Toddler Photography: 5 Tips to Photograph Them at the End of the Day

Toddler photography | 5 tips to photograph toddlers at the end of the day

Toddlers are so fun! I love to photograph toddlers during the golden hour, that beautiful time just before sunset. I realize that the evening is not always the best time for toddlers, but it can be great, if you keep a few of the following tricks up your sleeve! Wether you are photographing a toddler inside or outside at the end of the day, have fun and they will too!

Now I know that you cannot guarantee that your little client will have napped on the day of their session, and I know that even the well rested toddler can still have a rough time. I put together a few ideas that have helped me when I am at a photo session with a toddler at the end of the day, and I hope they will help you too.

1. Take advantage of the snuggling
Most toddlers love to snuggle with Mom or Dad, maybe both, and even with their siblings! Snuggling is one of my favorite things to capture! I adore moments like this. If the toddler you are photographing is having a hard time and only wanting mom or dad, take a step back and capture the moment.
Toddler Photography tips by Katie Woodard via Click it Up a Notch

Toddler Photography tips by Katie Woodard via Click it Up a Notch

2. Distract them
We could go on and on with ideas on how to distract a toddler! Some tips will work for some kids, some will not. So it is great to have quite a few ideas here. Is your little client hungry or thirsty? I tell parents, and most do this anyway, to bring a small but fairly clean snack (so their face won’t be covered in M&M colors!) to the session and their favorite drink in a sippy cup. Here are a few other ideas: You can act crazy, say boo, make animal noises or have someone pretend to hit you on the head with a stick. For older toddlers, ask them to stand guard over the buried treasure. If you want them to look at the camera, ask them what colors of the rainbow they see in your lens! Pick some wildflower for them to hold and give to their mom or dad! If you pay attention, you will see what kind of things make them laugh. This list is endless, just remember quite a few ideas so you can keep trying!
Toddler Photography tips by Katie Woodard via Click it Up a Notch
Toddler Photography tips by Katie Woodard via Click it Up a Notch

3. Sit them down 
Some toddlers are walking, and some are not quite there yet. Even if they are on the go, if you sit them down on the ground, on a small box or chair, you may have a few moments while they are still! But you have to move fast.
Toddler Photography tips by Katie Woodard via Click it Up a Notch
Toddler Photography tips by Katie Woodard via Click it Up a Notch

4. Let her go on an adventure
Lots of toddlers just don’t want to be told what to do. So let them be in charge! Get her interested in an area that you already see has a beautiful background for a photograph, and follow here there! If she thinks she is in charge, all the better!
Toddler Photography tips by Katie Woodard via Click it Up a Notch
Toddler Photography tips by Katie Woodard via Click it Up a Notch

5. Know when to stop.
Sometimes it is okay to reschedule! If they are super tired, there may not be a lot you can do about that besides reschedule. With these tips hopefully you won’t have to do that. I have photographed several toddlers in the evening hours where we were simply patient, we followed the ideas suggested above, and the session turned amazing! I’d love to hear what tips you have!

blueline
KatieWoodard150 Katie Woodard – Guest Post
Katie Woodard is a newborn and family photographer in Flagstaff, AZ
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Letter to a Photographer’s Family

Letter to photographer's family

If you recently received a new camera or found your passion for photography, feel free to share this letter with your loved ones. They need time to let it all sink in.

Dear Husband/Wife, Mother/Father, Son/Daughter, or Friend of someone who loves photography,

Someone you love has recently either received a new camera or has found their passion for photography. This is wonderful. We all search for something to be passionate about and it is so exciting they have found theirs.

Their obsession for photography may have started once they had children. Many times, a child will spark a need in us to document every.single.moment of their lives.

Here are a few things to know as they dive deeper into photography.

1. They love it.
Although, they may cry and even shout sometimes when trying to capture the “perfect” shot, they really do love photography. They have found something that stirs their soul and helps them feel more like themselves. If they are a parent, it is wonderful to have something that is just for them to feel like an individual. Yes, looking at it from the outside may have you questioning their love for as they curse at their camera when something goes wrong but this is all part of the learning process. We all go through it. As time goes on, they will not be so hard on themselves and their subjects and photography will become a more enjoyable experience for everyone. Be patient.

2. You may not see their face for months.
Every time you look at your loved one, you are greater with a big DSLR in your face. Where did your loved one go? They are still there. Just learning and capturing everything around them. Just like anything else, photography is something that needs to be practiced daily if possible. That means when you go to the park, zoo, mall or grocery store they may have their camera in front of their face the whole time. Don’t act embarrassed or annoyed. I’m sure your loved one has put up with some crazy stuff you have done as well. Be patient.

3. Photography is expensive.
Your loved one may start to ask for gift cards to camera stores for birthdays and Christmas. Photography is an expensive hobby between gear and education. It may take several birthdays and holidays for them to save up enough to buy a single lens. Please try to keep your cool the first time they approach you with wanting to buy a lens that costs over a $1,000. Lenses may become their new item to collect. We really like lenses. As my husband says “Start saving now, Christmas just got a lot more expensive.” Be patient.

4. They may forget to live in the moment.
I’m going to be honest, when they start down this amazing journey of photography they are going to forget to live in the moment. They will be too busy photographing every minute of someone’s birthday party, they forget to put the camera down and sing along. They forget to soak in the laughter and good times. Help them to remember to be present in the moment and not to live life through the view finder. It will take time for them to come around but I promise if you are kind about this, they will appreciate the reminder. Be patient.

5. Keep encouraging.
There will be days they want to quit. Please don’t let them. When learning something new it is easy to become frustrated especially if you don’t see a massive improvement over night. It will take time…years for many (myself included) to see the progress they want in their image. Encourage them to print their photos if they hit a lull. When a photographer holds one of their images in their hands it is extremely fulfilling and can help them keep going. Be patient.

Be patient.

Critique Me – Chanel French

Chantel French

Remember: -Read How to Critique a Photo -Make a critique sandwich – something positive, something you would have done differently, something positive -My rule: no improvement tip = deleted comment -This will benefit the person leaving the photo critique just as much if not more than the person receiving the critique. -If you would like […]

10 Photography Projects for Kids

10 photography projects for kids by Beryl Young via Click it Up a Notch

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I ask my 4 year old one day, just for fun. Imagine my beaming smile when she exclaimed, “A camera lady, like mommy!” Just as I’ve watched my daughter grow into herself as a little girl, she’s watched me grow into my role as a […]

Critique Me – Chloe Adler

Chloe Adler

Remember: -Read How to Critique a Photo -Make a critique sandwich – something positive, something you would have done differently, something positive -My rule: no improvement tip = deleted comment -This will benefit the person leaving the photo critique just as much if not more than the person receiving the critique. -If you would like […]