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Photography 101

Tips for Photographing Your Toddler


Taking photos of your toddler can be daunting, but here are a few tips for photographing your toddler!

Taking photos of active toddlers, is not easy. But photographing your toddler does not have to be painful!

I know when you have a toddler, or a kid under the age of 6, getting them to sit still for a good portrait like photograph can be the hardest thing EVER!

Well, today I’m going to offer a few tips for Photographing your toddler.

Learned from life experience of course…

If I want to take a photo of Pookah these days, I tend to ask, set a time limit and then, be prepared.

tips photographing toddlers



If I want to take a photo of Pookah these days, I tend to ask, set a time limit and then, be prepared.

So BEFORE I even asked him to take the photo, I did 3 things:

  1. I decided what lens I needed. In this case, I chose my Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. Because 1: it’s a fast lens. He’s 4. He moves a lot.  2. It’s also a portrait lens and 3. It not too wide, so I could eliminate a lot of background and narrow my focus on Pookah.
  2. Picked the spot I was going to photograph him in. That way, I knew where the best light was and I was able to set my white balance ahead of time using my Expodisc.
  3. Check my settings.  knew I wouldn’t have time to keep fiddling with my settings and my since my main aim was to control/eliminate background  distractions in my photo and focus solely on Pookah, that meant my aperture was the most important setting. My aperture in all of these photos was 2.8.  It was wide enough to blur my background, but not so wide as to have me miss focus if the boy moved too much( which he is prone to do). Next, I made sure my shutter speed was high, because like I said, he moves.

And then I asked, bribed and made all sorts of promises.

He agreed.

I’ve found that the trick to getting your toddlers/preschoolers/kindergarten aged kids to stand still for you is:

  1. Give them some place to stand or sit.  For Pookah, it was a crack in the driveway.
  2. Let them bring a toy . And make sure you take photos of the toy. AND SHOW THEM!
  3. Talk to them; ask questions, listen to the answers, and take photos the whole time.
  4. If all else fails say something crazy. I have been known to say words that Pookah is forbidden to repeat at school to get a laugh….
  5. Set a time limit. Don’t have your child out taking photos forever. Some kids are patient but most are not. When your kid says he/she is done. Be done. That way, they are more willing to take more photos for you the next time.

For all of these my settings are : f/2.8, ISO 1600 SS:1/4000
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  • Reply
    August 28, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Adorable photos and great photography tips! I know how hard it is to get a toddler to sit still. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 28, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Fantastic post!I have never been a fan of staged photography, especially with kids. Your images are beautiful and capture Pookah perfectly.

  • Reply
    Shirley Wood
    August 28, 2014 at 8:18 am

    My favorite is the first one with that giant smile! I like the little cars in his little hands too, such character in a photo! Thanks for the great tips. Pinning to my Photo board.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Really great tips! I need to remember to get myself ready BEFORE I get them in the process…it would definitel yhelp make things go a lot smoother…

  • Reply
    pascha shepard
    August 28, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Oh mannnnn, I need to invest in another lens. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2014 at 11:32 am

    I always loved your photos! You need to be a professional photographer if you’re not one yet.

  • Reply
    August 28, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    THANK YOU! Boys stay still for 2 seconds

  • Reply
    August 29, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    These are awesome! My toddler is always so busy, he is so blurry in all my pictures!

  • Reply
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama
    September 2, 2014 at 9:23 am

    you are so right, getting my kids to stay still is nearly impossible! But these are awesome tips!! especially the toys.

  • Reply
    Heather (Baby Bump & Beyond)
    September 5, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Great tips! I have my daughter tell me a joke to get her great natural smile.

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