera, etc.  This isn’t a guarantee that snacks will work as a reward, but it can work in some circumstances.

5) A tired toddler is a cranky toddler

Toddler playing in park

Do your best to make sure your toddler is well rested and ready to go!  When you’re scheduling the time of your photography session, keep in mind your toddler’s ideal time – when he/she is happiest and most likely to be well rested.  Try and work with your photographer to schedule during this time.  But keep in mind that your photographer may not be able to schedule the session at the time you’re requesting because of business hours, weather (Florida gets hotter later in the day), etc.

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