At 6 months, your baby is getting portraits and they are all smiles and even have a bottom tooth showing in the portraits. We get some fantastic portraits to where years down the road, they will become your favorite portraits.
At their one year, we get a cake smash session in and those are great, too. Everyone compliments your little one with his big smiles and you love looking back on those milestone portraits especially if he is starting to stand on his own.
Year two and three…things don’t go quite as easy as the first year.
You’ve heard it said before, “Terrible Twos” or sometimes even “Terrible Threes.” It’s very often I hear moms say, “They have always taken great pictures.” Yes, I know. However, for some reason at this age they just don’t want to cooperate.
However, know it is NORMAL.
Toddlers at this age don’t have a very long attention span. The last thing they want to do is sit for portraits. This is their age of curiosity and wanting to explore and move around. Which brings me to tip #1.
Tip #1, don’t schedule family session + birthday in the same day. If you don’t split these sessions up, they just won’t last that long. So you will either have great portraits for the family session, but they may be difficult for their individual session.
Tip #2, timing is everything. This one is kind of obvious…don’t schedule during nap time.
Tip #3, cut the cheese. Don’t focus on getting them to smile. It really doesn’t work very well at this age anyway. We truly just have to let them play to get some great portraits. I always tell my clients that there really is no posing at this age. My portraits revolve around them, and sometimes that means watching them chase bubbles or run in the grass. So revise your expectations. You may not get the smiles you want. However, if you have a great photographer, you will get your child being themselves.
Tip #4, as a parent prepare to be in the sessions. Sometimes a photographer needs some team work. So that may be interacting with your child, like throwing them in the air or you playing with them.
Tip #5, don’t get them dressed up. Let them be comfortable and let them get dirty. Keep it simple. The focus is on them anyway.
Tip #6, bribes do sometimes work. This is the age that a photographer hears mom say, “We’ll get ice cream after.” We don’t judge you. We hear it all the time. Most of the time, it works!
Just remember this age is about capturing what makes them happy and this is the age that playing makes them happy. So revise your expectations and cut the cheese.