Taking Photos With A Toddler

Let me just start off by saying I am by means a professional photographer or even know what I am doing. I really started to get into blogging and enjoying photography when I was pregnant, but more so after Hudson was born. Photos are the only tangible thing we have to remember our children and those special moments, so I sort of became obsessed with taking photos of Hudson. I wanted to remember each and every moment, especially those "firsts." I mean the poor child was brought into this world with a camera in his face... literally! So he really hasn't had a chance. 

People always ask me how I get Hudson to smile or stand still for photos. Well....its not always like this. Sometimes when we shoot it goes by super quick and we are done in 15 minutes. Other times I feel like we have been there for an hour and there isn't one good shoot. With children you JUST NEVER KNOW. But I have been doing this for a while to know what works and doesn't work with Hudson. Here is what works for us.

1. Well Rested. This is so important! If it is anywhere near nap time forget it!!! Right now we mainly shoot after his nap once he is awake and energized. This is usually around 3:30/4 PM. Not the best time for lighting, but I have found a few locations where there light is decent around this time.  Sometimes we will go right after I drop Abrielle off at preschool around 9:30 am, but now that the sun rises earlier and sets later in the day, lightening can be challenging during those times. So unless I want to go shoot at 7 AM with a toddler... after nap time is the best for us. 

2. Snack. I always give Hudson a snack when we are on our way to go shoot. Usually something non-messy like goldfish. But I still stick a bib on him so he doesn't get his clothes dirty or has slobber spots. I also pack snacks for him, just in case. Hudson also knows that he gets a "pop" (cake pop from Starbucks) after we are done, so when he starts saying "pop" I know its time to wrap up. 

3. Toys. Hudson never leaves the house without a toy. Just something he has always done. It's almost like a soothing comfortable thing for him. And sometimes he will let me take them and other times he won't and that is okay with me. I have always wanted my blog to be as relatable and authentic as possible. So sometimes there is a truck or a ball, or a sucker... and those really make the best photos, because it is Hudson being Hudson. 

4. Do something you know will make them laugh or smile. I remember when we were taking Hudson's first birthday photos, my mom's dog's name would make Hudson crack up! So we would just start saying the dog's name and he would giggle and smile. Now, it's "pickle shush." LOL! Whatever works!!! 

5. Photographer that is good with children. My mom takes all my blog photos, and Hudson absolutely adores her! Obviously. So I scored with that. I mean my mom has learned to jump, play pick a boo and shoot all at the same time. 

But I also have a professional photographer I work with for special occasions. I have used her since our engagement. I am also consistent with her until she decides to move. This really helps, because she isn't a total stranger for Hudson. She is great and comfortable with children and it makes things run so much smoother. We just did a Mother's Day shoot with her so we will see how those turned out LOL! Defaintly don't get a photographer with a low patience level and who gets irritated with children. It will just be a disaster for everyone. 

6. Dress them in something they are comfortable in. If they hate a pair of shoes, don't make them wear it. If it is a million degrees outside, like it is for us, don't put them in pants or a long sleeve. Now that summer is approaching sooner, the less time I have Hudson outside unless he is playing in water, the better. For one it just isn't safe and two, it is miserable! And I can't do that to my child. No blog post is worth that. So if you see less photos of Hudson over the next couple of months...that's wju/ However, there are ways to work around things if its too cold or hot to be outside.

For example, Hudson's birthday is in August, so last year when we took his "First Birthday" photos we had to do them in July. And July and August are seriously the hottest times of the year here is Arizona. I really wanted pictures of him outside in a specific shot so we had to shoot super early in the morning and I just dressed him in shorts with suspenders with no shirt or shoes. It worked out perfect! You can also do photos inside with a cute set up too.

7. Don't let is take away the joy.  What I mean by that is don't let "getting the perfect picture" make you upset or even worse...snappy at your kid and family. It is worth it. Trust me! There was a period of time and actually still to this day, I don't accept anything sponsored for Hudson. It became too stressful for me and I felt so much pressure in getting the perfect picture for the company. Children are children and they need to be children.

And to be honest with you the pictures of them making a pouty face or picking their nose are THE BEST PHOTOS! And make the best memories to remember their personalities at that age.

Hope you enjoyed this. I would love to hear what tips you have!

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