5 Tips for Photographing Toddlers

Photographing toddlers seems like no easy task. But, there’s hope for those of us willing enough to take on the challenge. Tamara Lackey has put together a quick video that’s full of great tips and advice that will help you get great portraits of your little ones:

Lackey’s key to success when photographing toddlers is knowing that it’s 90 percent psychology and only 10 percent shooting. Being able to work through whatever moods the child is displaying is part of capturing authentic emotions. Those natural smiles and candid looks are what makes the portraits so great. They are telling a story of who the child is.


Make the photo shoot fun and interactive.

Tips for Great Toddler Photos

  1. Make the photo shoot a game to keep toddlers engaged. Lackey is playful and interactive throughout the shoot.
  2. Bring parents into the shot when you’d like the child to sit still.
  3. Once you have a few posed shots, let the kids move around as they wish.
  4. Use a long lens to give the child some space. Lackey uses a Nikkor 70-200mm lens.
  5. Capture all of your subject’s emotions—not just the perfect smiles.
portraits children

Children don’t always need to be smiling for meaningful photos.

“Remember you’re building a collection of images of who this child is today, and that isn’t just happy smiley all the time. It’s all these emotions. Get the tears, get the temper tantrums, get the whole package, because that’s who your child is.”

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