“My toddler cannot walk on his own yet… maybe we should just wait until next year to have portraits taken.”
If this sounds like you, STOP!
Do NOT let the limitations of the stage you or your kiddos are in keep you from getting professional family portraits. It’s just that… a stage; one that will pass quickly and then you’ll wish that you had captured those moments instead of waiting for a “better time.”
And in case you were worried, there are sooo many ways that we can capture your non-walking toddler!
This is generally how we will begin the session and the easiest way to capture those first few photos of your littlest BFF. Toddlers can be very shy and apprehensive about new people and situations. By starting in a parent’s arms, not only will it help your baby to feel more comfortable, but we will also be able to grab lots of interactive parent-child moments… snuggling, twirling, tickling, or dipping upside down… holding your child for a photo can mean so much more than standing still and looking at the camera.
This may seem like common sense, but a great way to photograph toddlers is to simply have them sitting on the ground. We can add variety and texture by having them hang out on a blanket or by placing them in a large basket. I’ll move in for those sweet close ups and the small details of your little one, and then I’ll take a few steps back for the wider angle portraits that include Florida’s natural beauty as a backdrop.
What’s more engaging to a toddler than playtime?! If you choose to bring a favorite toy or lovey, your baby can remain sitting and playing on their own while I snap away around them. Older siblings and parents can also take turns joining them in the fun! Mixing in games of peekaboo, making animal sounds, and reading beloved picture books will help keep your little one from losing interest in the photo session too quickly.
While your toddler may not be able to walk on their own just yet, they may very well have already mastered the milestone of standing. If they cannot stand by themselves, we always have the option of having them hold onto a parent’s hand or even use a nearby fence or wall for support. At this age, many little ones are also able to take a few steps while assisted by a gentle hand hold on each side. This makes for a perfect family photo as well as a tighter milestone portrait of just baby.
This prompt is always a favorite during family photo sessions and it brings out the very BEST laughs and smiles! I use three variations of “flying baby” photos throughout my sessions and they all require parent engagement to achieve. The first, is having mom or dad hold their little one up in the air above their head… 1, 2, 3, UP! We do this multiple times in order to get loads of belly laughs. The second, is when a parent holds baby under their chest and swings or “flies” them upward towards the camera. And last but certainly not least, is when the child is sitting on a parent’s shoulders and the pair pretend to fly around together. A “flying baby” is usually a very happy and engaged baby, which makes for beautifully captured wall art worthy memories!
See? The options are endless, and I can assure you that the “better time” for capturing priceless memories, is RIGHT NOW!
Erin of Erin Elyse Photography is a Ponte Vedra Family Photographer in Northeast Florida. Erin specializes in beautifully capturing your timeless memories and turning them into luxurious works of art. Also serving the families of Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, St. Augustine, Riverside, San Marco, Nocatee, Mandarin, Fleming Island and the surrounding areas of Northeast Florida.