I love photographing young children because anything they do is typically adorable or provides some really great composition. Toddlers are full of personality and trying to assert their independence. I like to photograph all of the big emotions that children feel.
Sure, there may be some chaos in a session with young children, but these sessions are full of so much love. Belly laughs, lots of silliness, exploration and adventure and sometimes even a pout or some tears resolved with extra snuggles. It’s all relevant during this season and represents the beautiful intricacies of each family.
The lives we are living and the ways we connect with one another are so rich with beauty. As a newborn and family lifestyle photographer in Orlando, I enjoy observing all emotions and connections while families interact with each other. I try to approach family sessions with curiosity and use prompts that allow for communication, connection and movement.
My 5 favorite tips when photographing families with children:
Get on their level. Get low and talk to children when you arrive at your session. Introduce yourself, ask children their names and questions about themselves and find a way to relate. Use their names throughout the session and tell them how great they are doing.
Match their mood. Are they silly, quiet, excited? Match that energy and be aware of your tone when asking children to do something for you.
Interact. Tickles, snuggles, hugging to make a family sandwich, telling a parent why they love them, check mom’s nose for boogers….the list goes on and on. I love anything that will get a genuine reaction.
Play a game. Ring around the Rosie, follow the leader and asking a parent to fly the child typically gets big laughs. I also like to have a parent spin a child in a dress which shows beautiful movement and usually results in smiles. Ask a child to pick flowers for mom or get on dad’s shoulders…what do they like to do for fun with their parents?
Stickers or snacks. Finding stickers on baby is a fun way to get toddlers to find extra interest in new baby siblings. I am not opposed to taking a break for a snack and sometimes these snacks are even hiding in the photos! Bribery at it’s finest!
And sometimes, kids are tired, or in a mood, maybe they fall and get a boo boo, or they just don’t feel happy. Our days are not perfect. I love catching some of the chaos in a session because it will not always feel this way. Some of my most favorite images to look back on of my own family, are the ones where my babies are clinging to me, maybe with a pout or remnants of tears on cheeks. Our days are so much more than “say cheese”. I want to remember it all and I believe the families I work with do as well.
Try these tips in your next session with young children and let me know how it goes! Tag me on Instagram @rootedlovephoto so I can see your favorites!!
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