Honestly, where has the time gone? If you don't follow me on Instagram, you will have missed that my little baby Benny is now a one year old and has morphed into a full-fledged toddler overnight. Gone are the days of sleepy baby and sitting him down without much movement. Now this guy is literally anywhere and everywhere: crawling, standing, climbing - basically, just trying his best to keep mama on her toes.
All this to say that taking photos of and with a toddler is no-joke. Wether it's indoors or outdoors, local or on a trip, it doesn't seem to make things easier. Toddlers are just hellbent on being difficult to photograph.
Well, I will not be deterred! I love documenting Benny's life and our adventures via photos and hope to continue for as long as he will allow me. Even though taking photos with a toddler comes with its challenges, I have a few tips and tricks that I keep in my back pocket to make things a little easier. Here's how I get photos with my one year old (mostly) without losing my mind.
1. Bring A Variety Of Snacks
The concept of snacks is definitely not groundbreaking when dealing with a toddler, but I try to pack as many different varieties as I can. If I know that we're going to be away from he house for an extended period of time, even just going to a park to snap a few photos, I load up on snacks and drinks. My trick is to bring a few different varieties of snacks and even a variety of drinks if I can. With Benny, if he starts to become fussy when we're out and taking photos, it's mostly because he's bored. Having a variety of different snacks and drinks keeps his attention for longer, and also makes sure that he's full, hydrated and happy. A win-win all around.
Some of my favourite snacks to pack:
- Arrowroot cookies
- Puffs (usually the savoury kind for some variety)
- Whole fruits (bananas travel well)
- Purée packs
- Juice boxes
- Water bottles with ice
2. Take Breaks
Going back to toddlers becoming fussy because of boredom, I've learned to operate on a much slower timeline with trying to get photos with a busy baby. That means taking 5 fairly often to eat some snacks, sing songs, play with toys and generally just change up the activity for a bit. A break can even be putting the camera down to look at a tractor for half and hour (been there.) I basically operate on a very relaxed timeline and try to give into the fact that there will be many breaks between photos - and that's okay.
3. Consider Videos Instead
Sometimes, try as I may, I cannot get Benny to sit still long enough to take a cute photo. What can I say, the man is on the move. Rather than stress out about getting the perfect photo when it may not be a possibility, I turn to video instead. Honestly, having a video camera in the form of your phone on you at all times is such a blessing with active toddlers! I love capturing clips of Benny and our everyday life and adventures with video. It may not be the picture-perfect memory that I was hoping for, but its such a beautiful and realistic snapshot of what life is like during that moment in time.
That's it! These are all of my tips for getting photos with my busy baby. I know they're nothing groundbreaking, but honestly they've been working for me. Taking photos with a toddler can be a lot of extra work, but the memories you have to look back on are worth it.
What do you guys think? What is your go-to method for getting photos with your busy babies and toddlers? Let me know!
All photos by Laura Clarke Photography