What do you do when you have a toddler that has just learned to walk and will not stay still, even for a second, to get a picture of them? More than likely all the pictures turn out blurry and most of them are of the back of her head. This is so frustrating and if you have ever tried to take a picture of a toddler, you have had this experience. Here are a few tricks to help with the blurry toddler syndrome!
Put your camera on the sport setting or high speed continuous shooting (most phones have this now), get some exercise and run out ahead of your toddler, turn around, and start shooting!
Bubbles are always a great way to get them to stay in one general area.
Sit your toddler down on something or someone!
If you want a shot of your toddler with other people and she doesn’t want to be held, have them walk or stand behind her.
My favorite trick- tell them that there is a monkey or some other animal in the lens and they have to look right in the lens to see the monkey.
Finally! Your toddler is pooped and you can hold them!
Thanks for reading and I hope these tips are helpful!
The optimal time to capture a newborn in their newborn state is the first 7-10 days after they are born. They can easily be coaxed into positions and are super sleepy. After 10 days they really start to wake up and spread their wings! The fetal position only lasts for a few days before they really want to stretch out and explore life outside the womb. This little beauty was really AWAKE! If you are shooting an older newborn don’t try to coax them into positions, instead swaddle them. They will often be interested in the camera lens and look right in it as well!
Bringing the parents personality into the images is always fun. Daddy is a writer and literature professor, so I asked him to bring some of his favorite books. We used Mom’s glasses and then I very patiently waited until the little scholar was sleepy enough to lay her down on the books. I covered her with a blanket and kept my hands gently rocking her until she was fast asleep. For these shots you may not have much time so it is important to set them up before hand. I used a baby doll to get the settings right in the camera.
Siblings! Big brother is VERY active and was not interested in sitting still so I captured a quick shot of him holding baby sister and then we got his favorite toy out and let him play with it around her. The image in the stroller also worked great! Big brother was strapped in! 🙂
Have fun! Who hasn’t had the urge to eat their baby? Ok, as I type that, it sounds HORRIBLE and just plain wrong, but you know what I am talking about right? Sometimes cuteness just needs to be gobbled up.
What a gorgeous family!!!
There are some huge differences in terms of development between an infant session and a 3 Month session. 3 Month old babies do not sleep as much as infants and are not as squishy and flexible so there is pretty much no chance of coaxing them into positions. They DO start to have good neck strength so you can prop them up in a nursing pillow or with towels rolled under their chest and get some great shots of the cutie discovering a new point of view.
Many 3 Month olds are most comfortable on their backs so make sure to get shots from different angels and always make sure your camera strap is around you neck when kneeling over them.
Involve Mom and Dad as much as possible. They are the best at getting great smiles from their little ones and capturing the moments when they are just interacting with their babies make the most precious images. Guide these moments toward the best light available.
Always get a shot of the parents with their faces right next to babies. There is always so much love that shows through in these images!
This session was taken at the amazing New York Botanical Gardens in The Bronx. This was done in the terrible cold of winter but you would never know! NYBG has a fantastic indoor Conervatory that we were able to take advantage of, as there were no big shows or events going on. What a joy to see little Anna experiencing all the beautiful plants and atmospheres (jungle, desert, etc.). I thought I would include a few tips in this post for photographing your very active toddlers that I used during this session.
1. I introduced the camera to Anna and told her that a monkey lived in the lens. 🙂 This works for almost any animal and told her she had to look right in the lens to see it. This will work for at least a few shots.
2. Setting-I love choosing parks and outdoor areas for little ones to EXPLORE and capture them having these experiences.
3. I used a lot of different angles. Above, side, on her level…just run around them and capture as many images as you can. YAY for digital cameras!
4. Noises/Squeaky toys. I have a wonderful squeaky penguin that I can hold in my hand along with holding my camera at the same time. This will only work for a while before they become “immune” to the noise.
5. For family pictures it is best for the parents to get on the toddlers level or for the parents to hold the toddler. A great trick is to have the parent tickle the toddler just a little bit to get those great fun smiles.
6. Instead of saying cheese, ask them what their favorite food is, or silly word. Saying PIZZA or MONKEY is a little more fun and honest than just getting them to say cheese.
Toddler photography can be exhausting but it is beyond rewarding. There is nothing better than capturing true discovery and honesty. Toddlers don’t know any other way to be and it is a beautiful thing.
I have MANY more tricks up my sleeves for toddler photography and will be posting them in the coming weeks.