Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Photographing Toddlers

They're here, they're there, they're everywhere! Just when we see the perfect shot, they move on to bigger and better things. It's so hard to photograph a toddler. Forget about trying to pose your toddler. They are doing what they do best, learning. That learning process does not include staying in one place and smiling nicely up at Momma. It means running from thing to thing full of innocent curiosity. What can you do to take some great shots of your toddler? Know that it can be done and done well. Be prepared to take a ton of pictures, practice a lot, and learn to play to their nature. So, just what nature is that? Well, for one thing all toddlers love toys. Bring out the big props to create a play session that is sure to entertain them for more than a few moments. Some great prop ideas are bubbles, water, paints, etc. You know, those toys that you usually set up with care, so as to contain the mess. Forget the mess! Take them outside and let them go crazy. You will be rewarded with giggles, smiles, screams of glee and loads of fun pictures. Let them jump on the bed and have a pillow fight. You might want to have another adult around for that one. The idea is to get them engaged in playing and not focusing on you with the camera. It's the candid shots that will turn out the best. They are fast and you will have to be, as well. Get on their level. Don't just stand there taking shot after shot. Hit the ground, bend down, do whatever you need to get on their level. Make silly sounds. They love to hear silly sounds. Be creative and go for it. It's a great way to bond with your toddler and have a fabulous play session at the same time.

Just make sure you always have your camera around. Sometimes opportunities present themselves and you'll want to be ready to take advantage of them. They may be as simple as letting them go somewhere they think they aren't allowed. Here are a couple of shots of Dylan sneaking onto a boat at the lake house. He knows he's not supposed to go in the boat without an adult, but sure enough here he is sneaking on for a look see. Mr. Impatient pants decided he was tired of waiting around to go out with Daddy on the big boat and decided to toddle over to the small boat and explore on his own. Here he is sneaking on:

and above, he is looking to see if he's been caught.
The picture progression gets really fun, with Dylan in all giggles over an oar he finds. Blogger isn't letting me upload anymore, but the idea is just to go with a situation even when it's one you usually wouldn't let happen. You just might end up with the best photographs you've ever taken of your toddler. If they think you are all about play, they will be all about play and much more receptive to having their pictures taken.

For some inspiring professional children photographers, check out these blogs:
Audrey Woulard:
Skye Hardwick:
Michelle Croson:

1 comment:

em said...

I don't have any toddlers of my own...but I still know a ton! And they are my favorite photo subjects!!