5 Tips for Better Photos of Your Busy Toddler

Take Better Photos of Your Toddler Hello, welcome to September’s tips for taking better photos of your children. This month we’re focussing on taking photos of your busy toddler. As mum to a one-year old I know all too well how difficult it can be to get a toddler to stay still long enough for a photo…let alone getting them to look at the camera. I hope that these tips will help you to get some great photos of your toddler that you can treasure in years to come.

1. Take photos often

I love to capture natural photos of families  being themselves, but often young children spend a lot of time fascinated with the camera, and nothing else! By getting your camera out often your child will start to forget that it’s there, meaning you can capture some wonderful photos of them being themselves.
The other benefits of taking lots of pictures is that once you get in the habit you’ll capture lots of moments that you would have otherwise missed – and it’s rare that we regret taking a photo, but easy to regret not taking it.

2. Give them something to do

Since toddlers have a tendency to be on the go all the time (particularly when they know that you want them to stay still) one of the best ways to photograph them is when they’re engrossed in an activity. This is a wonderful time to take photographs as you’ll really capture their natural spirit and personality.
The activity doesn’t have to be complicated – just set up a few toys or books in a clear space, wait until they’re absorbed, and then click away. If you have time you could set up a bigger activity – such as baking a cake, or you could let them run free in the garden or park and capture them enjoying the great outdoors.
I took the photos of my daughter below at the weekend whilst we were blackberry picking at Garsons. She was busy collecting stones and flowers, which is something she loves to do every time we’re outside at the moment, so although she’s not looking at the camera we have a lovely memory of this little part of her personality.

Take Better Photos of Your Toddler

3. Clear the background

The background can really make or break a photo – too much clutter can be distracting, whereas some interesting colour behind can make the photo pop. Before setting up an activity for your little one consider the background too – what do you want to include, and what would you like to remove.

4.Get down to their level

A birds eye view of your child will more often than not not work. Whether it’s crouching down or sitting on the floor get yourself to your little one’s level so that you can capture them and the world from their perspective.
Take Better Photos of Your Toddler

5. If you do want them to look at the camera….

Finally, if you do want to capture your little one looking into the camera (hopefully) with a big smile, here are a few tricks you can try….
Wait until they’re settled into their activity, and you’ve got lots of candid photos, then start chatting to them. When they look up you’ll have an opportunity to get some photos of them looking at you. Ask them if they’d like to see a photo of themselves. I use this one with my daughter often! If they say yes, ask them to stand nicely and smile, and take the photo quickly! They’ll love to see the photo afterwards. For older toddlers you can try a bit of reverse psychology and tell them they’re not allowed to smile….few toddlers will be able to keep it up for long!


Find more photography tips for parents here

Clare Murthy

Clare Murthy

I’m a newborn, baby and family photographer working with families from South West London and Surrey. I specialise in timeless, natural photography with no props or unnatural posing. I photograph babies at my studio, and families in beautiful outdoor locations. I'm based on the Surrey / London border, close to Hampton Court.
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