The Secret to Amazing Family Photos with Toddlers

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family photos with toddlers


My number one goal as your family photographer is to make sure you and your family enjoy our time together. If everybody has a good time, your family photos will reflect that. Your faces will look relaxed and your love for each other will come through. I hear a lot of my clients say they are nervous their kids won’t last for a whole session or won’t cooperate. That’s why I wanted to give you my secrets to amazing family photos with toddlers.


family photos with toddlers

family photos with toddlers


1- Let Kids Be Kids


Seems kind of logical and obvious, but a lot of times we have very high expectations for our kids when it comes to things that need to get done. If you have small kids, specially the 1-4 year old range, chances are they will not be very interested in listening to instructions from you or me.

And you know what? That’s totally ok with me!

What if I told you that the child pictured here in this blog post did not give me even one minute of their attention during our one hour session? It’s true, and that happens to almost every single child this age I photograph. So don’t worry if your little one is acting disinterested at all.

It is hard work for me, I am not going to lie. But this is my job and I love it with all my heart. I will do everything in my power to get beautiful shots of your family.

So, let them be kids. Let them have fun, explore, run and jump ( as long as they are being safe of course!) and let me take care of the rest.

And here you can find out more about why I don’t ask kids to smile.


family photos with toddlers

family photos with toddlers


2- Before your Family Photos with Toddlers, Make Sure They Are Well Rested


Again, I know this might sound like very silly advice, but I’ve had people showing up for photoshoots after having a super full day full of activities. I understand that sometimes things cannot be rescheduled, but one thing I can tell you for sure, if your kids are well rested, everybody will enjoy the session a lot more.

Meltdowns might happen either way, for sure, but I have seen it happen more often when kids are overtired.

Here are some things you can do before the shoot to get them to relax:




One thing that I definitely do not recommend is have the kids nap in the car on the way to the session. Our sessions are usually at Sunset which means pretty late in the day. You know what happens when your kids nap too late in the day? Their bodies think they are going to sleep for the night and they do not want to wake up once you reach the destination. The result is big meltdowns that take a while to calm down. This wouldn’t be a problem at all to me, except that the sun only gives us a limited amount of time to shoot before it goes down. So, having them nap at home or even in the car but earlier in the day is your best bet.

One of my clients did a whole relaxation day at home before their session, they watched movies, ate popcorn and pretty much just hung out at home the whole day and their kids were in an amazing mood by the time they met me. So here’s proof that the more rested they are, the more you will enjoy your time.



3- Dress Them Warmly


Let’s be honest, we live in the Pacific Northwest, so we don’t get that many super warm evenings around here. Unless you are having your pictures taken in the Summer months, there’s a big chance it will be at least a little chilly when we meet for photos.

I think styling is super important for your photos, for sure. But, above all, I want all of you to be comfortable and the kids definitely need to be warm enough, otherwise they will be super miserable. When we work on styling together, we will definitely take the weather into consideration and I will make sure to suggest clothing that will keep the kids toasty.

Here are some options of amazingly cozy clothes for your toddler:

Rylee + Cru




We can find beautiful sweaters with amazing textures that will help bring your pictures to the next level. Leggings and cute hats really help add layers of color as well as warmth.

Depending on where we go, I might recommend that your kids wear rain boots or waterproof shoes, because as we know, it rains a lot here, so there’s always mud somewhere.





So, here’s a summary of my tips for family photos with toddlers:

  • Let them have fun, these are the most photogenic moments

  • Give them plenty of rest ( but not in the car ride to the location)

  • Dress them warmly

  • Make sure they had enough food, bring water and snacks

  • Enjoy your time with your family as you would at any day out

    Ready to book your family session? Click HERE to send me a message and get started

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