A couple weeks ago I photographed this adorable little girl for her one year photos. Just a few months ago I also did her 3 month photos. And even though she was tired and really didn’t want to work with me and a camera in her face, they turned out absolutely adorable. I have written some tips on this topic before in Before, During, and After! But I thought I would share some more tips on how to work with toddlers.
Any session where you are working with children can be challenging. There will be a lot of movement and often unexpected, so you have to be prepared so you don’t end up with motion blur. I would never go under 1/250 with children.
The more you prepare your session, the more relaxed you will be. I will come up with a list of actions/activities/poses that I want to do during a session. The list is usually longer than what I actually need for one single shoot so if something doesn’t work or if I don’t feel it, I can skip and go to the next one.
Team up with Parents
During a session with children, I love to work with parents as a team. They are the key to a successful portrait session. Involve them with getting their children’s attention, have them play together. One of my favorite portraits is of a family shoot I did where the father picked up his little girl and put her on his shoulders. Its photos like these where I think comes the best images.
Have some nice toys or having the parents bring the child’s favorite to play with during the shoot. Distracting them from running away will make your job easier and make for a very cute portrait. And if this fails, you can be prepared and have a bottle of bubbles! They never fail to get children’s attention.
Keeping them Busy
A funny way to keep the child busy is putting a little bit of scotch tape on their finger. This will keep the child focused on getting the tape off and in the meantime you have some moments to shoot.
Don’t push it
With all the above being said, it is the most important, kids are kids and kids can have off days. Some of them are just not having their picture taken at that particular moment in time. Try and take a break and leave the shooting area, a snuggle moment or a snack. After a few minutes, try again. Still not feeling it after a break or two? Reschedule! and don’t feel bad about it. You want to get a good photo and you’re not going to get it if you have to work with a cranky child.
If you have any tips on photographing children, please share! Email, comment below or private message me on Facebook!