3 Ways to Get Your Toddler Excited for Photos | Stafford Photographers

3 Ways to Get Your Toddler Excited for Photos | Stafford Photographers by Melissa Arlena Photography

Stafford Photographers

We’ve all been there before, you’ve done all your prep work booking your favorite photographer, coordinating everyone’s outfits and hello, birthing an adorable baby! The newborn session rolls around and BAM your toddler wants nothing to do with you let alone their new sibling! Stafford photographers like myself have seen this happen a million times. Heck, it even happened at my own newborn session! That is why I wanted to give you 3 of my best tips to get your toddler excited about our photo session!

Stafford Photographers

Hype it up!

What I mean by that is tell your toddler that a friend is coming over to take photos of everyone and you are so excited! Tell them my name and that I have a cool camera that I take pictures with. Kids nowadays seem to know how to work an iPhone before their first birthday to take photos so don’t be surprised if they understand a little bit.

I had a 2-year-old recently that watched me take photos and then insisted on helping me the rest of the session! She was adorable and loved being my “assistant”.

Stafford Photographers

Bribery & Rewards

Let’s be honest, sometimes it takes good old-fashioned bribery and I’m totally okay with that! In fact, for our youngest’s newborn session we stuffed Vanilla Wafers down in the blanket around Rob to get Will to interact with him. Guess what?! It worked like a charm!

I’ve had clients offer a treat after the photos as a reward. We can even dole out the rewards during the session as long as they aren’t messy. Gummies or fruit snacks are great for this!

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Short & Sweet

The best advice is to keep our time with your toddler short and sweet. If they are being cooperative we can get the shots we need of the siblings and the family and then they are done! Pushing littles never ends well.

We can mix things up and try to come back to them, I find whenever I start just photographing mom and dad with the baby that older bro or sis suddenly wants to be in photos again!

Keep these tips in mind for your next photo session with your toddler and here is a quick secret….. these tricks work on husbands too! Usually, the promise of beer as a reward keeps them in line ;)!

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3 Ways to Get Your Toddler Excited for Photos | Stafford Photographers

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    I'm Melissa! Luxury maternity and lifestyle newborn photographer in Charlottesville, sail boater, lover of Lilly Pulitzer, and obsessed with true crime and interior design. I'm so glad you found me!


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    Melissa Arlena is an award winning Richmond and Charlottesville photographer. She recently earned her Master Photographer Certification in the Maternity, Newborn & Family categories from the National Association of Professional Child Photographers. Melissa offers maternity, lifestyle newborn, and family photography in her relaxed, natural, and joyful style.


    Melissa serves Charlottesville, Richmond, Staunton, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Waynesboro, Culpeper, Gordonsville and beyond.



    Melissa Arlena Photography captures newborns, maternity, and families.

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