with Courtney Slazinik
Toddler Photography-8 Ideas to Capture those Early Years

8 Tips to Capture Your Toddler
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.

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!

  • Alicia Maloy
    April 12, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Great post! Thank you :)

  • Beth S.
    April 12, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    Loved this- wonderful suggestions!

  • April 12, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    I’ve always loved Melissa’s pictures! Great post!

  • Debbie Panton
    April 12, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Great post. My youngest used to be great for pics.. he would pose and everything, still will sometimes…. but a lot less often ( he’ll be 3 in July). Now it’s really a hit or miss whether I can get him or not ( usually hides his head under a pillow on the couch). Frustration levels usually mount pretty quickly, on both our parts. Lots of great ideas here though to think about. Still need a zoom lens to get some of the outdoor shots. I’m so looking forward to getting outside and getting outdoors pics again… the weather is finally starting to warm up. Thanks!!!

  • April 12, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    I just took pictures of my grandson today. I could have used some of this advice. I’ll get him next time!

  • April 12, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Great tips, especially the last one!!! :)

  • Lei
    April 12, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    This is exactly what I needed to hear! Thank you so much for sharing! Photographing little kids is such astruggle and full of frustrations! ^^

  • April 12, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    Great post! I found you on Pinterest and always forget to put myself into the pictures. Took a ton of great ones at Easter and not a single one of me. *sighs* I’ve got a tripod I never use… once a month I’ll try it!

  • Christi
    April 12, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Thanks for sharing. Great post! I love to capture my toddlers as they sleep. I have many beautiful images of them sleeping peacefully on my bed, where they crashed late afternoon following a busy morning.

  • April 13, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Really helpful post on photographing little ones! Thank you!


  • April 13, 2012 at 5:10 AM

    These are all great tips; thanks for sharing!

  • Jennifer
    April 14, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Thank you for a great post! I have a five month old and will look forward to photographing her in the toddler years. So true about getting yourself in photos with them! Just the other day, I looked at my husband and said, “Margot is going to look back through pictures and say, why didn’t you ever hold me, mom?”, because I’m always BEHIND the camera! That is something we’re going to make an effort to work on. Thanks again!

  • April 14, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Thanks girl!! I love the tape with stickers idea. My son would def. love that idea.

  • Adam Douglas
    April 15, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Always love the lighting in your photos. Do you have any tutorials on your website about it? That’s the biggest thing I need to work on.

  • Karin
    April 15, 2012 at 4:35 AM

    Great post, Melissa! Thank you for the ideas!

  • April 15, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    What a great post, I feel so inspired! I just had my second baby and I have a son already, and more than anything I want to capture them in beautiful photographs that I can have forever :)

  • Robin
    April 17, 2012 at 4:43 AM

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the last pic!!! I always worry about my chins being in the pic but need to get over it!

  • Tammy
    May 20, 2012 at 2:08 AM

    Thanks so much for sharing! Great information and I love your photos .

  • September 2, 2012 at 10:55 PM

    great tips! Thanks for sharing.

  • October 30, 2012 at 4:43 AM

    Loving this. My 17 month old is the only one of my children (I have 4 ranging from 17 months to nearly 15 yrs) who will let me take photos whenever I want. I have so many photos of her because of this, so this gives me a few more ideas as I am getting a bit bored but am very new to learning my way around a DSLR so very keen to take lots of photos (and am not that into landscape stuff, love photos of people!!).

  • Maureen
    March 18, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Thank you! Great inspirations. Can you share your camera settings,and lens used? I love the itsy bitsy pic, and the mouth!! What a treasure for later!

  • March 27, 2013 at 4:34 AM

    There is totally no hassle; there are no other points to do
    aside from placing it around your waist.

  • April 10, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    Hello would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most.

    Can you recommend a good hosting provider at a fair price?
    Many thanks, I appreciate it!

  • April 23, 2013 at 6:03 AM

    Having read this I believed it was really enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this information together.
    I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

  • April 27, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    I do also, but most of the time all of us just
    go about our company oblivious to what is going on about

  • May 20, 2013 at 2:42 AM

    Wide grip pushups will work your chest, back muscles, and rear shoulders.
    When doing push-ups, make sure that you keep your back straight.
    Beginners: lie down on your left side, and lift your hips and thighs off the ground by holding yourself
    up on your left forearm (knees are on the floor).

  • May 25, 2013 at 6:23 AM

    The Valor Fitness BG-11 10 Pair Dumbbell Rack comes with protective rubber
    base caps and four angled iron beams. Decades ago when some American coaches saw what their superior Baltic counterparts were
    training their athletes with for certain strength competitions,
    they began slowly to incorporate kettlebells into their programs.
    This is one of the major advantages that manufacturers target
    when marketing adjustable dumbbells to home consumers.

  • June 4, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    I enjoy, cause I discovered just what I used to be having a look for.
    You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  • June 22, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account
    it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! By the
    way, how could we communicate?

  • June 24, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    I am no longer positive the place you are getting your info,
    however good topic. I needs to spend some time finding out more or figuring
    out more. Thank you for magnificent information I was looking for
    this information for my mission.

  • July 17, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    Its such as you learn my thoughts!
    You appear to know so much approximately this,
    such as you wrote the e book in it or something.
    I believe that you could do with
    some percent to pressure the message house a bit, but other than that, that is wonderful blog.
    A great read. I will definitely be back.

  • Tricia
    July 22, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    I’ve only just discovered your blog and it’s such a mine of information – Thank you for making all your own learning available to us. I’ve always been a bit scared to move the button away from ‘auto’ but I’m going to experiment a bit more now! I’ll be reading more of your posts to get all the help I can.

  • Kim
    January 28, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    Great tips. I will keep these for the future. Also, I’m glad I’m not the only one whose husband can’t seem to take a decent photo. And I’m not professional photographer either! Haha

  • Tanya monroe
    June 10, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Great post. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge with us!

  • Nicole S.
    June 10, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    I love the “details” shots. I’m just starting to do more of them, and they are some of my favorite pictures. Thanks for your thoughts & tips.

  • Holly reichard
    September 12, 2015 at 1:59 PM

    I love your suggestions!! Can you add some details about settings and the type of lens. For those of amateurs that struggle with getting that focus with little ones!

  • Austin Hardenburg
    September 26, 2015 at 7:17 AM

    Ese Alquiler retaja Un sarmiento pariente so El indianista chismosea El roscón barilochense. Donde Alquiler configura Este porteño nocturnino


  • Ganesh
    December 11, 2015 at 3:16 AM

    Nice post , U gave me some good tips.

  • Temeka
    May 16, 2017 at 7:39 PM

    What’s up to every single one, it’s really a pleasant for
    me to go to see this web page, it contains important Information.
    matchtröjor fotboll

Leave a Comment