How To Survive a Photo Session with a Toddler | Bay Area Photographer

Jan 2, 2021

The terrible twos! Boy, I remember those days. Your little one is learning to be independent and showing his or her true personality. While you’re reading this, they’re running around the living room, calling your name as loudly as possible. How can you possibly get through a family photography session? It’s much easier than you might think.

Toddler with parents

Here are some tips to help.

  • Do your research and find a photographer with experience with children and photographing toddlers. Look for a portfolio that shows toddlers being toddlers. You want someone to capture the real personality of your little one, not just cheesy smiles. I’ve spent my entire career, both as a nurse practitioner and as a photographer, working with children, and family sessions with little ones are some of my favorites. I always spend the first few minutes of every session with toddlers getting to know them and making them comfortable.
  • Schedule accordingly. Timing is everything. If you schedule a session during your toddler’s regular nap time, you’re not likely to get the images that you’re dreaming of. Pick a time when your toddler is usually cheerful and engaged.
  • Don’t forget snacks! No one is at their best on an empty stomach, and this is especially true of toddlers. Make sure to feed your little one before your session and bring a few non-messy snacks with you. 
  • Choose the right location. Location is essential in real estate and photography sessions with toddlers. Choose an area that is flat and does not have tons of obstacles. That scenic spot overlooking the river might make a great background for your images, but chances are you’re going to spend the entire session stressing about your little one falling over the edge. A park is perfect for toddlers, but be prepared to let them play on the playground. l love capturing kids playing!
Family with toddler playing
  • Come ready to play. A family session is about capturing your family as they are in this moment. Toddlers are at a developmental stage that involves a lot of play, so be prepared to do what they love the most. After all, that’s what you will want to look back at and remember.
  • Throw your expectations out the window. Don’t worry if your toddler isn’t not smiling in every image; chances are they are not smiling all the time at home either. Don’t worry if she runs around in circles instead of looking at the camera. Trust me to capture amazing moments. Natural, candid images of your toddler are the ones that you will treasure for years to come.  
Family playing with toddler

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