ottawa child photographer

We hear all about the terrible twos and the threenagers but in all honesty, the toddler years are some of my favourite for photography sessions.  Why?  Because they are curious, adventurous, and have a lot of big feelings, there are endless opportunities for photos!  Toddlers also love to play and engage, which means even if they think they don’t want to participate in a photo session there are endless ways to get their attention for a few quick photos.

But there are a few quick caveats before I share some of my favourite tips:

#1 If you want action shots, head outside.  Because of limited light, photos indoors will be blurry.  It’ll be a frustrating experience for both of you if you are trying to take running or jumping photos indoors where there is limited light.

#2 Pinterest worthy posed photos are for photo sessions, not for a regular day of playful photos.  Even though I’m a professional photographer I only take posed photos of my boys 3-5 times a year (matching clothes, looking at the camera, posed nicely).  The rest of the time I let them be kids and take photos of them doing whatever they happen to be doing.  

ottawa sibling photographer

Are you ready?  Let’s embrace the terrific toddler years and all the photo opportunities! 

1) Don’t hide behind your camera or phone.  Make funny faces, blow bubbles, roll a ball back and forth, put a small blanket over your head and pretend you’re hiding.  The more interesting you are, the more likely they are to look in your direction!

2) A brand new sheet of stickers will go a long way: let them stick them on a piece of paper while you take photos of them working away.  If you want photos of them looking at the camera, put stickers on your face and forehead and phone.

ottawa family photo session

3) Get them to show you how to do something.  “No, there’s no way you’re big enough to get your own cup of water!  What, you can?  Show me!”  Toddlers love to take charge, so let them.  Your exclamations about how big and capable they are will definitely elicit smiles and knowing little glances in your direction.

4) If you have your phone or camera and they’re grumpy, try tickling, but from a distance.  Do you have a duster or Swiffer?  Make sure it’s clean and then use it to reach out and give them a tickle while you watch and wait for those magical smiles and silly expressions.  

5)  If you aren’t a master at funny noises, download an app that makes fart or animal sounds for you and then pretend you have no idea where the sounds are coming from.  There’s nothing funnier than farts, no matter how old you are 😉  

ottawa family photos

Terrific Toddlers – Sara McConnell Photography