How to Get Your Toddler to Sit Still for Photos | Bay Area Photographer

Jun 5, 2021



One of the questions that I hear from parents of toddlers is, “How do I get my toddler to cooperate and let me take their picture?”.

The toddler stage is all about independence.  Your little one is developing their distinct style and personality.  This one of the cutest phases of life, and you’re sure to want to snap images of your little one. But getting a toddler to sit still, let alone look at the camera, can be a considerable challenge. And you know what? When I’m doing a session with toddlers, I don’t even try to get them to sit still and look at the camera. I’m all for capturing moments that reflect your little one’s true personality, but if you really want to coax your toddler into sitting still, here are some surefire ways that work.  

5 Tips that Work

  1. Make sure that you are using a camera without a shutter release delay.  When you click the button to take the photo, you should hear the shutter fire right away.  Some older cameras, and even mobile devices, have a delay of one or two seconds.  This gives your toddler just enough time to move, causing blurred images or missing the shot altogether.  
  2. Play a game or sing a song.  Anything that captures their attention may keep them stationary.  But you better be quick, it won’t last!  Try asking them what they see in your camera lens.  This is one I use all the time.  I tell toddlers that if they look closely at my camera, they might see a dinosaur or unicorn.  I’m usually able to snap a few shots while they’re looking.
  3. Give them somewhere to sit.  Choose a stool, rocking horse, bench, or even someone’s lap.  Be sure to have your camera ready before you ask them to sit as you’re bound to have only a few seconds before they’re up and running again.
  4. Give them something to hold.  Pick up a small rock, flower, or toy and hand it to your toddler.  Be ready and wait patiently, camera ready, until he looks up at you to share his treasure.  Give them something to look at.  Hold a favorite toy just above your camera, put a silly headband on your head or tie bells around your wrist.  Just asking your toddler to look at you isn’t likely to bring results, but giving them something interesting to look at works like a charm.
  5. Embrace the chaos! Who says your toddler needs to sit still for photos? Let them run, jump and play and snap away. I promise you’ll be amazed at the memories you capture.

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