How to Get Your Toddlers Looking Dapper in Your Next Family Photos
As you leaf through magazines or photos that come from someone else's family newsletter, you may be green with envy. Or highly skeptical. Because the infants, toddlers, and young children in them all seem calm, adorable, and impeccably dressed. Where are the teary faces? The carefully combed hair that's suddenly standing on end? Why isn't the precious, expensive outfit picked out especially for this home photo shoot, suddenly dirty or mysteriously crumpled? Clearly, these perfect photo subjects aren't real children. Or if they are, they've been heavily bribed or sedated, options that aren't possible for your own offspring.
But it's not as difficult to produce professional looking photographs with very young children as you might think. The secrets below can help you to get a perfect picture of your own brood.
Your child model is going to gift you with a limited amount of time. Decide in advance where you want the location of the photo to be, and how you want subjects posed. Pay attention to lenses, camera speed, and lighting here, as this will affect the appearance of your subjects. This includes clothing.
Accommodate Your "Models"
Never try to take posed shots with children that are tired, hungry, or in a bad mood. Children are more likely to be cooperative if they're involved in the photo process. They love stories. So what's more alluring than involving them in "telling" a story through pictures?
Clothing Should Be Fun to Wear
Toddlers are not overly fond of clothing. But they like games. They enjoy the ability to make (limited) choices. Allow them to participate in the process of selecting a photo outfit. This includes not only selecting something from an existing wardrobe but even helping to pick out an outfit out at the store. Unless you want to see your youngster dressed as Cookie Monster or in clashing plaids and polka dots, these choices should have some adult influence. Pre-select a couple of outfits that appeal to visual sensibilities of all ages, and let the youngster choose.
Clothing Should Be Comfortable
Yes, two-year-olds in three-piece suits look adorable. But they're probably not going to be camera ready after the tearful tussle it might take to get them into one. Gerber, Healthtex, KidsofFashion and Garanimals all offer "dressy casual" clothing lines that appeal to both little boys and parents, while not breaking the bank. These same manufacturers offer appealing girls' outfits as well. And the My Little Pony and Doc McStuffins lines also feature dresses, tops, and pants that any toddler princess will be pleased to pose in.
Finally, parents should remember that they are the key ingredient to a successful family photo featuring dapper looking young children. Be relaxed, stay calm, be ready to offer (small) bribes, and be quick! And if you feel such amateur attempts are more hassle than it's worth, there are plenty of local companies offering to take family photos who can offer more substantial assistance. Either way, the results will be family photos that will have envious friends speculating that you really used professional models.