Preparing for a Successful Photo Shoot with Toddlers in Brisbane
As a parent of a toddler you may be feeling a little unsure of how your photo shoot is going to go. I love toddlers! I love their curiosity, they’re gorgeous innocent smiles. I love seeing them discovering and experiencing things for the first time and seeing the delight they get from that. However, as you will know as a parent, toddlers can at times be unpredictable. Sometimes they can be a little strong willed and irrational. To help you prepare for you session with your toddler I thought I’d give you some ideas of how you might be able to contribute to the session being a success. Don’t worry, I will come to the shoot armed with tricks and ways to grab their attention and bring out the best in their curious little personalities. But here are a few things that you can do to help as well.
Before the Shoot:
- Avoid scheduling your shoot on a day that is crowded with other activity. As most photo shoots are done in the late afternoon to capture your images in the beautiful twilight light it is a good idea to keep the rest of the day quiet and simple. Make sure if your toddler usually has a nap that you keep that routine.
- Avoid talking too much about the session before you go. Toddlers often misunderstand and get confused when we start talking about things they don’t understand and this can leave them feeling a bit anxious. I usually recommend that parents simply say “we’re going to a park and a nice lady called Kylie will take a few photos of us.” Realistically most toddlers are used to following you around life and experiencing things as they come (some children are an exception to this and obviously those might need more preparation). I find that when children come with lots of expectations and confusion they tend to be harder to photograph.
- Avoid orange foods the day before and on the day of the shoot. These food stain children’s mouths and this comes out in the photographs at times.
- Avoid getting a hair cut the day before a shoot. Hair cuts usually take a week or two to settle and you risk the possibility that you might really hate the cut and don’t have a chance to get it adjusted.
- Pack a bag (without your toddler being aware of what is in it) with:
- Some dry food that won’t stain clothing and can be eaten quickly and easily.
- A drink bottle that doesn’t leak on the clothing.
- One or two classic toys that your child enjoys (it’s better to ask before you pull these out in a shoot but they are good to have as a back-up.
- Some extra clothes
- baby wipes to clean up any messes/spills.
- nappy if your child still needs one.
- pilchers/other nappy covers for little girls if they are wearing dresses.
- Make sure you have a few back-up clothing options for your child. Bring a variety of colours and styles. Also consider if they will need socks/shoes. You may also want them to have some accessories to photograph.
During the Photo Shoot
- Don’t have unrealistic expectations of your toddler. As a photographer I know and understand that toddlers are not always going to do exactly what you want them to do every time. They love to explore, to move and to interact with the world around them. That is part of what we want to capture. A good photographer will not expect your child to behave beyond their years and will have ways to help contain and interact with them that will help bring out the best in them for the camera.
- Try to be as relaxed and as happy as you can during the shoot. Try not to get anxious or frustrated. These feelings will rub off on your children and will not bring out the best in them. Toddlers never photograph well when they are upset and stressed so keep things relaxed.
- Toddlers don’t photograph well when they are hungry or thirsty. I encourage my parents to bring some simple food and drinks to the session. It is important that these choices are not going to ruin the kids clothes so I remind them to choose dry biscuits or similar and definitely avoid anything orange which might stain their faces. If a toddler seems to be getting restless I will encourage the parents to give them so food. I will use their break as an opportunity to capture others in the family or even get some photos of you and your partner together.
- Try to Avoid telling your child to smile or look at the camera unless the photographer has asked you to (which they may). Often these requests will provoke resistance or “fake smiles” and have the opposite effect than you were intending.
- If you are getting your child’s attention for a particular photo then make sure you are standing directly behind the camera. Even if you are a few meters to the side you will be drawing the child’s eyes away from the camera and not towards it.
- Remember that it is happy memories that you are hoping to capture. Try to relax and enjoy the shoot. Kiss and cuddle your child and create nice warm moments that you can both treasure for many years to come.
If you are considering having a photo shoot with toddlers in Brisbane then feel free to contact me and we can discuss some good locations that suit toddler sessions well. I will always come well prepared for session with your little ones and I can reassure you that as a mother of 4 children, one of which is currently a toddler, I understand their lovely curious personalities and know well how to photograph them.
You can contact me on my contacts page or phone me on 0478 628 378.