Taking photos of your family is just amazing. Photos are excellent reminders of our history; they carry a lot of family love, and it is what we carry as a reminder. It is the character of many of us to carry pictures of the people we love when we are leaving our homes, and maybe when you know, you will be away for long. The photos act as reminders of those we love.
Kids are always curious, and they cannot stand or sit still at any point for anything, especially a photo. And, when I have gotten them to stand still, there is another problem with getting them to look at the camera. And, when I have tried my best to achieve all of the above, it is another stressful stage to get them to smile at the camera. However, I constantly maneuver through all these challenges and get a good photo, and I appreciate my effort to get the photo. The struggle is worth it. Are you also going through the same challenge of taking good photos of your toddler? I will help you by sharing the techniques I have learned with my kids.
Always ensure the safety of your child. I will advise you to be with another adult acting as a spotter. They should stand close to the baby in case of any emergency. Also, make sure that all the items used in the scene are safe, avoid photo poses that are risky and always ensure that there is a trustable grown-up within arm’s reach of the toddler. Always keep in mind that the security of your toddler is your responsibility.
Photoshoot idea 1: Give the toddler a sit to sit on
I have tried taking pictures of my toddlers as they walk around, and I tell you, it is tough to get my camera in focus as I am still chasing the child around. This was not until I tried to get the toddler to sit down. You can make them sit on either a stool, chair, bench, or rocking horse. This will be the best idea than to follow them with the camera, especially for those younger toddlers learning to walk. Before I get my toddler to sit on the stool, I make sure that I have my camera out and ready to take the shots. This is because I cannot guarantee that the toddler will sit there long enough to allow me to go and take my camera, start setting things up and then take the pictures. Even though the toddler will not remain there for long, at least that moment is better than running around like a crazy mom the way I did.
Photoshoot idea 2: give the toddler something to hold
This technique has worked for me. I use this technique most of the time I want a smiley photo of my toddler. I tried using a higher position, such as a stool where the toddler cannot get off, but the toddler hardly looked up at me; they were there just trying to get off. And that is when I tried to apply this technique, I took the child out in our compound and handed her a toy. At this time, I had my camera ready, and everything set, waiting for her reaction. They just watched the toy and played with it for some time, then looked up to me to share the delight, and there they had a smiley face, and it was the moment I had been waiting for. I took my shots, and the photos were just amazing.
Photoshoot idea 3: use something to catch their glance
When I try to get my toddler to look at me, she does not. It is like she knows that I want her to look at me, and she tries all her best not to make eye contact with me. I have tried bribery and threatening to entice, but none works perfectly. However, I realized a means that would hardly fail, and I caught her attention with something interesting. When I want the toddler to look at the camera directly, I attach something conspicuous, such as dazzling lights in front of the camera. I then move towards her with the camera hidden.
I then reveal the camera when the toddler is not looking at me. I then keep asking them what is on the camera or producing the lights. Here she stares at the camera with curiosity, and there is a golden chance to have my shot. After, sometime she might start to smile at the dazzling lights while trying to reach out to them, and you can imagine how glorious the shot of the picture will look. A picture that I would want to keep to myself, I would share it with my friends.
Photoshoot idea 4: “Momma… I just got you inside the camera.”
That is the phrase I usually get their attention with. Though my toddlers are not always girls, I use ‘daddy’ for boys. This is after getting several photos of them playing and running around. When making those shots, it is not a must that they should pay attention to the camera. I roll the camera. Then turn the camera screen towards them and show them their images. Through this, I get their attention and curiosity towards the camera, and the next time I point it to them, there is a high chance they will look and focus on the camera.
Photoshoot idea 5: Help them to be creative by playing copycat.
I only do this with older toddlers who can comprehend what I tell them. Mine is two years old, and this idea works very well for him. This is how we do this; I start by doing several funny poses, the ones that I am sure will have his attention and interest. I then encouraged him on how those poses could work for him. I demonstrate again another pose and ask them to do it after me and take a photo of him. We do this for several poses as I am taking their pictures. They are wow. After my poses, I try to persuade him to get creative and do one pose. This is usually the most significant part, testing their creativity. I tell you; I am always surprised; I do not understand where he gets those poses from. They are just amazing.
Photoshoot idea 6: I ask them silly questions
I have tried with my kids to tell them to look at me and smile directly, and most of the time, this does not work. I am always disappointed. My kids are shy and will not even dare to make eye contact with me. So, I believe yours are, too, so let them smile at you naturally. My youngest toddler is the greatest challenge to me, and she is stubborn. When I ask her to look at me, she will look at every other place but not at me; I am just forced to give up. I place the camera off her sight and bend down to her. I make short but silly talks, most likely about her favorite cartoon; I pick her favorite character and praise him. I then make funny jokes about how we would punish the villain, and before I’m done, she is already smiling at me. And there is a chance to have her natural smiley photo.
Photoshoot idea 7: Shoot after a treat
There was a time I had tried very hard to get my youngest daughter to smile, and after every attempt, she kept failing me. That day, she was so unfair to me. I had a few numbers of pictures of her, and you can imagine how much I needed photos of her. Whenever I took a photo of her, I was discouraged; she was frozen. I gave her a warm bath and put on a new dress she had not worn before. After the bath, I gave her a bar of chocolate; after she had eaten the chocolate, her face lit up. This was the moment I had one of the best photos of her. It was worth all the work I did.
Whenever I am with my children, I love keeping the memories of the moments in a photograph. My hobby is taking excellent photographs for my family, and I love it. No matter what it costs, I get the best photos of my toddlers by applying the above ideas, giving them a test, and you will testify.