How do you have a great photo shoot with toddlers?

“We have lots of photos of our kids obviously but never of all of us together.” 

You know how it is when you’ve got toddlers. You have at least a thousand photos of your children on your phone, maybe a few of them with your husband, but just a handful with yourself. And most of the photos that you do appear in you don’t even like that much, except for one or two. If only you could just get ONE decent photo of you all together! To capture this crazy busy unique part of your life, to remember these moments while your little ones are still small. This was how Wendy felt when she contacted me about booking a photo shoot with toddlers.

Make it fun for everyone

During our first phone call, Wendy said that she would love to have some photos in my studio, but she was concerned about how the children would behave during the session. I assured her that we would make it fun for everyone, keeping it quick and light-hearted. We normally have around 30 minutes to capture children at their best before they start to get wriggly, so I ask parents to bring favourite toys and snacks and to be ready for some family fun time.

Toddlers and young children can get tired and bored quickly, which is why I offer 2 locations in all of my family photo shoots. When we go somewhere else we not only keep the kids engaged but we get a good variety of photos. So although it was February, Wendy thought it would be lovely to have pictures of the family outside in the natural light, wrapped up in warm snuggly coats.

Plan ahead to get the best family photos

It’s important to plan a photo shoot with toddlers in advance as much as possible, to cover all eventualities. Here are just some of the basic tips that I share with my clients:

  • Book the session right after nap and snack times so that they’re in their best mood
  • Prepare everyone’s outfits and bring backups in case of mishaps. I helped Wendy her family’s outfits, using WhatsApp to look at the options until we came up with the best combos.
  • Explain to everyone what’s going to happen… a fun time where everyone gets to be their own best self!
  • Adjust your own expectations to realistic levels.

On the day, Wendy and her hubby did an amazing job getting everyone ready and they all arrived excited for this photography experience. The whole family looked fabulous as I arranged them into various poses together. They had lots of fun playing around and doing things that families normally do together. Favourite toys came out, baby was thrown in the air and everyone received lots of hugs, kisses and tickles. I truly consider it an honour to be present in moments like these and to capture them forever 🤩

They probably won’t behave how you want them to…

I work quickly when photographing little ones because you never know how the shoot will evolve. As with all normal toddlers and young children, the novelty of my studio and lights started to wear off for the girls. It was time for a change of scene. I’d found a beautiful location in Chavannes-de-Bois for the second part of this winter family photo shoot, so we all wrapped up and headed out.

The fun continued as Wendy and her family walked and played together through the forest. Although I could tell that she was getting concerned that her kiddies weren’t behaving as she would have liked, I reassured her that I was getting some beautiful photos. She just couldn’t see what I was seeing…

…but it will be worth the stress in the end!

Wendy admitted that she was nervous when she came for the Viewing & Ordering session a couple of weeks later. However, her fears quickly dissolved when I showed her the slideshow of beautiful family photos. In the end, she and her husband loved so many of the photos that they had to have them all. They ordered a stunning selection of wall art, several enlarged prints, some desk acrylics and a gorgeous coffee table photo book.

Now, they have photos that everyone is in that they can see and enjoy everyday. Scroll down to see the pictures from this amazing photo shoot with toddlers and two happy parents!

Family Photo Gallery

So what’s on their walls now?

Here are a few photos of Wendy and her husband’s order – see how they chose to display their favourite family photos.

What did Wendy think of her family photos?

 This is such a wonderful memory for us to have and go back to in a few years.

Wendy, mum of 3 little ones

Book your own family photo shoot

For most parents, having photos of the whole family together is important because their little ones grow up so quickly. Within a few months all of these children will look so different! If you want to have a beautiful record of your family’s wonderful experiences and moments together, contact me about booking your next family photo shoot. 

Read about other family photo shoots

Teresa’s session, also with toddlers and a baby

Kristen’s photo shoot in her garden with her 4 children

Following my move back to Europe, I’m now based in Founex, Switzerland. I’m located between Geneva and Lausanne, and serve all clients in the area of La Cote and beyond. Among other places this includes Founex, Commugny, Coppet, Celigny, Crans, Nyon. Prangins, Cheserex, Gingins, Trelex, Begnins, Gland, Rolle, Allaman, Aubonne, Chavannes-de-Bogis, Bogis-Bossey, Mies, Tannay, Grand Saconnex, VersoixChambesy, and over the France border into Divonne and the surrounding French towns.


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