10 Things I learned from my session with a two-year old

1. Pay attention. Don’t review your pictures on the LCD too often or you’ll end up missing the moment.

2. Bring more than a 4GB memory card. If you’re shooting RAW, you’ll easily fill it up in an hour.

3. Because you’re taking photos of an active toddler, you’ll probably shoot around 400 to 500 photos in an hour. That’s okay. Of these, you’ll only really end up with around 40 or 50 good ones.

4. It’s crazy to shoot at f/1.4 when your subject’s constantly on the move (which would explain why I wrote #3).

5. Bring props, preferably something colorful. Food is also a good prop (and a good bribe).

6. Simple clothes and solid colors work best. No bold patterns and logos. Bright colors look great in photos, but make sure to keep the bottom darker than the top to draw attention to the face.

7. Always carry on a conversation. Try to look at your subject when you’re talking.

8. Plan your shots, but don’t be disappointed if they don’t fall through. If your subject doesn’t want to do something, don’t force it. Never argue with a two-year old. It’s just sad.

9. Shoot on his level — squat, even if it means your legs will probably hurt like crazy for the next two or three days. (Obviously, I don’t exercise much.)

10. Have fun!

~ by Sheila on February 5, 2010.

4 Responses to “10 Things I learned from my session with a two-year old”

  1. What a cute kid! Great shot. The catch light in the eyes are just perfect! I’m sure the parents will be happy with this!

    I love the tips you have too. Certainly a learning experience. I love #8. LOL!!!

    I think #7 is really important too. I remember way back before I knew anything about photography I had to get my headshot taken (this was when I was younger and better looking…LOL). I remember how nervous I was as I had never had a professional photo shoot before. My first several shots came out really boring because I was way too stiff. The photographer, though, made sure to carry out a conversation with me, even telling jokes and singing. After a while I felt comfortable with the situation and the camera didn’t bother me one bit. He took about 300 shots that hour, but the best ones were toward the end of the photo shoot. I was very pleased with the results.

    I think you’re doing well with this and I wish you the best with your future sessions! 🙂

    • Thanks, Aaron. I sent his mom a slideshow of about 40 photos yesterday and she said she got all teary-eyed after viewing it. It was exactly the response I was hoping for. I actually got teary-eyed myself when I saw the slideshow for the first time. I think it’s my mommy instinct going into overdrive. 🙂

      As for #7, I think my better shots were towards the end of the shoot, too. This is something I really have to work on. My daughter is a natural “poser”, so every time I would take a picture of her, I didn’t really have to give instructions or tell stories. I think that’s why preliminary interviews or a really good questionnaire are important (oops, I should probably put that on the list).

      And thanks for the support. I have another shoot tomorrow, this time with a 10-year old… and once again, I’m terrified. Ha ha.

  2. what a cutie he is! you made 10 excellent points, i’m sure his parents will be thrilled!

  3. those are great Sheila. many thanks for sharing.
    and all nicely and thoughtfully put.

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