There’s something really wrong with the current state of family photography. Somewhere along the way, we’ve put all this importance on the first year of a child’s life. Newborn sessions, 3-6-9-12 month packages, milestone sessions for sitting up or walking, cake smashes… It’s all wonderful stuff, sure, but as soon as our kids hit one, we put the brakes on the photos.
I get it. Kids grow and change a lot in the first year, and the development is (in theory) slower than later years. But I disagree with this philosophy. Toddlers are some of the most interesting subjects to shoot!
A lot of my clients say they aren’t getting 18-month or 2 year photos done because their kids “can’t sit still,” or “get into everything,” or “don’t listen to my instructions to sit on this ledge and place their heads delicately on their hands like a pageant princess,” which is all very true, certainly. Toddlers are a different beast altogether, and expecting a perfectly posed portrait session is asking for a ton of stress and a likely disaster. Toddlers move, and in my opinion, the most successful sessions are ones where we (myself and my parent clients) embrace that independence and spirit.
I often liken children’s photography to a safari: my job is to watch the kids, interact with them, and wait for the photographic opportunities to present themselves. In doing so, I am rewarded with vibrance, excitement, and movement in the subjects and images. Toddlerhood is when your child is really beginning to become a little person, and who wouldn’t want to capture that?