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.
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!
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.
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!
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!