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2017 WENDY CORREEN SMITH. Powered by Blogger.


My Ten Best Tips For Photographing Toddlers

A few weeks ago my sister asked me to photograph my nephew, Ollie, for his third birthday. He wants all things airplane for his party. My sister made arrangements with a family friend to have photographs taken with their airplane. She just knew Ollie would be thrilled, and he was, especially when he was able to get inside the cockpit & touch all the buttons with the pilot headset on. Now Magnolia is obsessed with airplanes & is fascinated with them flying in the huge sky above.

I took a few photos of Magnolia once we were all wrapped up & I just had to share them here. Lately, I've been saying how hard it is to photograph her. She is always on the go & asking her to stand still & say "cheese" is about as crazy as asking her to keep her clothes on at home! I use my cell phone 90% of the time, and on rare occasions I pull out my Canon & those are the times she turns into the Gingerbread Man.  I'm not a professional photographer, but capturing little life moments with the camera is my #1 passion. At the end I'm sharing a few of my best tips for photographing toddlers!

Here are my every day tips for photographing toddlers. 

1. Get down on their level. In my opinion this is the most important thing to do. You're going to have to squat or get on your knees to move around. If you want to get their adorable little face & pretty eyes you have to be straight on them. Taking a photo while you're standing & aiming down is only going to get the top of their heads. 

2. Go with the flow & don't rush it. You'll probably capture the best photos when they aren't being pressured into looking at the camera & being asked to smile. The candid photos are my personal favorite. I love taking photos of Magnolia when she's playing. Let them lead the way & just follow along. Be natural. Let them be wild! 

3. Give them something to hold. A small object will keep their hands busy for a short time. Magnolia likes to hold her hair clips, an empty hand sanitizer bottle, & small pieces of paper, basically anything that won't be so big it'll ruin the photo, but will keep them entertained long enough to snap a few pictures. 

4. Bribery. This doesn't work with Magnolia quite yet, but I will use it someday! Offering a sucker, small piece of candy, like a candy cane at Christmas, always works. Obviously chocolate or anything messy is a bad idea! And it doesn't have to be food, think of whatever is around you that can become special in their eyes. If you're outside grab a pretty flower or a cool looking rock. 

5. Have family members help. Get someone to sing a song, clap, or dance behind you! 

6. Tickles. If Ryan is taking a photo of us then I am probably tickling her into laughter! 

7. Have them perform for you. Get them to dance or jump or run or play! Magnolia loves to dance & I can guarantee she'll start dancing if I turn on the music. Some of the sweetest photos I've taken of her have been when she's putting on a show. 

8. Reverse psychology. Toddlers & kids love to do the opposite of what you ask them to do. Give it try, say don't smile or don't sit down or don't kiss your sister! 

9. Take a break or leave the room. Obviously this only works for every day photos, but if you're just not getting the photo you want then wait a little bit & come back later. Patience is key & you cannot force it. It needs to be fun & if it's not then it's not worth it anyway. Don't ruin a happy moment by being annoying with a camera in their face. Be sneaky - that could be a whole other bullet point. 

10. Video mode. A trick I learned a long time ago is that you can create photos that were taken in video mode. For example, my sister took a video of all of us singing "Happy Birthday" to Magnolia at her second birthday party & I was able to screenshot a few images to share as photographs. My newest rule is to always video tape at birthday parties when doing the cake. You'll want both, the video & pictures that can come from the video! 

I'm sure I've forgotten some great points, please share any other ideas or tips you may have. I'd love to hear them. Someday, I'm hoping I'll have some tips about photographing a toddler & puppy together. At this point in time I believe it's virtually impossible! 

I hope this was helpful & you feel inspired to capture more of your babe's childhood magic. 

Wendy Correen Smith
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