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Our advice for capturing pictures of your toddler that you’ll love

Everything is special

As a mom whose littles ones aren’t so “little” anymore, I can honestly say that if I had the chance to go back and photograph them as toddlers all over again, I would do it very differently. When they were young, I tried much too hard to take pictures that I would feel proud of.  Anytime they were dressed up in cute outfits or we were headed to a fabulous location, I’d be sure to bring along my camera to document the event.  What I know now, however, is that the moments that I miss the most are the everyday, sitting-on-the-kitchen-floor-eating-Cheerios moments. At the time, I had no desire to capture those everyday moments… there were millions of them and they didn’t seem all that special. My advice to moms of young ones is to remember that someday, believe it or not, you’ll give anything to go back and see pictures of your kiddos in their messy pajamas in less-than-perfect lighting… so keep your camera close and snap away!

Keep moving

Toddlers are notorious for their inability to stay still, which means that you have to have a few tricks up your sleeve that allow you to capture them in motion.  If you’re working with a point-and-shoot or an iPhone, try to photograph your toddler in places with ample light… this will allow the shutter speed to be fast enough to capture all the running, jumping, and twirling that go hand-in-hand with toddlerhood. If you have a DSLR, take a moment to change your camera to “sports” mode or, if you’re shooting in one of the creative modes (M, A, S (Tv), or P), change your focus mode to AF-C (Nikon) or AI-Servo (Canon). This ensures that your camera will continually focus on your toddler, regardless of movement.

Ease up

Have you ever heard the saying, “Don’t let yourself become so concerned with raising a good kid that you forget you already have one”? The same holds true for pictures! It’s easy to pick up your camera with the expectation of taking a stunning, Pinterest-worthy picture, but the reality is that life with toddlers is not always (read: rarely) Pinterest-worthy and any image of your little one will still become precious with time, regardless of how imperfect it may seem in the moment.  Easing up on your own expectations and allowing your child to be herself often results in more authentic, beautiful images than anything you could have ever planned or posed.