How to Prepare Your Toddler for Your Family Session

film photograph of toddler in Sacramento, CA

On more than one occasion I’ve spoken to a client who worried her toddler wouldn’t be able to “handle” an upcoming photo session. I want to clarify here that your toddler won’t be expected to follow my directives, “sit still” or otherwise behave in any preordained way.

In fact, your toddler is invited to be exactly herself throughout the session.

film photograph of toddler in Sacramento, CA

That said, the best way to prepare your toddler, as in all situations, is ensure she is well rested and fed before the shoot.

The second crucial step is less obvious. You must provide ample time to ease her into the shoot.

family photography of a toddler by rachel sima photography

It may seem counterintuitive, but particularly for toddlers, a longer session is easier than a shorter one.

This is because the toddler is able to familiarize herself with the space, the photographer, and the camera. It also allows her to move through a full range of emotional and physical expressions without those around her feeling anxious that time is “running out.” To this end, I recommend three ways to set your toddler up for success:

  1. Arrive early for the photoshoot

  2. Bring snacks

  3. Book (at least) an hour

film photograph of toddler in Sacramento, CA

I absolutely love working with this age, and look forward to creating beautiful images for your family!