Photographing a toddler can be a challenge. Actually doing anything with a toddler can be a challenge. They don’t stop talking, they never sit still, and they have a mind of their own. We all know toddlers don’t want to do anything Mommy’s want them to do. I wanted to share a few of my tips on photographing your toddler. Lifestyle photography is your best bet when dealing with toddlers, unless you have a rare toddler that loves to sit still and smile. (Please let me know where you found your rare breed from).
Don’t push them, Work with them.
Working in retail photography for years,I know for a fact, pressuring them to sit and smile DOESN’T work. Bribing works to a point, but it still isn’t your child being natural and you normally get “cheesy” smiles and red teary eyes. Make a game out of it. For a small toddler, play peek-a-boo behind your camera. Maybe for an older toddler, make them run as fast as they can, and get fun shots of them running back to you. Make your toddler dance, turn up the music and click away. Do thing’s that you guys usually don’t do, like jump on the bed or play in the mud. It may not be what you visioned it to be, but I bet you will have natural, happy faces.
I know what your thinking, “DUH I already do that”, but get those other milestones. Those milestone’s that we are asked about years down the road, like first time using a fork, riding a bike, sitting up, first loose tooth, first t-ball game, first time clapping their hands, that adorable little wave they give you, … get it? Get creative with it. For an example, first time using a fork, just get their little hand and the fork. No need for a face, the hands and the fork says it all. Below, I was able to get my son’s first catch!
Get even the small details
As moms, we like watching our babies grow. Capture the little feature’s your toddler has. You can look back and remember that baby soft skin or their tiny little belly button. Don’t forget the dirty finger nails!
Plan fun activities
Capture them reading a book, painting, or playing with their favorite toys. Even catch them napping. Your images will tell a great story years down the road.
Put them in their comfort zone
Let them run wild! Take them outside for some free play. Grab your zoom lens and sit and wait. Wait for that perfect shot! It will come!