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13 Hacks on How to Take Best Photo of a Restless Baby and Toddler

Here are 13 hacks on how to take the best photo of a restless baby and toddler when doing your own photoshoot.

From the moment we first held our babies’ hands to their many firsts, we parents love to take those picture perfect moments.  These are priceless possessions that families would like to look back in years to come.

It’s not all the time that we ask for professional photographers to document special moments in the family.  Thankfully, our phones are able to take high quality photos and parents can do amateur photo shoots themselves.  And just when you thought that you’ve got everything ready, nice outfits, perfect setting, and good camera, your baby or toddler is not cooperating very well.  You end packing up in  frustration. 

Should this happen, you might want to consider these hacks on how to take the best photo of a baby and toddler next time you do your photoshoot.

1. Hand a toy

Those little tiny hands are always busy grabbing, touching and playing.  Handing them a toy that will capture their interest will minimize movements and give you a time to click that button.

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2. Be playful

Play with the kids while taking photos.  Make it appear that it is a play date.  You can do peek-a-boo, play pretend or blow bubbles.

3. Use a high chair

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A high chair with a harness would be a great tool to keep them from moving around.  You can also take photos while the kids are having snacks.

4. Take a seat when you are ready to click

Just as you are ready to push that camera button, quickly position the kids into their seats.  Do not waste a single second or else they will definitely be all over the place again.

5. Tummy full

Before you proceed with the photo shoot, let the kids take snacks.  An empty stomach is not a good friend of kids nor the photographer.

6. Done with nap time

One of the main reasons for a non-cooperative toddler is lack of nap time.  You will never get that picture perfect smile unless your subject is well rested.

7. Set the camera to Burst mode

Burst mode or continuous shooting mode is usually used by photographers when the subject is in motion. It can take several still images in one shutter press or, for a high end camera, as long as you are pressing down the button. You can just choose the best image that you want.

8. Increase your shutter speed

If your camera is capable of adjusting the shutter speed and you know how to balance  the aperture and ISO, it might just be your lucky day.  Increasing the shutter speed will capture moving subjects in still images without blur. I use Canon EOS Rebel T6i when taking photos of my kids. It is easy to manipulate for an amateur photographer like me. For point and shoot cameras, look for automatic sports mode. In this setting, the camera is programmed and no need to worry about other buttons.

9. Candid is best

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Let the kids play around and be on their natural behavior. The most authentic smile is the best to capture.  You don’t need to count to three or cue them with “smile” as long as they’re having fun.

10. Apply Rule of Thirds

Imagine dividing your image into 9 equal parts horizontally and vertically.  The intersecting points of the frame are the strongest and most natural placement of your subject.  

11. Ask for help

It is difficult to take photos by yourself with kids, you need assistance. Someone must at least keep the little one distracted, or baby sit while you prepare the set. It will save you time and energy if someone manages the baby/ toddler while you keep an eye on your shots.

12. Take as many photos as you can

There will never be enough shots when taking photos with little ones. The more photos you take, the more choices you have.

13. If nothing goes right, set another time

I know it is frustrating if you prepared enough and none of your photos seem perfect. These babies and toddler don’t care whether they wear their best outfit or you exert best time and effort. Keep it light and be ready to set another day.

Try one or more of these hacks on how to take the best photo of a baby and toddler, and hopefully you can capture those precious memories in your lens. 

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9 thoughts on “13 Hacks on How to Take Best Photo of a Restless Baby and Toddler

  1. I have a restless toddler and really have a hard time taking his photos.
    These tips are definitely helpful to me. Thank you so much!

  2. You have no idea of what I went through while trying to take photos with my daughter when she was a toddler! Moving around, almost made the lights fall over. It was a hot mess. Thanks for sharing though. I’ll know these next time.

  3. Great tips! I take so many pictures of my girls and it might be a little comical if someone were to see what I was doing behind the camera! But you are right, I like to take them right after they wake up and are fed!

  4. i recall with my younger one (both teenagers now) the first time we went for a photo shoot at a store, it took a while and in the end, it was her brother who brought out the smiles so we just pics of them together 🙂
    great tips here that definitely will help keep kids occupied for a bit

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