4 Tools for Portrait Sessions with Toddlers



Capturing that perfect toddler portrait? Not exactly a walk in the park, I know this especially as a mama of three myself. I get the hesitation and anxiety—it’s a real struggle getting those little ones to play along! But hey, good news! I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to ensure every toddler portrait session goes off without a hitch.

1. A Toy That Sparks Smiles in Your Toddler

For the 9-18 month age group, bring along a special toy or stuffie that makes them light up with smiles. We’re talking about that go-to item that instantly sparks joy. For older toddlers, it’s probably best to leave the comfort items at home and opt for something fun that won’t be a distraction.

2. Silly Me!

When it comes to toddlers, I peek from behind the camera, make silly faces, and even tickle them with the feather duster. Whatever it takes to get that genuine smile!


3. Parent Prompts

I keep parents in the loop with prompts like “Daddy’s gonna get you.” It’s a quick way to figure out what clicks and capture that sweet, genuine smile within seconds.

4. Bring Bribes, AKA Snacks!

Parents, listen up—pack those bribes! Trust me, it’s always a smart move to have some food or candy handy, just in case I’m not entertaining enough. Gummies tend to work like magic and can be used as a last resort if needed.

5. Additional Props for Playfulness

In addition to any other items, I come prepared with my own set of props, such as a feather duster, puppets, and a wooden car. These new distractions grab their attention and add a playful touch to the photos.

I keep it chill, fun, and easygoing. The goal? Make the toddler portrait session a blast! No negative vibes here—positive reinforcement is the name of the game. Instead of dwelling on discipline, let’s focus on creating a positive and enjoyable experience for your energetic toddler.

Mama, if you’re pondering family photos with your little ball of energy, I hope this puts your mind at ease. Any questions? Shoot them my way! Click HERE

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Kelsey Krall


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meet kelsey

Sacramento newborn and maternity photographer

I am a mom of three littles, and I'm right there with you, mama. I know about all the struggles that go along with pregnancy and the newborn stage, and how unbelievably fast this time is going by. I'm here to help you enjoy and cherish this brief moment in time. Let's create keepsake art that will tell this story to your children. 

and I'm here for you, mama

I’m Kelsey

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