Photographs allow us to capture special moments in life that we’ll never again experience. As a parent, snapping endless photographs of your baby and toddler is all a part of the fun. Sadly, many parents quickly learn that their rambunctious toddlers often have different plans. Taking photos is not a favorite activity for many toddlers, although some certainly enjoy lights, cameras, and action.
If your toddler falls into the first category, you may wonder if taking a great photo without professional intervention is possible. However, a challenge that may take time and trial and error, capturing brilliant moments in your toddler’s life, is possible.
The following tips help parents capture great shots of their toddler, even when it seems that doing so is impossible.
1. Secretly capture the moment.
The best photos highlight an unexpected moment in time. Don’t be afraid to catch your toddler off guard when you need a great shot. Kids do the darndest things, and a secretly captured photo may very well be a favorite in the photo album. Many secret opportunities for a great photo present themselves each day. Have the camera ready to snap that unexpected shot at the playground or in the kitchen. When you capture the moment, the memories come flooding back years later each time you view the picture.
2. Don’t interrupt activities.
Never, under any circumstances, expect a happy toddler once his activities are interrupted. No matter what activity has drawn your little one’s attention, interrupting it for a photoshoot is bound to cause disaster. They’d much rather continue with the task that you took them from. Hoping for a photo from a disgruntled toddler just isn’t going to happen. This is especially true for toddlers who already dislike taking their photo but applies to any child.
3. Avoid critical times.
Tired, cranky toddlers make for a horrible photo sesh, unless, of course, you’re hoping for grumpy photos! Make sure your little one’s well-rested before bombarding him or her with the camera. Everyone has more fun when the littles aren’t cranky. They’ll be more eager to take photos when they’re not hungry, sleepy and when they’re not sick. Avoid photo sessions before breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
4. Bribery works!
Whoever said bribery was a bad thing? Nevermind answering that; just do it. Bribery works, and an occasional plea with your toddler in exchange for a reward is okay. Ask any mom or dad anywhere in the world. A small bribe in exchange for an awesome photo is certainly a great deal. Treat your child to stay up an extra 30-minutes past their bedtime. Offer them a sweet treat, such as a popsicle. Take a trip to the park. The list of awesome toddler-friendly, parent-approved bribes available is endless! Sure, parents have different opinions about bribery, but when all else fails, maybe?
5. Get ready for fun.
Another important aspect of taking photos with a toddler or young child is making it a fun experience. Really, what is better than having a fun time all day, every day? When you make photo sessions exciting, expect little ones eagerly poison for the camera. Adding fun to a photo session is not difficult, nor is it expensive. Take the kids to the park for a day of fun, add props to the photos, or even play dress up. Endless ideas offer fun for every family and every toddler.
6. Put the camera down.
Too much of a good thing quickly goes sour. If a camera is always in front of your face, maybe it’s time to put it down for a while. Your toddler will love spending quality time living life together, and the break from constantly hearing, “Say cheese!” It is very much possible that your toddler is simply tired of taking photos because you take so many. Overeager parents understand that snapping photos of their littles is a favorite pastime. However, balance is essential, especially where a picky toddler is concerned.
7. Switch positions.
Kids love to feel all grown up. Nothing makes them more excited than mimicking their parents. When your toddler is fussy about taking a photo, turn the tables around! Not literally, unless, of course, remodeling the kitchen is also in your plans. Purchase a child-friendly camera for your toddler. Both toy cameras and real cameras are available. Turn yourself into the subject of the photo session as your toddler snaps away. Sure, the photos may not turn out so great when a toddler snaps, but it’s fun. It also encourages your toddler to get behind the camera when you’re ready to take a few photographs.
8. Let loose and have more fun!
So many people perceive the perfect photo in their mind and won’t settle for less. They take photo after photo in hopes of getting the perfect shot. As we’ve discussed earlier, sometimes the best shots are unexpected. Forget what you picture as the perfect photo in your mind and watch as the magic unravels. Experiment with the camera and different angles and positions. Breathtaking, memorable shots often result when you let loose. Take photos from behind your toddler, stand over them, lie on your back, and snap the photo. Whatever you do, get creative!
9. Try again (and maybe again after that!)
We all have moods and moments. If your toddler refuses to cooperate for a photo, put the camera down and try again later. You may find that your toddler more willingly poss for a photo when there isn’t s much pressure to do so. Toddlers are independent beings, after all, and enjoy doing things their way and on their time. Most parents find that trying again later is a great remedy for their toddler who hates taking pictures. Even if it is the following day, try, try again if at first, you don’t succeed.