Taking photographs of toddlers should be great fun. Toddlers spend much of their time exploring the world and it is wonderful simply watching them as they go about their explorations. However, there is no hanging about and if you're planning to get them to settle down to take a family photograph to send off to distant relatives, then you really won't have long. But go with the flow and try to capture some of those wonderful fleeting moments of their exciting lives and you should get some great photographs of your toddler.
Here are a few tips to help you get going:
Most importantly, how often do you have you camera with you? At the very least your mobile phone. Toddlers are constantly exploring the world around them. So make sure you are there with your camera to capture the moment.
If you're planning to grab some photographs of your toddler, have your camera ready and on the right settings. They simply won't wait around for you whilst you're fiddling with your camera.
If you want to get some interesting photographs of your little wriggle pants, try to make it easy for yourself. A toddler can't help but explore something new. So take them to a new location or give them something new to get their hands on (that doesn't need to be a new toy, most toddlers are equally fascinated by a decaying log - see above). This should give you more than a split second for you to frame your photograph.
Take several photographs. And I mean several. It is not unheard of me to take up to 600 photographs on a photo shoot when I've got a couple of toddlers (I have my camera set in continuous shooting mode, so I don't miss a moment). The wonders of digital cameras means I can. You can easily delete the ones that don't work when you get back home - yes, that usually is most of them, but if you get 2 or 3 great shots, then it's worth it. it doesn't cost a penny. Just make sure that you have enough space on your memory card, or a spare one to hand.
Get down low. Try not to take all of your photographs of your toddler from your own height. Get down to their level and fill the frame.
Make sure that both you and your toddler are having fun. Mess about with them (just make sure you don't put your camera down - you don't want to miss 'that moment'). Toddlers love having fun - we should do so more often too.
I love taking photographs of toddlers. I never know what I'm going to get, but I usually end up with something special, simply because toddlers are exploring the world with such fresh eyes that is always so exciting to capture on camera.
(The photograph above was taken on Thursley Common. I managed to get several photographs of the young toddler as she simply explored every part of the decaying tree. One of my favourite photographs from this session is on my homepage as she went on to look at the heather)