Monday, November 17, 2014

Holiday Photo Tips For Photos With Toddlers

This weekend I had many holiday photo sessions and many of those included at least one toddler. As we all know toddlers are unpredictable and not always the best listeners which can make photo sessions very stressful. I have compiled a few tips for helping the session go a bit smoother, albeit not perfect but any little bit helps in trying to get that perfect shot.

1 - Don't Over Plan. 
I have had parents come to me with laundry lists of poses and shots that wanted for their toddler and all this does is cause extra stress for the parents, the children and the photographer. While it is good to have a few ideas, parents need to realize their child might just want to run and not sit with his or her back against a tree. If we are so consumed with trying to make those photos happen we miss out on getting the carefree candids that were happening while your child was joyfully playing.

2 - Happiness Is A State Of Mind.
They smell your fear. If you are stressed and yelling and and freaking out over everything, they will feed off that and are less likely to cooperate. Try to keep it light and silly at least on the outside. If they see you are having fun, they will eventually want to join in the fun.

3 - Snacks (Okay Bribes) Are Good.
Do I believe in regularly bribing your child? No. But in some instances it can help. Many of the children I photographed today smiled when they were reminded they were being taken for icecream or lunch afterwards. If your child needs instant gratification, bring their favorite snack. Every time they sit or pose where they are supposed to they get some of their snack. This works wonders a lot of the time.

4 - Don't Be Afraid To Get Silly.
I had parents playing peek-a-boo behind me, others were singing their kid's favorite song, others dancing around like crazy and a lot of these tactics led to smiles.

5 - Go With It.
Photo sessions with toddlers are hard work and as I mentioned above, highly unpredictable so the best thing you can do is roll with the punches and do the best with that day's scenario. And I get it, that is easier said than done if your toddler is screaming his or her head off but what can you do?! You can get some crazy screaming photos and make a hilarious Christmas card. I swear the greatest Christmas card I ever got was two children screaming with a clever caption. Was it ideal for the parents? Probably not but I am sure they have a good laugh over it now.

I know there is no science to getting great photographs with your toddler but I am hoping these tips make things a little less stressful on your big photo day. Best of luck for getting great holiday photos this season!! xoxo