As a parent, taking your toddler anywhere in public can sometimes be a challenge. You are always hoping they’ll be on their best behavior, but you never know what will affect their mood on a minute by minute basis. This unpredictable nature sometimes causes worry or panic for parents who are paying for a session with their toddler and unsure of how it will turn out. Afraid that their toddler may not sit and smile at the camera exactly the way they have envisioned it in their minds. We have good news for you though, THAT’S OKAY! Toddlers are so fun and so full of personality. They are at a magical age where they are discovering so many new things in the world around them and also discovering how they can assert their independence. We want our parents to feel relaxed and comfortable in their session knowing that these toddler moments of curiosity and exploration are ways that their personalities come out and shine in the photos. When you’re looking ahead at planning for your family session or your child’s portrait session, here is a guide to help you plan for the session and how to assist in making it relaxed and fun for you and your child!
Go with the flow. 100% of our portrait sessions never go as planned, so don't worry. Your family is perfect, just as you are. We will strive to get the essence of your family as a unit, your children's personalities, as well as sneaking mom and dad for a few minutes to get some portraits of just the two of you.
Let us know some of their main interests. If they have any special interests, toys, or movie character's that they love, let us know. It helps us connect with them on their level. Allowing us to converse with them about their interests can help them to open up and feel more comfortable with us.
You don’t have to be the bad guy. On a shoot, we know you want your kids to be on their best behavior (and we do too), but allow your kids to be themselves. Although you may feel like they are showing off, we need their energy to show their best personality. We will also work really hard to get that nice smile of theirs.
Stay relaxed. When you are stressed and tense, it tends to trickle down to the children making them feel tense or nervous. Try to relax and feel at ease knowing that we are here to help guide you and your kids through the session. We will interact with your kids to help them feel comfortable and guide them as well as letting them guide us in helping us capture some truly special images. When they are allowed to have fun on your portrait session, everyone looks more natural and relaxed.
Make sure they get plenty of rest. Good rest the night before and if its an afternoon session, a nap, can make all the difference. You should feel comfortable to discuss the best time for the session with your photographer ahead of time, using your child's natural happiest time of the day as a guide to selecting the time for your session.
Come fed. It can be hard to focus and participate cheerfully when your stomach is growling, so a small healthy snack right before hand is always helpful too. Be weary of sugary snacks beforehand, as each child’s sensitivity to sugar varies and could put them in a sugar rush. Be sure avoid colorful lollipops and candies 24 hours before session. Some of them stain their mouths and can linger for a day or two. Also, feel free to bring snacks to give in between shots as incentive. Snacks like raisins and cereal are good options because they are small and are not messy.
Bring an activity to do together. Do they have a favorite book or game they love to play? Bring it! Do you guys enjoy playing a family game of football or soccer on the weekends? Bring it! This can help make them feel comfortable and can assist in creating some great authentic photos of you guys together enjoying something you love.
Finally, just HAVE FUN! Let go and allow yourself to relax, go with the flow, and enjoy this time with your family. It will allow us to capture the pure emotion and organic love between all of you.