As a New Jersey professional children’s photographer, I have some great tips for toddler photography. Firstly, I have been photographing children for years, and I LOVE it. That said, I’ve seen, first hand, the stress parents of young children seem to have before and during a photoshoot.
Because I believe that part of of value of having professional photographs taken of your family lies in the session experience, I’m going to share five of my favorite tips and tricks!
If you have a toddler, you know that they tend to be happier at certain times of the day. Some kids are “morning people”, while others are better in the afternoon. Nobody knows your toddler better than you. When working with you, I will schedule based on your recommendations. Therefore, if your child is most likely to cooperate at 9:00 am, I’ll be there!
A key to getting great pictures is making the photo shoot fun! So, choose a location you know your child loves. You would be surprised, a professional photographer can take beautiful photos just about anywhere. So, consider taking pictures at a favorite local park, along the water at the beach, on a boardwalk or even in your own living room.
Also, comfort is key. Certainly, a three year old stuffed in a beautiful and possibly uncomfortable dress is NOT going to smile, trust me! Here’s an idea, let your child help choose the outfit. Or, better yet, outfits! A change of clothes is always a good idea. Accidents happen, drinks spill, and kids get dirty. And, maybe you can even make a deal. How about we take a couple of shots in that fancy dress or long pants and then we can take some more in the princess crown or fireman costume. Or, consider the idea that sometimes the most perfect picture represents exactly who your child is, day to day. So, a photo at the playground, in that spiderman t-shirt, may be the perfect thing to hang on your family room wall.
A hungry toddler is a sad toddler. Likewise, a sad toddler will not take good pictures. As a professional photographer and a mom of two girls, I KNOW this to be true. Firstly, make sure your son or daughter has eaten before the shoot. A bagel from the local shop can be incredibly valuable. Also, bring snacks and drinks with you to the shoot. You would be amazed at the magic some goldfish or a lollipop can work on a cranky child.
At 3 years old, my daughter wouldn’t go ANYWHERE without her stuffed dog. It was ragged and missing an eye; but it was hers. Consequently, asking her leave it at home was akin to suggesting she cut off her left arm. It was a definite no. So, she brought it, everywhere. As a result, life was infinitely more pleasant.
Does your child have a toy he or she HAS to have? Take my advice, bring it! We’ll take some pictures with it and, at some point during the shoot, I’ll convince him or her to put it down, for just a second. If there is something your child loves, something that captivates them, take it with you. Maybe it’s a doll, or a helium filled balloon, or bubbles. I will make it work!
I have to admit, while photographing toddlers may be challenging, it is so much fun. Perhaps it’s because my girls are older. Hence, the boundless energy, smiles and silliness is endearing to me. In a toddler’s world, things are either right and happy or wrong and sad. It’s simple. I love to help create the perfect atmosphere and to capture the beautiful innocence of your child in photographs.
Finally, if you have a toddler and are wondering when the perfect time to schedule a photo session is, the answer is now. In contrast, in two months, or three months or six months, so much will have changed. Above all, it is important to capture their perfectly imperfect selves now.
In short, I’d love to chat with you to learn more about your child. Contact me. Together, we can determine the best time of day and location for your toddler’s photo shoot. We will have so much fun and you will ultimately have beautiful photographs of your child. Pictures that will last forever share a specific and special moment in time.