Let's be honest, if you have had or currently have a toddler you know minute by minute their emotions or behaviors are unpredictable.
This can give SOOOO many super sweet moments or supper silly and adorable. It can also give you those moments when the quiet in the house is suspicious.
Whether at a Newborn, Maternity or Family session many parents of toddlers are nervous about how it will go and they just want, "One Good Photo".
So, let me help you out so you feel ready for your next session.
1. Revise your Expectations
Let go of the family portraits of long ago where everyone, "smiled at the camera." The benefit of Lifestyle photography is you can have relax and have fun.
Sure, you may still get the everyone look and smile photo (as myself and most photographers do set up for a couple of those during a session, it's not all about that), but it won't be your favorite. The images that capture all the love of your family, or pure joy on your toddler's face. THOSE images, will be what you want all over your walls.
2. Bring Snacks
I know I can get hangry and a toddler, well they definitely can. So go ahead bring snacks and water. Just make sure the snacks are clean and won't stain your child's mouth or clothes for the rest of the session. Even if you don't need the snacks during the session, it's never a bad idea to have them on hand.
**Oh, and because toddlers can change their minds quickly, bring multiple choices in case the gummies they loved yesterday they now hate and want the granola bar**
3. Be ready to play
Running, jumping, tickling, dancing, whatever your toddler loves to do with you, relax and do it! Again, see number 1 and don't focus on that "perfect shot" and focus on your awesome family. Your photographer can see the moments that need captured that you may not even realize happened. And it's always magic when it works out like that.
4. Favorite songs, TV shows and Lovies!
Telling your photographer what your toddler's favorite songs or TV shows are (maybe even having those songs on the ready on your phone) can definitely help. I've spent sessions talking about construction vehicles, Paw Patrol, dinosaurs and more. I've sang every song from Baby Shark to the Hot Dog song, trust me your photographer will help in anyway they can to get some smiles.
Oh, and lovies? They can help an anxious toddler relax and even if they are in a few photos, it's ok. This is where your child is and if that lovie stays around for years, you will like looking back on those photos when it gets stuck high on a shelf never to be seen again.
5. They smell fear
Totally kidding, BUT toddlers sense your emotions. So, if you are stressed and anxious, they are more likely to be too and not listen or act like themselves. If you relax, they will. I know that's hard (see no. 1 again) but truly RELAX. FOCUS ON THE LOVE. HAVE FUN. Do these three things and you will walk away feeling so much better about your session.
For more information about a Maternity, Newborn or Family Portrait session with your toddler, CLICK HERE to let me know what type of session you want!
Have a wonderful week!