1. Bring props that really make the session all about your child. This darling little girl's mom totally nailed it! She brought her daughter's toy kitchen, which they love to play with together. PERFECT.
2. Have realistic expectations. Lots of running around happens at 18-month old sessions! It is nearly impossible to make most children of this age sit and pose for pictures, so instead we just try to make things really fun and catch the action as it happens. If you love portraits that showcase their personality rather than a perfect pose, we'll all be a lot happier. (And this is what I like best in any case.) A lot of the time I do portraits for this age at the park, but it works inside too.
3. Be prepared to be in the pictures yourself! Sometimes the very best pictures are the ones of you together.
4. Schedule the session at the best time possible for your child. It's worth it to me to be flexible with my timing so that we never schedule a session during his or her nap. I would never schedule an evening session for a baby or toddler (you parents out there know about the 5:00 witching hour!) If my calendar doesn't work with your schedule, please just let me know and we can work something out.
(By the way - love the boots! I *believe* they are her great-grandfather's. She loved to cross her legs - so darling.)
5. Try not to stress. I have 3 kids, and I remember what this age is like. I love working with these little ones and I will love working with your child. When parents can relax and not worry about directing their child's behavior, that allows me to build a little relationship with him or her myself. I have lots of tricks up my sleeves (which I never needed to use for this sweetie here) and I am positive that I can safely amuse your child for the time that we'll spend together.
Toddler sessions tend to go fast - it all depends on your child, but they will seldom last an hour. We always take breaks for drinks, snacks, and anything else he or she needs. But when they're done, they're done! I often have parents tell me that they were worried that I didn't get anything at all, but they were happily amazed at all the great portraits they ended up with seeing at their viewing session.
If you have a toddler and want to capture this sweet, happy, busy time of life, please give me a call! I'd love to talk with you about a portrait session.
Or, see this page for other ideas about how to make your portrait session the best that it can be.