embrace the camera

Sharing a few outtakes from our little Fresh Produce photo session the other day because I thought you should see what really went on behind the scenes. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It definately takes a whole lot of these….
….to get a handful of these….
{photos edited using addy lane’s spiced chai action}
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

My Alivia is just over 18 months old and is at a very tricky age when it comes to taking her picture. In fact, she wanted nothing to do with photos this particular afternoon. We attempted a few pictures and got nothing but a few grumpy baby + frustrated mom shots.

How did I convince my toddler getting some photos with mom
 would be a lot funner than she thought?

1. I didn’t, I just gave up. We put the camera away, took her pretty dress off and just let her play in the sand until she’d had her fill. I quit forcing it and just let her call the shots. It took me a little while to let it go but…

2. An hour or so later, when she was tired of playing we had a little snack, cleaned her up a bit and put her dress back on for take two. You can’t tell in the pictures, but she still had sand all through her hair. ๐Ÿ˜‰

3. Letting her have that time to play made her a much more willing photo subject. She’d seen all there was to see at the beach already and wasn’t so quick to run away from mom to go explore.

4. We played catch the photographer and this sure brought out the smiles. Alivia’s big sister was behind the camera and when I whispered to Alivia “let’s go get Emily” and started to run towards her it was all giggles and smiles. {See center photo in the outtakes collage above.} When you make looking at the camera a game it engages your toddler and draws out genuine smiles and interactions.

5. If you’re in the photos with your toddler talk to them, play games with them, ask them questions. I asked Alivia “can you see a boat in the water?” “can you count the boats? and Emily was able to capture that first shot of both of us looking away from the camera.

6. For shot number two we played a little peek-a-boo with the camera. I whispered to her “can you scare Emily?” That little phrase CAN YOU can really work some magic when it comes to photographing young children.  Alivia was busy for a little while peeking around my shoulder yelling “BOO!” at her sister. Love that second shot Emily was able to capture.

7. In that last photo I was asking Alivia where her hands were. I asked her where my nose was, where her nose was, etc. and our professional photographer ๐Ÿ˜‰ was able to capture this sweet interaction. One of my most favorite photos from the session. :)

As you can see, these photos didn’t come easily. Our sessions went nothing like I’d planned and we certainly had more outtakes than we did keepers in the end. But those few precious photos were so totally worth it! Toddlers can be difficult photo subjects, especially your own, but with a few little tricks up your sleeve capturing darling photos of your little one is totally doable!

I’m linking up here:

For more tips on capturing genuine photos
 of the child in your life take a peek at my latest eBook:

Don't Say Cheese! How to get great, natural photos of your kids (by Rebecca Cooper)

Rebecca Cooper is a 36-year-old wife and mother of four who lives with her family in sunny Arizona. As a photographer, crafter, author, and blogger, she finds joy and fulfillment in celebrating everyday moments. She loves to read and eat chocolate, and is a firm believer in afternoon naps. Rebecca shares her familyโ€™s adventures, photo tips, simple craft projects + more right here at Simple as That.

Latest posts by Rebecca (see all)


  1. says

    Beautiful photos! And thanks so much for sharing the outtakes and the tips to getting such great interactive photos of your kids. I have a 15-month old and I will be using your tips!

  2. says

    Emily is becoming quite the photographer :) your pictures are beautiful!
    Thanks so much for the tips! Last fall my my 5 year old turned the tables on me and started playing a game with me while I was trying to capture is picture…I was becoming quite frustrated (as was he, I assure you!) as a I kept getting fake smiles and whining. All of the sudden he asked me, “What do I have behind my back?” and I started saying goofy things, which made him laugh! The pictures turned out awesesome! Now…if I could just learn how to use my photoshop program and edit them with spiced chai! :)

  3. Michelle says

    Thanks for the advice! I’m, by no means, a professional photographer, but I LOVE to dabble with my camera! I DO seem to have a hard time, now and again, with my 20-month-old daughter…so what you said will be a great help to me as I continue to “dabble”!

    Those pictures ARE gorgeous, btw!!!

  4. Barb says

    Such beautiful stunning photography! gorgeous subjects, gorgeous setting . . . and thanks for all the tips – I have grandchildren arriving today – hmmmmm, maybe I’ll get some good shots!

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