Toddlers are adorable but are challenging to capture in family portraits. They are easily distracted, are in nearly constant motion, and always seem to get grumpy at the wrong moment. Luckily, professional photographers have a few tricks to help you get amazing pictures of your little ones.

5 Tips for Fantastic Photos of Young Children

1. Set the Tone

Young children quickly pick up on the emotions of adults. If you are tense and frustrated, they will mirror your behavior and end up crying without taking pictures. Model a relaxed attitude and act like a friend, rather than an adult who will tell them what to do.

2. Be Prepared

Plan your photo shoot early. Know exactly where you are taking shots and have any clothing changes laid out ahead of time. This will streamline the process, giving your child less opportunity to get bored or distracted.

3. Let Them Be Kids

family portraitIf you want a sitting or standing family portrait with everyone, do that first. Then you can get pictures of your kids doing things they enjoy the most. Their natural joy will come through if they are having fun. Possible ideas include climbing a tree, playing with the family pet, running in the yard, and cuddling with a favorite stuffed animal.

4. Schedule Strategically

If your child usually takes a nap at one in the afternoon, a photo session at noon likely won’t end well. Being hungry is another situation to avoid, so feed them beforehand and keep non-messy snacks around during the shoot as extra insurance.

5. Make Them Smile

The best smiles come from genuine happiness. Don’t be afraid to be silly. Little kids love when adults are goofy because they don’t expect it. Have a few corny jokes ready and make funny faces to your child to help them get in the mood.


To get truly outstanding family portraits, hire an experienced professional photographer like Dan Rowland Photography, based in Akron, OH. His decades of experience and artistic vision will produce beautiful photographs that capture the unique essence of your family. To schedule an appointment, call (330) 671-4382. For a sample of the work, visit the portfolio on his website.