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Photoshoot with a toddler and newborn - let me help you!

As a Newborn and Family photographer in Sydney for the past 11 years full-time I can comfortably tell you I HAVE when it comes to toddlers behavior & parent behavior with toddlers at photo-shoots!

Yes, the good the bad and the ugly haha let's add and the HILARIOUS also!

Let me help you out if you are like most parents and absolutely petrified of the upcoming photo-shoot of your newborn and how your toddler will 'behave' I will start by saying STOP WORRYING!

They are toddlers and they are little ticking time bombs and any experienced newborn & family photographer has the skills, training and patience to know how to cope with your toddler. There is most likely nothing we haven't seen before and if they are going to bring something new to us we except the challenge!

Kids know when Mum's on the phone, busy, tired and stressed and as any parent knows this is normally their time to shine! (not in the sunshine kind of way either, more like a lightning bolt lol)

Best thing to do is talk positively about the upcoming photo-shoot if old enough, show them some toddlers with baby pictures from your photographers portfolio, let them help pick their outfit, get them to choose a favourite toy to bring along to 'show the photographer' or 'get a photo with' oh, and of cause BRIBERY! yes, I said it!

Now is the time to allow that small chocolate, McDonalds for lunch or toy they want as a reward! These photos will hang on your walls for generations, if a lollypop helps then it is definitely worth it!

Heading to the studio, let them wear whatever they want, don't stress, I love seeing my clients arrive in a batman suit or pj's lol anything to take the 'DON'T GET DIRTY' pressure down! At the studio while the photographer is organising the baby there will be time for the toddler to get changed and settle into the environment.

In my studio often if the toddler isn't feeling it at the beginning I take a few newborn shots until they warm up, then I strike and strike FAST haha

Allow and trust your photographer to bond and photograph your toddler, allow them to do what you have employed them to do - I know this may sound harsh BUT I don't go to the kitchen & check on the chef at a 5 star restaurant and I understand you know your child but as previously mentioned we have seen it all and experienced newborn & family photographers are trained for this!

The photographer will ask you if they need your help but stand back and let the photographer work with your toddler to achieve eye contact (not over the shoulder and a bit to right eye contact with Mummy singing his favourite song lol) Photographers can sing too, some very badly like myself but toddlers aren't harsh critics thankfully.

You know if you have a toddler at daycare and he/she cries when you drop them off and then you call all heartbroken 20mins later and they say 'he/she is fine! stopped as soon as you left' well this is the same in the studio.

Don't tell or threaten the toddlers to SMILE! Instead allow your newborn and family photographer to bond and create the natural smiles, this is why your paying them.

Yes, not ALL toddlers will smile directly at the camera or want to be close to their new baby sibling but experienced photographers will have ways and means to capture your siblings whether that be naturally, happily or via some photoshop magic & the 'perfect' photo isn't always based on 'smiling at the camera' the connection and the emotion is what will provide the 'perfect photo'.

If a toddler is not smiling happily directly at the camera you must remember they are toddlers and this is the moment and this moment doesn't last forever, believe me, before you know it they will have the pasted on smile for portraits and you will look back and your photos with a full heart and strangely but honestly miss it (trust me I know you will!) so if the photographer can photograph a beautiful side view kissing their sibling, a serious 'make it quick' look or a screaming 'who brought this thing home and when does it get returned' look these are the memories you will hold close to your heart and generations will also.

In summary take the pressure of yourself, your toddler and your expectations of 'the perfect photo' trust your Newborn & Family photographer you've chosen to capture these memories for you......oh and don't forget bribery! :)

A negative & stressful experience at the studio will tarnish the outcome of the photos as photos have the ability to take you back to that very moment - allow yourself to enjoy it no matter how much snot, tears or tantrums this is the here and now - embrace it ! Time goes way too fast! Your photographer will not be judging you, your child or your family as your photographer has seen it 100's of times before and in my case lived it 4 times over also.

I have photographed families all over Sydney with toddlers and newborns and had a variety of outcomes as you can see, but I've always captured the memories as best as I could given my boss was 1/2/3/4 years old super cute, super confident, moody, highly emotional, irrational and changeable every 3minutes or so.....I still think teenage girls are harder - just sayin' xxx


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