We have all heard about the “terrible twos”, and just when we thought that was bad, then we have a “three-nager”. We dread taking them out in public. Afraid they will have a tantrum, and better yet, that stares will get if they do. Are you even a Mom if you haven’t surfboarded your screaming child out of a store while every Mother and on-looker looks at you like they have no idea what you are going thru. All while fighting back tears because you had to get something at said store, but you were so embarrassed by their behavior, you just HAD to get out of there? I get it, I truly do! I too, have been in your shoes. As a Mother of two under two at one point in my life, it was truly a very difficult time. But, I’m here to tell you, YOU WILL MAKE IT! You will survive! AND, YOU CAN HAVE PHOTOS TAKEN! As a Cincinnati Photographer of over 10 years, here are all my tips and tricks about toddlers during photo sessions. For this blog, we will be using the term “toddler” to describe kids between the ages “15 months-3.5 years of age. Because honestly, these are the ages of kids where as a Mother, and as a photographer, I feel were the most difficult ages!
Tip #1: Choose a time of day where your child is well rested: If your child is best in the morning: schedule a morning session. If your child is best after nap time: try to schedule after nap time. Excuse #1: “my photographer says only golden hour is best, so we will try to keep them up”. Answer: trying to keep your child up past bedtime is a recipe for disaster! Excuse #2: “My photographer says” They can’t take photos in the morning because the light isn’t good”. Answer: I’m here to tell you, find another one! 70% of my kid/family sessions are in the morning because guess what? Kids do better at that time! I have learned the light in the morning, I find open shade and it works just fine for me!
Tip #2: Make sure your child is well fed: Ain’t no one got time for a “han-gry” child! Be sure they have eaten prior to your session. And bring a dry snack with you! Also a bribe also helps! My go-to bribe is Smarties. Mainly because they don’t melt in their hands or drip down their face if they suck on them and they are small.
Tip #3: Bring their favorite toy or lovie item: if they have a special toy, something that makes them smile, bring that item along with you. Sometimes we can even include it in the session. No one wants to be separated by something that they love
Tip #4: Lower your Expectations: Realize that they are toddlers. Do not yell at them for not looking at the camera and smiling. They are just 2, or 3. They are kids. Sometimes we are going to just capture moments as they come and that is perfectly okay! Sometimes they won’t look. These are the real moments and these are the ones you will want to remember for years to come