I hope everyone enjoyed 10 tips for photographing your baby by Jennifer last week. Wasn’t it fabulous? I’ve got that one tucked away for when we decide to have our second child. Now let’s talk about those later years of your child – toddler photography.
We all know that toddler photography can be a hard. They never want to sit still, meltdowns can happen in an instant and they can scream at the sight of your camera. That sentence is my two year old in a nut shell. Toddler photography is all about capturing them in their element. Lifestyle photography is going to be your go to unless you have a rare toddler that loves to sit and smile for you. I want to teach you some tricks I’ve learned about getting that perfect shot and some ideas of fun shots to capture.
Capturing the milestones.
I know what you’re thinking, those big milestones are done. What about the little ones? I remember the day my daughter got the movements for the Itsy Bitsy Spider. It was so exciting and the cutest thing. I didn’t have my camera on me but I made a note that I need to get a shot of her doing it. When getting the shot, don’t expect her to sit there and do it with a smile on their face. I went just for the hands. I didn’t need to see her face, the hands said it all.
Don’t push them. Instead work with them.
Raise your hand if taking photos of your child looks like this photo on the left?
That was the first time in a year I attempted to pull out the backdrop for this exact reason. Getting my daughter to sit still and smile pretty is pretty much out the window. The beginning of this little shoot was no different. So I just worked with what she gave me and made it more of a game. I put a masking tape X on the floor decorated with stickers and she loved it. (photo right) She thought it was a fun game to sit on it. She also wouldn’t let go of her lovie, so I didn’t push it. Instead I just made the shoot about it. I was so happy with the end result even though it wasn’t my initial plan.
Set up activites for them to do.
Plan an art project for them to do and then photograph them doing it. Yes, it’s not natural since its set up but their reactions are. My favorite thing to do is take photos of my daughter painting. The light in my dining room is gorgeous so it is my favorite place to photograph, so arts and crafts are always done there. Make sure to shoot your subject from different vantage points to create more interest.
Get the details.
We are all obsessed with getting the little details with newborns, well why not toddlers? I love, love, LOVE to photograph my daughter’s lashes, her mouth, pretty much anything. They won’t have those soft features forever, so make sure to get them while you can. My favorite time to photograph this is when she’s watching Dora or a movie. I know she’ll sit still and for the most part can get in her face, as long as I’m not blocking her view. lol
Just let them run!
When we go outside to play for the day I always grab my zoom. I then sit in one spot and wait. Let them do their thing and wait for the perfect moment. Whether it’s capturing them in their element or if they have a treasure they want to show you. I used to chase her around the yard and sometimes I still do but for the most part, I hang back and shoot from afar. She likes that she can be free to play and I love that I get to capture these precious moments of play.
Photograph a year’s difference.
At the beginning of the year, I was in a rut. I had no idea what to take photos of. I started going through photos of the previous year for inspiration of what I shot in the winter months. Then I found the photo of my daughter at the first of the year staring out our back door at our first snowfall. Luck was in my favor and we had our first snowfall in our forecast. I was prepared. The day the snow fell I got the same shot. It is crazy how much they change in over the year and it is fun to have a then and now shot. Might be something I do every year.
We all know about the shots we want to get when we go on vacations. The places we visit and the attractions, but what about the hotel room? The light in most hotel rooms are amazing, those big beautiful windows. It’s probably one of my favorite places to shoot when we go on trips. Also, that first airplane ride, or 3rd, or 4th. I loved that I got those shots of my daughter on the plane. I didn’t think to do this on her first flight, but I definitely knew to do it on her second.
Hey Mom, get in the photo too!
Jennifer talked about this in her post and I’m going to do it as well. Don’t worry, I struggle on this. I wanted a photo a month of me and my daughter but it doesn’t always happen. I at least do it every other month.
Have your husband, friend, parent, or whoever get that shot for you. This is what I do. I have whoever is going to take the picture do a stand in for me. I set everything up and then hand the camera over. I will tell you the first few times my husband did it, it wasn’t the best, but now he’s pretty good. Just remember capturing the two of you at this stage in life is more important than the quality of the photo. Just do it!