Planning for photos of a toddler can only go so far. You can plan their outfits, make arrangements for a location, set up a backdrop of sorts, schedule around their nap, snack, seemingly “best" time of day and then what? All you are left with is the hope that their sock seams won’t bother them, or their skirt won’t be “too tight” or that they’ll actually wear their shoes. If you have a two year old, or have had a two year old, you know that it is a roll of the dice as to if they stay on schedule or if they melt down because you don’t want the banana they’re offering you. A backdrop or set? ha! I literally set them up and have zero expectation to actually use it, just more hope that for a brief moment we could POSSIBLY heard he/she in the basic direction of it. Toddlers are fast, determined and on their own mission that has ZERO regard for the expectations of their parents on picture day. And guess what? That is ok. In fact, it’s better than ok. Why try to put them into a boring “look at Miss Heather and say cheese” box when you can just let them be two and let ME do my job and capture all of their wild, wonderful ways!
Parents- don’t be obsessed with eye contact. This is an age where energy and personality are what you want to capture. I will follow the movement and maybe I will get a shot, but it won’t be when you expect it, and rarely does demanding it help. I promise you that your frustration will subside with lowered expectations. And happy/funloving/in-the-moment mom and dad = the true-to-life, full of personality shots of your child. You love these shots. You cherish these shots. You hire me for THESE shots. And we are a team in making them happen.
Paula and Sidney have been clients for a couple of years now. We took it back to where we shot their maternity photos for some spur-of-the-moment fun with their (now two year old) daughter, Piper and the results were pure magic! I know that Sidney was worn out from playing a “silly daddy” game of chase so that her energy was directed back and forth in front of the camera and Paula was so great about directing her attention to little details so that I could catch a few of her brief moments of stillness. We shot with an overcast sunset-ish sky and it gave the area beneath the tree and all around this super soft glow. A few of my favorites are featured in this blog and below. As always, any questions about my settings/strategies behind the session are welcome, we are in this together.