top of page
  • Writer's pictureelsebartee

Top tips for your family shoot with a toddler

Here are my top 5 tips for your upcoming photoshoot with your toddler from a photographer.

My experience with family photos happens primarily behind the camera so after having my family on the other side of the camera this week I wanted to share my top tips to prep for your shoot and also during your session that worked well for my family.

1. Prepare early: I started this process before I even contacted our photographer. I knew the color scheme I wanted my family to wear and looked at their work to make sure their posing, editing style, and colors in their work aligned with what I was looking for and since I wanted to order prints from our session, I picked our outfits and beach background for our session based off of this.

After picking our color scheme and sending some outfit ideas over to our photographer i started looking for Sophias dress, which i honestly searched for for weeks but I wasn't in a pinch to just find something because I started so early so I was able to find exactly what i was searching for.

I wanted James to just wear a plain dark brown t-shirt so I waited until the day before to search for this which was almost a big mistake. I figured this would be easy to find in October but we actually had to go to a lot of stores to find one- shout out to H&M for pulling through on this one for $6.

2. Nap time: Toddlers are notorious for getting sleepy during shoots. There's a lot going on, a lot of excitement from being out of their routine and out and about when they're normally at home doing their normal bedtime routine. If you're able to, give them a nap in the morning and then another one in the afternoon before your session. Sophie still got a little sleepy at the end of our session but I really think this was a lifesaver for us!

3. Supplies: I made a list the day of of everything we would need to pack (we still managed to forget a few but we tried, lol). Some important must haves included, a drool cloth because the teething is real, Sophia's favorite stuffed animal for our photographer to hold in case she needed to get Sophia's attention, specific snacks, and Sophia's bow + dress so we could change her into her outfit right before our shoot.

4. Snacks on Snacks: I knew our session was going to fall during Sophia's usual dinner time and we would be getting home around her bed time so I gave her a fruit, veggie, oat pouch and goldfish on the way to our session and also brought food for her on the way home that she normally has for dinner so we wouldn't have much left to do before bedtime when we got home.

5. Go with the flow: let your toddler be who they are! If they want to play, let them. If they want to snuggle you, give them every snuggle and kiss. Just let them be little! As a photographer myself, I know the entire tone of the session is determined by the needs of little ones because forcing them to play when they feel shy or snuggle when all they want to do is run and be silly typically ends with a lot of big feelings. This can be really hard to do because you may have been on Pinterest and already mapped out how you want your gallery to look but I promise the most magical photos come from allowing your photographer to use their creativity and from just meeting your little ones exactly where they're at. You'll end up with photos with so much more meaning and feeling and the sweet memories to go along with it.

Enjoy some of my favorite sneak peeks from our session with Sidney Ruedy Photography!

You can find more of her work here:

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page