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Photographing 2 year old children: challenges and solutions.

I’ve had so many 2 year olds in my studio in the past eight years… I love each and every kid, and I find that handling 2 year olds requires a bit more skills and patience compared to other age groups, so it’s even more rewarding when I get some stunning shots despite any challenges that get on the way.

Here are some well known facts about this age group (18 months – 2.5 years old):

  • They like to be the boss
  • They need to move around
  • They don’t take “no” for an answer
  • Pleading them and telling them off does not work

Some parents get very embarrassed by their children’s behaviour, but they should not be! If their child behaves in the way described above, it means it’s going through a good healthy stage of his/her development, and that’s great!

So just for the sake of an example lets imagine a little boy called Johny, he is two years old and he doing everything he could to show us that he is in control today.

1)  Jonny refuses to come a take a photo with his parents and his sister

– reverse psychology often works very well. We say: “everyone is going to take a photo, but Johny is not allowed to come…” he is very likely to run back into the set!

– we start playing a game, where everyone is catching a ball/ throwing things to me – Johny would very likely want to join in

– we distract him with something exciting (from my box of toys and props), bubbles usually do wonders

2) Johny is refusing to sit still

– we find him something that would keep him in one place, like a little box/chair/rocking police car

– we get him involved in a game which requires him to be in a certain place

– give him something to hold on to – either to play with, or something he can throw back

– we put a sticker on the floor and ask Johny to step on in order to hide it – all kids love that challenge (at list for a short while)

3) Johny is upset and is screaming his head off

– instead of pleading him to calm down, we grab his attention by showing him something new and exciting (like bubbles, or some noise-making toys).. That usually works really quickly.

– show him the images at the back at the camera – it would grab his attention and get him interested

4) Johny is not smiling

– ask silly questions/scream out silly things together

– ask him to make a sad face, and then say ” you can’t smile  now, please don’t smile”… that usually does the trick

– bribes work really well (promise to give them a sweet/lolly pop/sticker) usually get them excited

So dear parents, please don’t worry – your two year old is the boss, and a happy one too! and there will be a beautiful photographs to prove it!




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