Toddlers and photography equals the need to have a lot of patience. This is a huge lesson I have learned. Once a mom told me that since my kids are use to having their pictures taken, they must be so good during a photo shoot. It doesn't matter how many times a toddler gets their picture taken, they will do whatever they feel like while the camera is on...my toddler included. Getting distracted by everything other than the camera is probably the biggest challenge I face when taking toddler pictures. To overcome this I need to let them have space and give them breaks. Let them be themselves. From my experience, it's the "easiest" way to get a couple of great images. While photographing toddlers, I don't expect to get nearly as many images as I get while photographing high school seniors. It's just not realistic. But keep in mind that some of the best images can come from your toddler being distracted.
I recently took some photos of my now 20 month old (she was 18 months during the shoot). The last real photo shoot I did with her was when she was one. At age one, I was able to contain her in a basket and let her play in it. With this new independent toddler age, I have to let her be free. During our 30 minute session, I was happy with what we got and it was without a meltdown from either of us.
I'll share with you what she was really interested in, but when you get to the end you'll see that not all was lost during our session.
Moral of my post, don't be afraid to have your toddler's pictures taken. Just remember to keep it simple and relaxed and you'll get some great memories captured.
The buttons on her sweater became very distracting.
Her tummy. I don't blame her, since it is the cutest tummy ever!
Her boots. Now in her defense, she hasn't really worn boots yet, so I get that these can be fasinating.
After being patient, I did get some great images of her actually looking at me. But too be honest I like some of her distracting images more, because they captures her age and some of these details can be forgotten over time.