August 25, 2022
You’ve got your family photos scheduled for tomorrow and your stomach is in knots thinking about getting your toddler ready and hoping he or she will smile pretty for the camera. Don’t you worry about a thing! Your photographer has worked with toddlers before, especially toddler moms like me, and will make the experience enjoyable for everyone! I want to share 5 of my favorite tricks to help make photo day fun and run smooth, so your whole family can enjoy the experience!
Everything is more fun when it is a game. Recently I taught my kiddo how to play Simon says, so we use that in pictures now. I’ve told him that my camera will give him super powers every time I click it. I have him yell “WEEEE” as loud as he can. (Try saying wee without smiling. 😝) I’ve had him chase me and try to catch me. We’ve played with bubbles. We literally turn our family photo sessions into play dates, so everyone is happy and enjoying the experience.
If your child really does NOT want to do pictures, bribe them. I’ve had to up my child’s payments to do things he doesn’t want to do, but bribes almost always work. It can be treats, a toy, time at the playground, whatever they like. The price just has to be high enough to agree to do what you want them to do. For my personal family photos, I have to take my toddler to get ice cream after. Of course, then I get a bowl for smiling too!
This can be a tough one, especially if you have a child that has stopped napping. The easiest way to get around this is to schedule a photo session outside of nap times, preferably earlier in the day. My toddler doesn’t nap often, but when he does it’s in the afternoon. I know he’s not going to nap or be tired in the morning, so I try to plan our family photos after everyone has eaten breakfast and well before anyone is hungry for lunch. For us, this is usually around 9am.
Don’t stress out over smiles, just be goofy. Your child will love to see you acting goofy and will want to act goofy too. I did a session for a little boy that just turned three. For his session, I wore a headband with feathers and pumpkins on springs. Those silly pumpkins were bobbing around my head for a good 30 minutes. He thought it was hilarious, especially when I was running around and they bobbled more!
Instead of fighting uncooperative behavior, work with it. If they want to run off, let them. Then chase them, catch them, lift them over your head, bring them their head close to yours and smile at them. In that motion, there are at least 3 amazing shots. There’s one when you first catch your child, one lifting them above your head, and one when you lower them down so you’re face to face. If you’ve played this game, I’m sure you can picture the excitement your child experiences. If they yell, yell with them! Keep making your sounds weirder and weirder! They will smile and laugh. It only takes about a 200th of a second to capture a great moment!
Toddlers are wild and unpredictable, but they are at such a beautiful stage in their life. I love when I get to work with young children! I feel like I’ve spent the whole session playing and every session is so unique. Each child interprets instructions a little differently and has different cues that really bring out their personalities. I hope you find these tips helpful and you enjoy your next family photo shoot, as much as I enjoy doing them. I really, really love family sessions by the way! 😉
Juniper & Oak
I AM SO EXCITED TO meet you!
Juniper & Oak Photo | Lake St Louis, MO | (470) 724-1733 | Becky@juniperandoakphoto.com | 2023
Juniper & Oak Photo is a Lake St Louis Photographer serving Lake St Louis, St Louis, St Charles County, St Charles, Chesterfield, Town and Country, Weldon Spring, Creve Coeur, and the surrounding areas in Missouri and Illinois. This is a stress free photography experience and has a unique specialty of custom artwork.
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