I've done quite a few family photo sessions that involved toddlers and after posting our own family photos yesterday (taken by "Auntie No-No", Dan's sister Noelle of 2 Sisters Photography in Chicago, IL) I thought I'd give a few tips about portrait sessions with a toddler.
- Lower your Expectations - If you go into this, expecting to get perfect portraits of your child smiling sweetly, you're going to be hugely disappointed. Even the most well-behaved toddler cant sit through a portrait session the way that an older child can.
- Don't take too long - You cant expect a 3 hour shoot with multiple locations and wardrobe changes. 30 - 45 minutes is long enough.
- Choose the location wisely - Go somewhere fun! Choose a location where your toddler can explore and play in between shutter snaps. A park, a field, a quiet area of the city. I recommend somewhere new. If it's a park your child has been to before they might go ballistic when they cant play or do the things they normally do at that location.
- Wear comfy clothes - Choose darker colors (in case you end up sitting in the dirt or crawling around in the grass) and don't get too fancy. You should all look comfortable, not stiff, and expect to get dirty.
- Plan an activity - For our photo shoot, we didn't really know what to expect because we were in a town we weren't familiar with. However, we improvised. We let our kiddo play with sticks and throw rocks in the water and have some fun! We got some great candid shots because of it!
For more photography tips, click here: What to Wear to a Photoshoot.