My #1 Trick for Photographing Shy Toddlers Who are Glued to Mom!

There is nothing like the grip of a two-year-old who does NOT want to leave mom’s side.  If you’ve ever been the one trying to pry fingers, one by one, off of a mother’s leg OR if you’ve been the leg the fingers are glued to- you know exactly what I’m talking about!  So often, as a Dallas children’s photographer, I work with little kiddos that are unsure of their surroundings, not comfortable in my studio yet and still desperately want the security of mom before they’re willing to do anything with me.  And I get it!  But my job is to get incredible portraits of your child.  And most times, mom does NOT want a portion of her mid to upper leg in said portrait! So, I’ve come up with a fail-proof way of photographing shy toddlers. And the trick does not involve any prying!  If you worry about investing in a portrait session because you can’t imagine how I’ll photograph your shy toddler, this journal entry is for you!

Little boy with fingers in his mouth smiling at the camera

To Pry or Not to Pry

As a photographer that focuses solely on children’s portrait photography, I have seen plenty of shy toddlers who do not want to leave mom’s side.  So- what do we do?  How can I get great, timeless, beautiful portraits of your little one if he won’t leave your leg?  Well…. we will keep him on your leg!  Stay with me here- I promise you’ll like where I’m going with this!  As a mom myself, I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes it’s easier to go WITH the current.  In the past, when I’ve tried prying fingers off mom’s legs, where did it leave me?  It left me with a VERY unhappy, scared child who is in no state of mind to smile or feel himself in front of my camera.  With red teary eyes and a deer-in-the-headlights look on his face, this is the last thing I want for your child and for you.  Therefore, by fighting and enforcing my plan on your little one, I’m further away from my goal for this session than before you even arrived.  That’s why I choose to swim WITH the current!

Little blonde haired boy smiling off to the side

But…will my leg be in the photo?

So, what does swimming with the current entail?  It means that I let your child stay close to you but in a way that still works for my overall photography goals.  With the wonders of Photoshop, I can very easily edit mom out of the picture if I photograph you and your shy toddler in a special pose.  Here’s how it works!  I have you sit on the floor with your legs outstretched perpendicular to the direction I’m facing.  Then, you place your little one on your lap facing me.  Essentially, you’re a little bench for him to sit on.  He has the comfort of being close to you while I have the ability to photograph him and later edit you out of the portrait.  Within a few minutes, these shy toddlers start to get more comfortable so other poses can be used.  However, gaining trust, building a feeling of safety and allowing your child to be near you opens the door to a more relaxed and fun session together.  (Guess what?  All of the photographs in this journal entry were taken with the little one sitting on mom’s legs!)

Photographing shy toddlers

My number one priority is ALWAYS your child’s safety and comfort.  That’s why I never, ever rush our portrait session time together.  You deserve beautiful portraits of your child that showcases their unique personality!  In order to achieve this goal, your little one must feel like him or herself.  At Kimberly Gerfin Photography, I work on your child’s level, taking their lead on how they’re feeling and where to go next.  Like this helpful trick, I have several great techniques to encourage a fun, relaxed and enjoyable session time.  So, if you’ve been hoping to hold on to this precious moment in your child’s life with a portrait session, don’t hesitate!  Even if your child is very shy or timid, I can get beautiful portraits that you’ll absolutely fall in love with!

Please feel free to reach out to me so I can learn more about your little one and see if we’re a good match. Also, I’ve included some other helpful resources from previous journal entries that you may enjoy reading.

How to prepare for your Dallas Photography Session: Kids Edition!

Posed Vs. Child Led Portraits: Dallas Portrait Photography

White Studio Photography- What Makes it Special?

Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you come back soon!



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