The Happy Toddler: tips for photographing your 18 month old

March 12, 2016

Hi friends! 


Did you know that with some practice, it's pretty easy to elevate your in-home snapshots to beautiful lifestyle portraits of your children? It is often just a matter of taking advantage of your child's natural expressions and the room's ambient lighting to get gorgeous photos, even with a basic DSLR or camera phone (if the lighting is good).

Here's an album at home featuring our youngest boy and his very pleasant personality. He is teething and a bit messy in some of these, but that's part of the charm of this age. :-)

Below, I'll share some tips on how I captured these.


Which one is your favorite? Please let me know!


He was all smiles! Here, I saw that my eighteen month old was sitting on our dark sofa with soft window light cascading in, which made for a beautiful contrast against his skin. I played peek-a-boo with him for a second, exposed for his cheeks, and snapped this photo at f3.2, ss 1/100, ISO 5000. I often boost up the ISO to take advantage of ambient lighting without needing a flash.

In this portrait-oriented image, I moved my little toddler over so that he was straight in front of me. I made a funny face to grab his attention, exposed for his cheek, and took this image at f4, ss 1/100, ISO 6400. I saw that his bottle's nipple is featured here, but opted to keep it in as a reminder of the teething phase he's in now.

I loved the direct eye contact here and natural expression, so I converted it to black and white to emphasize the special, beautiful moment.

This is one of my favorite images. I love three-quarter profile shots -- especially with soft, beautiful light and a contrasting background.

 Here, I pulled back a bit to show my toddler's body as he was curled up, drinking his bottle. He's no longer a baby but is still so little. I had the camera set on f3.2, ss 1/100, ISO 4000. I tend to shoot rather wide.

This was a sweet moment, where he was drinking his bottle and looked over to the side. I converted it to black and white to emphasize the beautiful contrasts.

 So sweet! Here's a close-up of his feet. I love to change angles, positions, and focal points to get a full view of the scene whenever I take photos.

 Here's a profile shot at the kitchen table. He LOVES sitting in his big brother's chair -- he wants to be just like him!

  Here's a fuller view of him sitting at the table.

 He's all smiles here, cutting four teeth at once and slobbering, but such a sweet and memorable moment!

 I love close-ups like these, where the eyes are in focus and the child has a huge grin! :-) My settings were f3.2, ss 100, and ISO 1600.

 Shots like this, were the child is filled with laugh-out-loud joy are so precious and work so well in black and white.


What are your favorite types of photos to take at home? Please let me know in the comments below!


Learn more about Annie Dash Photography lifestyle children's and family portrait sessions here.


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