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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Brecheisen

10 Tips to Prepare for Your Toddler's Photo Shoot

Photographing toddlers is SUCH a passion of mine. In this stage of life they are making so many new discoveries in every aspect of their lives! The wonder in their eyes is priceless and special. Here are a few tips for you as parents to help you get prepared for his or her photo shoot.

1.) Scheduling

Schedule the shoot around your child's schedule. If he or she has a "best time" of day, then schedule it for then. The biggest thing is to make sure they have napped and are fed before our shoot. It's a good idea to feed the child something that has no sugar, caffeine, etc before the shoot.

2.) Consultation

Discuss your ideas on props, location, and outfit ahead of time with me. I can try to incorporate all the props you want into the photos, but there is definitely no guarantee. With toddlers it's very touch and go, as I'm sure you know! I always strive to achieve your vision, but sometimes it isn't possible, so keep an open-mind.

3.) Hygiene

If you are planning on cutting your child's hair prior to the session, it's always a good idea to do so about 2 weeks beforehand. Nails should be trimmed a day ahead of time. If trimming their nails stresses them, you really don't want to do the day before the shoot.

4.) Clothing

Simple clothing choices such as dark or neutral solids work best. It's a good a idea to refrain from busy prints or really bright colors, because that can take away from the subject. We want everything to draw you to their face and curious eyes.

5.) Accessories

If your child doesn't like hats or hair pieces, then that may not be an option for the outfit. We can do everything possible to capture them with those pieces on, but it can really aggravate the child and the outcome of the shoot if we continue to press that. I LOVE themed sessions, but with that being said, it's never a good idea to have your heart set on an outfit that your child won't cooperate with.

6.) Treats

Bribes are awesome to bring for your child. You can bring a goody bag with toys, treats, or things you know your child likes, and let them grab something out as the shoot goes on. No candy or food with sugar should be given to your child DURING the shoot. Try treats that are sugar free for those given while we are in session. Plan for a big ending reward that you have there with you. A cupcake or something sugary will be just perfect for the after session surprise!

7.) Relax

Sometimes I see parents get upset or embarassed that their child isn't cooperating. Don't worry, we are used to it! Sometimes we may ask that you walk away from the area or look away and concentrate on something else. The overall attitude of everyone present can make or break a shoot. Plus, children at this age like to show out a bit more when their parents are visible to them.

8.) Me

I like to use a variety of lenses for different purposes. When it comes to toddlers I generally like to use a longer lens that pulls me further away from them. Cameras can be big and scary to them. This gives them the space to be them, and I am better able to capture their unique essence.

Sometimes we stop mid-shoot and I play and talk with your child without the camera present. I like to get my settings adjusted and then take some time for your child to get used to me and being around the camera.

Sometimes I take a break and run around with the child and play for a bit to get out some of their energy. With 3 children of my own, I am very used to toddlers. They are all wonderfully different, and I want to capture them as them!

9.) Messes

Bring wipes, old towels, different outfits, etc. You never know what's going to happen from one minute to the next during a toddler shoot!

10.) Your Child

You know your child better than anyone! Sending me a quick email of what to expect, things your child likes, doesn't like, favorite colors etc..All of those things can help us to make the shoot go as smoothly as possible.


Be organized ahead of time, prepare for messes, keep an open mind, relax, and HAVE FUN!

I can't wait to meet your tiny one, and I look forward to our session together!!

Jennifer Brecheisen

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