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High school sweethearts, photographers, and educators based in Minneapolis, MN

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How to Pose Families with Toddlers | Part I

family photograph in winter with three toddlers

HELLOOOO! Today, we’re talking about how to pose families with toddlers. Come along with us on a family shoot to see our 4 favorite prompts for photographing toddlers! You’re going to want to tune in to this two part series – we have more coming your way! Our first tip and what we think is […]

HELLOOOO! Today, we’re talking about how to pose families with toddlers. Come along with us on a family shoot to see our 4 favorite prompts for photographing toddlers! You’re going to want to tune in to this two part series – we have more coming your way!

Our first tip and what we think is integral to photographing toddlers is to allow them room to explore. Whether it is in the studio or on location, we always tell them and their parents to take time to explore their surroundings! We’ll ask them probing questions like, what do you think of those fish? Or let’s check out these stairs, or let’s touch this!

We want this to feel familiar and comfortable for them. We don’t want to jump into a new space and tell them all these new things to do, because that might not go over well. Instead, we allow them time to settle into this space and feel extra comfy.

Here are our four prompts that we absolutely love to do at every toddler session!

Prompt #1

For our first prompt, we have alternating kisses!

The parents are holding up the toddler together, with one parent on each side. We ask the parents to take turn alternating giving their toddler kisses. So Dad can give her a kiss anywhere, then Mom, and so on. It gets tons of cuteness and reactions, but definitely an easy prompt for them to dip their toes into! It’s not risky and there’s nothing to be nervous about, we tell them to go slow and give their little one kisses.

Prompt #2

How to pose families with toddlers can be so easy with these prompts. This second one is called Tickles & Raspberries!

This can be done in any location, sitting down or standing! We have the parents alternating between giving the little one tickles and then giving them raspberries on their arms or belly! One variation we like for this prompt, is to tickle them while holding them tall over their head and then bring them down and give lots of raspberries.

This is an easy prompt because it’s a cycle that repeats over and over. Just like the last one, we can get lots of variety and they can really settle in!

Prompt #3

One thing we love to do on every family shoot is duos, for example one parent with the toddler at a time! We think these are super important for families because a lot of people love having these individual shots and posting them for birthdays, or Mother’s Day or Father’s Day!

For this third prompt, we shoot a duo and have the parent hold the toddler and lay them all the way back and then pull them back up. We have them alternate whether they snuggle them, or squish them, when they pull them up! One arm is holding the toddler and their head up so they’re supported and the other is wrapped around them. You lay them allllllllll the way down and bring them back up and snuggle, snuggle, snuggle. Or squish, squish, squish!

These variations are great because of the genuine emotions! The snuggle is all warm and the toddler can just rest in to the parent, and the squish is fun to get a lot of those cute, excited emotions!

Prompt #4

For the last prompt, we get couples into prom pose. Their belly buttons are phasing the same way and the parent in front is holding the toddler! A super easy prompt, we have the parent in the back play peekaboo! The person in the back is moving around the shoulder of the parent in the front to play peekaboo with the toddler. This prompt is so nice because you’re getting photos where all three of the fam are condensed together and looking in at each other. It’s also super nice for the toddler because they’re preoccupied with the parent in the back. This prompt always invites genuine emotions and some great reactions!

Thanks for tuning into our tips on how to pose families with toddlers! Those are our four prompts that we love and our biggest tip for letting toddlers explore and warm up to the session. But we have so many more, we’re just dipping our toes in the water! Tune in for a part two and as always, let us know if you have any questions.

Until next time, BYE!!!

© Cameron & Tia 

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