Tips for Family Photos with Toddlers
The good, the bad, the crazy - this blog post we are talking toddlers. Toddlers are an overload of all of the emotions and can often be unpredictable in behavior. Your family has booked a session and you are looking forward to updating your home with new photos to decorate your walls. How can you ensure that you are able to get great family photos that include all of your family.
1. Timing is key: Try to schedule your session at a time when your child will be well rested and not hungry. If you bump too close to a nap or meal, you may have a harder time getting your child in the smiling/playful mood to take pictures.
2. Keep them engaged: The last thing you want is for your child to get bored with pictures. If they decide they are done, it can be hard to make them change their mind. Try keeping them engaged with props, continuously moving and exploring different backdrops and photo spots - make the photo session almost game-like so the kids are more focused on just having fun.
3. Don’t force anything: This is a big one with toddlers. If they don’t want to do a certain pose or location, be willing to roll with it and come back. Help the toddler feel more like they have a say in what they are doing/posing with/when and they are more likely to listen and cooperate when you suggest something for the next shot.
4. Bring bribes: I say bribes lightly. I think it is a great idea to bring motivators for toddlers. Whether that be snacks, favorite toys, planning to do something fun after your session, etc. Help them keep their ‘eyes on the prize’ and the session will more likely be quick, easy, and stress-free for all.
5. Let them just be kids and roll with it: Kids can have their own agenda. Try to come with an open mind and trust your photographer to get beautiful shots. Kids may have a harder time doing lots of posed photos, but candid shots of them just being themselves can be truly magical. Often if the kids are enjoying themselves they are more likely to cooperate for full family pictures.
6. Bring a few of their favorites to use as props: I love this one! Maybe it’s their current favorite toy, a balloon, a blanket, a favorite book, etc. - chat with your photographer, they often accumulate props that they could bring along for your session!
I love photographing toddlers! At the moment, I am enjoying the energy of my own strong-willed three year old and I know how fun, crazy, exhausting, and alive they can be. Toddlers are truly starting to blossom their own personalities and capturing them in photos make for absolutely beaming!
What to Wear to a Family Photo Session
Compliment, don’t match
Pick out outfits for each family member that have complimentary colors, not the same outfits. Having an idea of a color pallet in advance can help! For example, in the Fall warm, earthy tones are beautiful. If you have a color pallet, then laying out clothes for everyone will be an easily process.
Color palette ideas:
Look at your home
What are the colors in your home? What is your decoration style? Choose colors for your outfits that will look best on the walls of your home. If you are investing to get family photos taken, you are going to want to display them! Choosing a color pallet for your outfits that will compliment the vibe of your home will make hanging them on your wall that much more special.
A number of sites will sell clothes for the family in collections. These collections already have complimentary colors that can make choosing outfits quick, easy, and cute. Instead of buying all of the families pieces from this collection, buy one for each family member so that you aren't all wearing the same outfit but instead have a matching component to your look.
Don’t wait until the last minute to consider what you are all going to wear for your session, clothes can get dirty, not fit, and may not look how you imagined them too. Once you book your session, start thinking about what you are all going to wear. It is important to consider not only what clothing your family will wear, but also your accessories and shoes!
Foolproof formula for outfit success
Dress the family in mostly solid, neutral colors (grey, beige, cream) and then add in pops of accent colors that you prefer ( I love warm earthy tones :)). This will give you all a nice clean look, that makes you all look coordinated.
Plan for the weather
There is nothing worse than being too hot or too cold during your photos session. A family photos session should be a fun, enjoyable experience for all, being dressed for the season is so important to your overall experience. I always suggest layers, that way clothes can be added or taken off for comfort and to add a different look for your photos without having to change clothes.
Wear clothes that you feel good (and comfortable in)
I suggest not dressing in your fanciest outfits for photos for a few reasons.
Plan for one outfit
Outfit changes, especially with kids can be a whole ordeal. If you really want to have multiple looks for your shoot, dress in layers and remove or add to your outfit to create different looks. Adding fun accessories like hats, scarves, props, etc. can also be a fun and easy way to add more variety to your session without needing to coordinate a full outfit change.
There are just a few tips to help you in picking out clothes for your next family session. Of course, if you have questions or want a second opinion on something, I am happy to help! If you still need to book your family session for this coming year, let me know so we can find a time that works for you and my calendar! :)
Hello! I'm glad you are here.
I am an Appleton, Wisconsin-based photographer. I lean into my creative side when I shoot and love bringing out your personality during your session. To ramble off a few of the things that fuel my soul (other than my camera); clear night skies, snuggles with loved ones, the outdoors, sunsets, having genuine conversations with new people, and listening to audiobooks.