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Elmo, Airplanes and Tulle

Photographing two-year-olds is not easy. I've done it a few times and have seen first hand that their attention span is short but mostly they don't want to sit, pose or smile for the camera, no matter how much their parents promise them. Diversion is big when it comes to keeping toddlers engaged in the photographic process...and you have to be quick. I've read articles that say photographers should be thoughtful when setting up a shot. Do not shoot and spray or take continuous photos, rather consider what you want the end result of the photo to be. I agree but when shooting children of this age I find it best to go in with a plan, a basic set-up and little props, if any. Get the camera in focus, start the diversionary tactics and start shooting and, yes, shoot in continuous mode with the hope that some of the images turn out great. For the images below we used an i-phone with an Elmo video on, pointed to airplanes flying in the sky and finally when this little one would no longer sit on the chair or grass, we gave her a piece of white tulle to throw in the air to catch. The first two gave me some good, posed if you will, shots and the last tactic I got some great candid photos. I liked the candid shots so much with this session that I plan to add them in future sessions. Photographing two-year-olds is not easy and there's always the question, "did I get the shot," but I enjoy taking photos of this genre because you never know what a child will do and that makes it interesting and fun!

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