I've posted before about taking pictures with a toddler, but it's worth talking about again. The good news is, I have proof that it CAN work! Trust me, your 2-4 year old is not the only one who will refuse to "behave" on picture day. It must be something about the unfamiliar surroundings that they are completely opposed to. However, there is hope for good photos! Just remember a few things and you're sure to get great photos just like this family from Nevada, Missouri did.
The first thing to remember is that you're on their time, not yours! Plan for delays. If you think in your ideal world it would take about 45 minutes, I would plan for an hour and a half. It will most likely take extra time and patience. Fortunately, I have plenty of patience and have no expectation that a toddler will want to cooperate.
Use the fact that they are easily distracted to your advantage. If your toddler doesn't want to sit still and smile, that's alright! We played peek-a-boo and other games to get this guy smiling. They don't have to know its picture time. The focus should be on having fun and you can let me worry about getting the good photo.
If things do go bad, don't throw up your hands and give up! One thing that I found to work very well is to ignore the toddler (while still keeping an eye out of course!) and pretend you're having fun without him. Take some photos without him. He'll want to get in on all the excitement in no time!
We weren't without tantrums. Don't think that we were like the Pinterest family and photographer who had it all together. In fact, our studio session wasn't going so well. We were fortunate that the weather had done a complete turnaround from the day before. If the weather is nice, head for hills and get that child some fresh air!
These are some tips that allowed us to get some good photos and will definitely help you have a less stressful photo shoot with a toddller. These parents are also very patient and kind, a great family to photograph!