Family Photo Shoot & A Few Tips On Shooting With A Toddler

I've been begging my husband for some nice family photos since last year and I finally had to to be the one to bring it all together because if left up to Hubby Dearest, our little family shoot would probably be including grandchildren. All jokes aside, we chose quintessential NYC, Central Park, as the perfect backdrop for our photos. I styled myself and my boys. Since the summer is dwindling and I knew we would be in the park, I wanted something soft and pastel. I also knew I wanted us to compliment each other but not look like we've been at a 3-for-one sale.  Since these photos will hang in our bedroom, the photos had to be classic and timeless and able to look great in both color and black & white. I also wanted there to be an air of relaxed elegance. Lastly, I am keenly aware that we are working with a toddler and he would have to be comfortable in order for us to get a great shot quickly. 

A few tips for shooting your toddler:

  • Shoot early! - As a parent, I'm sure you are already aware that these pint size joys do not sleep in. At least mine never has. Try to shoot early so you capitalize on them being fresh and in good spirits. The more fatigued they are, the less likely they are to cooperate.
  • Patience - You have a pose or scene all etched out in your mind. They too have a scene in their mind. It's the rock they just have to climb. The dirt they just have to throw. The bird they just have to chase. Try to compromise with them so you can get the photo you want. 
  • Choose a child-friendly setting - A park or somewhere they are familiar with like your home so they can feel comfortable and enjoy themselves.
  • Let them do their thing and get your camera ready - Yes, we had a few shots of Luca where we repeatedly said "cheese, cheese, cheeeeese". But we also had tons of candid shots where we just caught him in the moment just being a child. Action shots of children, I think, are always the best at capturing their personality.
  • Keep it short and sweet - As much as I would love to do an extensive editorial shoot of Luca, that is simply unrealistic. Toddlers have short attention spans and when they are done, so are you. Try to limit your shoot to an hour or two at the very most with intermittent breaks throughout the session.
  • Have fun & Cherish the moment! 

Photo Credit: Bernard McWilliams