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    Plan and create a photo session for toddlers

    The post How to plan and create a photo session for toddlers first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Mat Coker.

    Toddlers are filled with fleeting emotions. They can be shy, moody, challenging, chaotic, unpredictable and bribes. A photo session for toddlers can therefore be a challenge.

    But when you build a photo session for toddlers only, it is much less challenging and a lot of fun. It is also the perfect opportunity to get creative.

    Here you can read how you can have your inner child make a photo session for toddlers that is fun for you and toddlers.

    Kindergarten photo session Documentray toddler photo session

    1. The big idea

    The first step is to plan the photo session. I think a thematic lifestyle or documentary session is perfect for toddlers.

    The big question is, how do you come up with an idea or theme for the session?

    Many photographers choose a theme themselves, such as princesses or pirates. The advantage of choosing your own theme is that you can practice your creative vision (designing the set, costumes, etc.) and let people choose to be part of it or not.

    A disadvantage, of course, is that it is a cookie cutter approach that gives every child similar portraits.

    If you want to choose something unique for the child, keep in mind that every toddler has something they like to do. Go with Which as the theme for the session.

    If they love dinosaurs, find a way to make dinosaurs part of the session. If they like to play with big rigs and diggers, be part of the session. Whatever they love, try to make it bigger than life before the session.

    Kindergarten photo session Kindergarten photos on soccer field

    When I discovered that this little boy liked to watch football with his father and mother, I knew we had to visit a real football field for his photo session.

    Start with a small everyday experience and take it to the next level (I would like to hear some of your ideas in the responses).

    2. The photo session for toddlers

    Start preparing the session. This seems obvious, but many photographers are not prepared and it can ruin a session.

    If you are prepared, you don't have to think about it during the shoot. The less you have on your mind, the more room you have to be creative.


    Grab the right equipment and check twice if you have everything.

    • Spare camera
    • Charged batteries
    • Lights (if required)
    • Props (provided by you or the family)
    • A checklist with other things that you need

    Part of being prepared is being familiar with your camera and knowing which settings you should use. I keep things as simple as possible with aperture mode and exposure compensation. I only use manual mode when I need it.

    Fireman thsemed toddler photo session.

    Although props for the session must be prepared in advance, you must still leave room for spontaneity. Dressed as a fireman was not part of the plan, but it was the best part of the session.


    In general, you have to embrace chaos as part of the photo session for toddlers. Toddlers are emotionally volatile and the session can take many turns. This is one of the reasons that I like lifestyle sessions. It provides easy breaks, breaks and spontaneity.

    Go with the flow and try not to force anything. If you design the session for the toddler, it should be fun. They must be happy and it must be the perfect environment for them. Even a studio can be fun.

    Keep the parents informed, but don't feel the need to explain things to the toddler. You don't even have to tell the toddler it's a photo session. If it's a lifestyle or documentary, just let them be themselves.

    Plan and create a photo session for toddlers


    Use many creative elements in your photography. Go for different angles, close-ups, stories, wide angles and beautiful light.

    Photo session football mascot.

    Part of your creativity is in choosing the environment and backgrounds for your session. I used a combination of background, composition and moment for these two photos. The moment started with confronting the mascot of his opponent and ended with running it.

    Watch out for yourself

    You must be able to tackle any problems and still take great photos.

    For a photo session for toddlers I do some reflection. What can go wrong with this session? Has something gone wrong in the past? What is the worst thing that can go wrong? But above all, how will I respond? I make this decision in advance so I don't have to to think at the time. Think while things are calm and you make better decisions.

    Consider answering these questions in advance:

    • What if the wagon is cranky?
    • What if the parents are overbearing?
    • What if the child throws mud at my camera or the fire hose turns in my direction?
    • What if the toddler is injured?
    session on the beach.

    As much as we all love nature, there are many harmful elements for toddlers. Keep parents close and make sure they are familiar with where their toddler is investigating.

    3. The operation

    When it comes to editing, be ruthless in refining your photos. Most photographers are happy if they save 10% of their photos during a session. Some are satisfied with less. Don't be afraid to cut, cut, cut!

    Your final selection of photos must have a lot of variety.

    • Close-up ' s
    • Complete scene
    • Details

    When it comes to updating your photos, I recommend performing a simple editing with Lightroom or a similar program.

    How do you know what to do with a photo? Keep these two principles in mind. When it comes to editing, you are either:

    1. Finalize your photo (crop, exposure adjustments, etc.)
    2. Or you try repair a photo that has not been released
    Kindergarten photo session-Before and after editing with Lightroom

    The most important things I have done with this RAW photo is that I have trimmed it and warmed it up with the temperature slider.

    Generally I would say that if you need to fix or edit a lot of photos, you should just leave them out of the final collection. If you have to be constant repair Certain elements of your photos while editing, this is a good clue as to what you need to learn to improve your photography. Editing must be about finishing, with fixing as a last resort.

    A perfect session for you and toddlers

    Follow your nature as a creative person and the nature of the toddler you are photographing. Design everything for the toddler, and you have an incredibly creative toddler photo session that makes everyone want more.

    Do you have any other tips for a successful photo session for toddlers? Share it with us in the comments below!

    toddler photo session

    The post How to plan and create a photo session for toddlers first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Mat Coker.

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