Little tykes can be tricky to capture and often get asked how I get kids specifically toddlers to sit still. The truth is I don’t! I am sharing with you how I accomplish capturing those little souls without them even noticing they have been photographed. Or at least not feel like they have had to endure a hr long session.
By this I don’t mean trying to get a two year old to shout out their age, I mean we are trying to capture a moment in the child’s life so get the details of their abilities and character. If they are taking a step or two or running everywhere get that. Where they are at that particular age is what we are trying to in capsule in the photo session. Get the little details of their chubby knees or little fat feet, their tiny fingers or their angel whisps hair. Children change so much in the early years it truly is amazing to see those changes 6,8 or 10months from then, these are the things you like to look back on.
This is not a news flash and I am not the first person to say this, but It truly is so, so important. Get down to their level. Toddlers are mostly looking down and in front of them, so to get their natural facial expressions I don’t want to make them look at me. I get myself in front of them and get their attention when Im at their level they will have a much more natural look and maybe one of their faces which is truly representing their character.
Toddles are busy and have very short attention spans especially when doing something that doesn’t necessarily peek their interest. Their levels of understanding are not fully in tune with the direction of posing for photos, therefore to truly evoke the essence of these little souls I don’t spend a lot of time trying to get them to smile or look at the camera. I revise my expectations and only try to get the smiles and attention periodically throughout the session this way the little guys don’t get board with me and start to refuse any direction.
I am usually a complete stranger to these little ones and have only usually met small children at their newborn photo sessions or not at all. Which is why I try to have parents introduce me, I will then come to them and introduce myself say hi and help them feel safe. Always with mom and dad around. This lets them relax and let their personality show without hiding behind mom and dad.
Like mentioned above toddlers don’t love sitting still and waiting to get a perfect shot so I have to be ready for when they are ready. This means I am most likely not giving direction letting them come to me or I follow them. Talking with them gently and letting them do their thing and getting their attention from behind my camera weather it be a silly noise or a particular noisy toy.
I hope this helps! If you are always working with children or a mom wanting to get a few better images of your children these are a few points which I have found works for me.