Toddler Portrait Ideas

Written by kristen hamlin
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Toddler Portrait Ideas
Let toddlers be themselves for fun portraits. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

As anyone who has spent any time with a toddler knows, getting a little one to sit still for anything is a challenge, never mind posing for a portrait; however, capturing your little one at this stage, when the world is full of wonder and things to explore, can help you remember when he wasn't a surly teenager or living on his own in another city. The key to photographing toddlers is to work with their natural curiosity and to have fun.

Use Props

Toddlers are naturally curious and are especially interested in anything new or unfamiliar. During the portrait session, provide props for your toddler to climb on or hold while the photographer snaps the photos. Child-sized chairs, rocking horses, stuffed animals and other toys help distract and delight children and help you get the photos you want. If your child has a favourite toy or "lovie," such as a blankie or stuffed bear, bring it along to the session. Not only will it provide comfort to your child in an unfamiliar place, a few pictures with her holding "Lambie" will capture the memories of your child's toddler years long after the toy has been banished to the attic.

Get Action Shots

Working with your toddler's natural energy can lead to portraits that showcase her true personality. Instead of trying to get a wiggly two-year-old to sit still in a formal pose, take her outside and let her play in a meadow garden or at the beach, and snap action shots along the way. An experienced photographer will have the skills and equipment to capture action shots and the moments when your little one pauses, creating a more natural and expressive portrait.

Highlight Size

A close-up portrait of your toddler's face is a must, but when you're taking pictures of your little one, take some shots that show your toddler's size, especially in relation to you or his siblings. Take a photo of your toddler looking up at you, but only showing you from the waist down. If you had portraits taken of your toddler as an infant, use the same backdrop or props in the toddler portrait to show how much he has grown. If you're taking the pictures, drop down to the toddler's level to emphasise his smallness in relation to the backdrop or surroundings.

Use Costumes

Getting your toddler dressed up in her Sunday best makes for beautiful portraits, but also take portraits in more casual clothing to capture her true personality. For a fun portrait, provide costumes for your toddler to try on in the photos. Floppy hats, feather boas, big sunglasses and other dress-up items are fun to play with and can lead to fun and amusing portraits. Let your toddler dress up in mommy's or daddy's clothes for the portrait or bring a favourite costume for her to try on during the session.

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