The Dos and Don'ts of a Family Photo Session With a Toddler


Is your toddler less than cooperative? Your kiddo likely can't sit still for more than a few minutes at a time. Even though their behavior is age-appropriate, it doesn't necessarily make a family photo session easy. Before you start to stress, take a look at the easy ways to help your child to cooperate and get photos you'll cherish for years to come.

Do Choose the Right Photographer

How much experience does your photographer-of-choice have working with toddlers? A sought-after portrait professional who typically photographs adults only may not have the skills to wrangle your rambunctious child. But someone with years’ worth of experience photographing families with children has the know-how to get the best pictures possible.

The photographer should know how to talk to your child. This means they should have a basic understanding of what to expect from a toddler's language development. If the pro uses wordy sentences or language that's well above a two-year-old's level, explore other options.

Ask your potential future family photographer about their experience working with young children. Along with the information they provide, review the professional's portfolio — and look for portraits that feature children around your child's age. This will help to give you a better idea of what you can expect from the photographer and your portrait session.

Don't Expect a Perfectly Posed Portrait

There's a place for perfect poses — and it's usually far away from a toddler-filled family photo. A senior portrait, your engagement pictures, and wedding photographs may all include sophisticated poses. Even though you can expect your older child, tween, teen, or the adult members of your household to pose with these types of sophisticated perfection, you shouldn't have the same standard for your toddler.

Instead of a strictly seated session or a static pose, talk to the photographer about the possibilities of action shots. This type of candid photo will showcase the personalities in your family members and give your child a positive outlet for their energy.

Do Get As Creative As You Want

While your child may gladly toddle back and forth for the entire photo shoot, you don't have to choose this type of basic action option. Instead, brainstorm creative portrait ideas with your photographer. These could include anything from fun-filled outdoor hide and seek sessions to a family story-time session. 

Don't Schedule a Session During Nap or Meal Times

What time does your toddler usually nap, snack, or eat their main meals? Predictable routines provide your toddler with a sense of comfort. It's tempting to schedule your photo shoot around work or school. But this could get in the way of your toddler's typical daily routine and throw off their entire day.

To minimize disruptions and keep your toddler happy during the portrait session, schedule the shoot around their normal day — preferably after a nap and after a feeding time. If you schedule the shoot immediately before your child usually naps, they could get cranky towards the end of the session. This could make it difficult to get a decent shot or put an early end to your day.

Do Give Your Toddler Choices

Your tot isn't in control of the family photo shoot. But this doesn't mean they won't have choices. A few strategic choices can give your young child a sense of control. Even though it may seem like a small bit of control (in comparison to the choices you'll make), this strategy can help the otherwise unruly toddler to manage a photo session. 

The specific session-time choices you offer your toddler depend on your child, your family, the photographer, and the setting. Simple selections such as clothing (the color or type of shirt/outfit), a favorite toy to bring into the photo shoot, or the choice to sit, stand, or play during the session can give your child the sense of control they need. 

Are you ready to book your family's first portrait photo session? Contact LV Photography for more information.



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