Five Toddler Session Tips | Jamaica Plain Family Photos

Many parents of toddlers express some worry about how a session with their little ones will go. They know that you really can’t reason with a one or two year old, and worry that the whole thing could be a disaster if it’s not a good day. Truth-be-told, these can be especially challenging sessions — but if approached the right way, they can also be tons of fun. And, what a great age to capture because not only do these little ones have distinct personalities, but they are just getting started discovering the world.

So if you think one toddler at a session might be challenging — how about twins!? Well that’s exactly the session we had with these two dads and their twin 14 month olds (a boy and a girl) on this gorgeous Fall day at the Arnold Arboretum. But when parents and I come to the session, with the right attitude and a few tricks up our sleeves, a session (even with double toddlers!) can turn out great. So have no fear, but be sure to look at these quick tips:

1. Be willing to get in the picture. (This kind of goes without saying, but it’s even more important with toddlers!) To your toddler, I’m still a stranger. They are going to feel a little overwhelmed if I show up and immediately start trying to make them laugh and put a big black camera in front of my face. So we’ll start with some relaxed family photos to let them know that this is going to be fun for them. But most importantly to them, we want them to understand that their parents are not going anywhere!

Jamaica Plain Family PhotosOh they are totally NOT so sure about me here because we just got started!Jamaica Plain Family PhotosBoston Family Portrait Photographer_0001.jpg2. Know some tricks to make them laugh. You know better than me what gets your kids giggling, and of course I always have a few suggestions too! Like lifting them up in the air, giving them a “raspberry”, spinning them around, or finding something (as simple as some leaves!) to distract them and spark their interest. I also have all my families fill out a questionnaire before a session — that way I’ll come in knowing what kinds of things your children love (favorite songs, etc!). This is also a great place for you to tell me about any fears they might have.

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Boston Family Portrait Photographer_0012.jpgBefore you know it they are all warmed up and feeling OK about the situation!

Jamaica Plain Family PhotosBoston Family Portrait Photographer_0018.jpgThere are still a few more things to keep in mind so that we stay on track — so keep reading!

3. Give them some freedom. Toddlers want to explore the world around them, and they always let you know when they are not up for sitting still, or being held. Both the parents and I need to sit back and follow their lead, and I’ll be capturing it all. I love seeing what grabs their interest!

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 4. Give them a break. I always recommend that parents bring a drink and a small snack (no red juice and nothing messy or chocolatey!) so that kids stay happy. Sometimes though, they just want a cuddle, and that can give us some really sweet moments to capture.

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Boston Family Portrait Photographer_0019.jpgJamaica Plain Family PhotosBoston Family Portrait Photographer_0030.jpg5. Embrace toddlerhood!  My style of photography lends itself really well to toddler sessions. While I always strive to get a few photos where everyone in the family is smiling for the camera, it’s the in-between moments that are my real favorite. It’s OK if your toddler is just not having it when we try to get that smiley family photo (see below! ;) ). And I have to add, Jay & William were so easy-going even when the kids were getting a  bit fussy here! They totally rolled with it, which is absolutely the way to be.

I love their cute little faces here. Yup. Toddlers!!

Immersing themselves in all the newnews around them.Boston Family Portrait Photographer_0034.jpg
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I love this image. I just feels like this is their family doing what they do, dads chatting, kids on trikes, and I happened to be there to capture it. Jamaica Plain family photos

Cristen Farrell is a Boston Family Portrait Photographer. These Jamaica Plain family photos were taken at the Arnold Arboretum. Cristen  specializes in natural light photography and travels all around the Boston area for newborn and family photography. Please contact her at cristen@cristenfarrell.com or the contact button above for more information.

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