Getting a good picture of a toddler is rock hard! Being Instagram obsessed I’m constantly taking pictures but I have literally hundreds of:
A) blurry pictures of Tom because he decided he had somewhere better to be,
and B) mid tantrum pictures because he decided he had something better to do. I feel like I spend 50% of my life trying and failing to get the perfect photo.
Nothing is more frustrating than thinking of an amazing idea for the perfect image, setting it all up in your head only to find out that its actually physically unachievable because your child has worked out they can walk/crawl/clap/pick their nose. Except maybe seeing the perfect image come to life in front of you totally spontaneously and managing to grab your phone/camera in time to capture it only to look back and realise the lighting is naff, their faces are blurred or there’s a massive pile of rubbish in the background.
This photo is a massive example of the above issue. To me this photo represents a triumph over adversity, a victory against all odds! I imagined this photo a bit differently, Thomas was supposed to be awake, sitting or laying within the wreath of flowers smiling, maybe offering me the rose! Thing is, Thomas just wanted to fling the flowers about and shove them in his mouth
My whole idea was a shambles but I realised I just need to improvise! I waited a few hours for Thomas to fall asleep, then very, very carefully (think bomb diffuser carefully) laid him down within the flowers and voila, perfect picture opportunity!
I remember when Tom was a tiny baby; it was so easy to take gorgeous close up photographs of his little smushy face, perfectly in focus, because he hardly moved. Now when I get too close with the camera he’s liable to either head-butt or lick it depending on how fuming he is at that moment in time.
When he first learned to weight-bear I could get brilliant outfit showcasing photos of Tom leaning against a wall or chair, and for a while he hadn’t worked out how to sit back down so would just stand there providing me with multitude of insta worthy super cute poses. These days I have to take what I can get while he’s dashing past with a cheeky grin (or grimace) on his face.
So bearing in mind that each kid is unique and different techniques will be more or less successful on any given day, and basically nothing can be counted on apart from chocolate, I’ve put together a list of my top tips for getting moderately acceptable photographs of your toddler.
1. Sleep – My Biggest tip is to wait until they’re asleep, this is probably the only time your toddler will be still, therefore the best chance you have of a non-blurry photo. Also, if like me you have a hat loather, but you yourself love a cute hat (with ears), this will be the only time a hat will be endured. For this to work you have to be prepared, have your camera and all your props to hand. I spent aged trying to get a picture of him in this cute Christmas hat from Little Squidges without him ripping it off, turned out I just needed to wait until nap time.
2. Food – top tip number 2 is bribery, you can use food, toys or a favourite telly show, whatever floats your little ones boat. Just be aware that this one won’t have them tricked for long before we fall into tantrum territory so be prepared to get your photos quick! Whip out a teat size bag of milky bar buttons from behind your back and watch their faces light up! CLICK, CLICK. Then they will dive for the food and you need to pay up.
3. Sit them on something – I can’t explain why this one works but it just does, believe me. When I sit tom on his little rocking chair, or a bench, or his toy box, he magically forgets he can move and will sit quite happily, add a little toy (peg dolls are perfect here) and he could sit for a good 5 minutes while I get snapping. Thinking about this, it might just be a Tom thing, so please no lawsuits when your little one tries to get down and face plants the floor.
4. Make a fool of yourself – guaranteed winner, especially with smaller babies. Unless the baby is already in a foul mood, in which case you should probably give up and try again tomorrow. Sing, dance, pull faces and generally embarrass yourself to get them to look at you and laugh. Tom loves when I play peekaboo from behind the camera or when I shout WOOHOO!
5. Get outside – because natural daylight is the best, and even if your kid isn’t playing ball a decent background can make a boring picture stunning! Just take a walk to the nearest park or beach and let your little one run wild while you follow with the camera, I guarantee you will get some gorgeous photos.
Now this list isn’t exhaustive and I’m sure there’s a few more I’ve overlooked that I have in my bag of tricks, but If any of these work for you or if you have any more top tips for toddler photos drop me a comment and let me know, I’m always looking for new tricks to try. Until next time, may your lighting be mint and your backgrounds uncluttered.