As much as I love to photograph my toddler, I struggled with finding the joy in it around her second birthday. It became frustrating as she wouldn’t listen (go figure) and the end result would always be blurred photos, a crabby toddler and me being unhappy, annoyed and frustrated. The worst part was, I used to love taking photos and capturing special moments, so I was sad to lose that.
After some time away from my camera I re-focused and started taking photos of my busy toddler in a different way. A way that brings both of us joy and results in photos that we’ll cherish for many years. Read through for all our tips on how to take better photos of toddlers.
BIG DISCLAIMER – I am by no means a professional photographer nor claim to be! I’m just a mom who loves to take photos – especially of my girl <3
5 Tips on Taking Better Photos of Toddlers
1. Go Outside
Get outside for the best light and the best locations. Natural light is always best, especially if you can capture that beautiful evening light. We rarely get the evening light due to our bedtime routine, but if you can pull it off right after supper (like in these photos), then you’ll likely hit it just right. That’s another thing, don’t plan to take photos before a meal, unless you want to deal with a hangry toddler!
As for location, I’m a fan of natural and simple backgrounds like this field. Pick something open with little distractions. Playgrounds are fun, but often too busy with other kids and lots to do. Farmer’s fields, quiet streets, walking paths, forests and grass fields are some of our favourite spots. Check out our fun puddle jumping photos HERE or photos of the Georgia Crop HERE, where we found a simple white brick wall on a quiet side street.
For this mini photoshoot the goal was to find a field with cows because there are cows on the dress. Good logic right? Turns out I only got a few photos with the cows as these toddlers had so much fun running around and playing together in the field.
2. Two is perfect, three’s a crowd and four’s a party.
Believe it or not, two can be easier than one. Three or more, well let’s leave them for someone else! I organized a photoshoot with 6 kids aged 3 months to 3 years old and although I pulled it off, it was a tad bit stressful!
When there is two they can play together and the expressions just melt my heart. Look at these two, my girl and her bestie!
3. Bring Help.
Even if there is only one toddler, bring help. You never know when someone is going to freak out because a grass hopper lands on them! And when it happens, because something of the like will happen, just give them time. And by time, I mean as much time as they need. As soon as you start to rush you might as well pack up and leave. Toddlers need time to adjust and get comfortable. So be prepared to wait.
By the way, the grass hopper attack really happened then when I was editing photos I noticed this little grass hopper along for the ride and he was having too much fun to even notice this time! Can you spot it?
This little guy’s mom, my bestie, was awesome at helping. Holding hands, running and jumping with the kids, picking flowers, grass to chew on and making sure the kids were safe on the hay bail, she was on it!
Don’t be afraid to crop your help out after 😉 Sorry, friend!
4. Be Spontaneous & Creative
This is also where the help comes in handy. I’m not very great at this, but I do love the natural shots and different angles. I think the best moments can’t be planned or forced, just let them happen. We didn’t plan on picking flowers or grass or propping the kids on a hay bail. Let the kids enjoy themselves and be open to exploring with them.
And when you’re capturing these spontaneous and fun moments, make sure to shoot at different distances!
5. Let Them Be Little
Most importantly – let them be little. Let them play, and explore and wonder and look. Toddlers are the most curious creatures, they will create moments to capture without you forcing it so let them. They may not be the images you had in mind, but they will be memorable ones.
Remember – they don’t always have to be looking at the camera!
I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips on taking better photos of toddlers. These two besties sure had a great time! Feel free to share your tips in the comments below.
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This post is not sponsored; the opinions and photos are of Sew Bright Creation’s.
Want to collaborate? Email Jackie at firstname.lastname@example.org.