Toddle Portrait Sessions

Laufin

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Hi everyone!

I'm wondering if anyone who has experience photographing toddlers and young children would be able to give me some pointers. I have my first portrait session with a four year old girl coming up, and while I have some ideas of what I would like, I am not sure how I am going to keep her attention and keep her calm. I know her personally and her mother will be present, but it is an outdoor session so my resources will be limited. Does anyone have any advice?
 

DB_Cro

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Forget about controlling the kid, you need to be good controlling you camera.
ISO12.800 and 1/8000s helps. :D
 

Designer

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Hi everyone!

I'm wondering if anyone who has experience photographing toddlers and young children would be able to give me some pointers. I have my first portrait session with a four year old girl coming up, and while I have some ideas of what I would like, I am not sure how I am going to keep her attention and keep her calm. I know her personally and her mother will be present, but it is an outdoor session so my resources will be limited. Does anyone have any advice?
For starters a four-year-old is waaaayy better than a two-year-old for cooperating with the photographer.

If you have no idea how to interact with a four-year-old, then I don't have anything to add at this point.
 

vintagesnaps

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My background is working with kids; I'd be prepared and have in mind what you plan to do (backgrounds, poses, etc.) and be prepared to be flexible and adapt as needed. If you don't know much about working with kids you'll need to learn that and figure out if doing family portraiture is for you.

Is she especially active for her age, or does she have difficulty paying attention for a typical amount of time for her age? Unless she has some type of diagnosis along those lines I'd expect she would be able to follow basic directions and be able to stand and pose w/mom for short amounts of time. If she's in preschool she would probably have learned how to line up and follow the leader, etc. Sometimes with younger preschoolers, teacher may use cues or prompts (carpet squares to mark where to sit in a circle etc.). Sometimes younger kids may do better if you show them and tell them what to do (not just say it) but she may be old enough to not need that.

I'd plan to keep things moving along, get the photo(s), go to the next pose, etc. I wouldn't expect an older preschooler to necessarily be able to wait while you fiddle with your camera or switch equipment or take umpteen pictures of the same pose etc. so I'd plan to get the photos done efficiently without taking a lot of time to get the session done.
 

paigew

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I just talk with them, ask them where they want their photo along the way to my preferred spots in order to get them really into it. I ask them "can you dance/twirl/make a silly face./Pick a flower for mom". Climbing things is good too and racing towards you. Have fun basically :) and keep moving. When they are bored MOVE ON!!!
 

tirediron

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Know what the parent(s) would like and discuss the children with them; try and get an idea of how cooperative they may be, and ask if there are any certain words/phrases/?? that they will respond especially well to. Depending on their age, maybe have them bring a favorite toy/doll/stuffy.
 

MRnats

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Know that whatever their "normal" temperament is, it could change at ANY second. Like flipping a switch. Expect is the unexpected. I am a dad of 2 year old identical twins. One day they could sit still for 5-10 mins. (that's a lot in toddler time) and others they will run in opposite directions the second they touch the ground. Friday night I was doing practice shoot with them for our Christmas card. They just sat there while I posed them, messed with flash strength, distance from the tree, ambient lighting, changed their outfits, etc. All this was in preparation for yesterday where we took them to Grounds For Sculpture (locals probably know it. Cool place) to take some of the actual pictures. They were just not having it at all. They wanted their purses, and their snack cups, and not to sit next to each other, to run around. Not fun.
 

jcdeboever

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My 4 year old grand daughter is obsessed with farts and poop thanks to her 8 year old brother. I download a fart app on my phone and that made for some real good shots.
 

jcdeboever

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Yup fart noises pretty much always work [emoji23][emoji23][emoji23]
I'm innocent, I have had nothing to do with it.[emoji6] [emoji56]

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
 
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Laufin

Laufin

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Thanks for all the advice, everyone! :allteeth:
 

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