Keeping up with toddlers is one of the hardest and at times, most enjoyable parts of this age! I tell many families who have kids under 4 that the best shots often come right in the first 10-15 minutes (hence, mini sessions are often best for this reason) when they are still adjusting to a new setting or when they have some reserve to listen and stay still. After that, their instincts to run, explore, and assert their independence will likely take over! If you have a child that is very active, here are some tips to help ensure we continue to get great shots in between those short bursts of time where they are positioned for them:
I sometimes suggest parents pack clear or non-sticky/visible candle for the session to give to kids as a reward for any specific shots. Also, small pez or marshmellows that dissolve quickly are another great bribe option!
Matching their flow!
This not only means allowing your toddler to wander or do what they want but also matching their curiosity in a flower, desire to explore a blade of grass, or looking at an airplane flying over together! Some of the most tender and truly "lifestyle" shots are captured in these non-posed moments where you are truly in sync and connecting with your child.
Take a deep breadth (or several)!
Honestly, the relative success of a session depends on how patient, calm, and positive you remain, especially if your toddler is really not in the mood to listen to you or me! This movement of "lifestyle" photography is all about natural moments, so if your toddler wants to do their own thing, I suggest we follow them and take advantage of moments where you're in the frame with them!