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When Your Child Is On the Move

Experienced Charlotte NC Family Photographer | When Your Child Is Always On the Move


So you want to update your family portraits, but your tiny little one is active and mobile, and you are worried that they will not be able to sit still for a portrait session. Maybe they recently started crawling or walking, but now it seems they never want to sit still.

Does this sound familiar? No worries at all, and you are not alone. Little ones between the ages of 8 months and 3 years old almost never want to stop moving (but, hopefully all that moving gets them so tired that they sleep well each night).

So, how do I photograph little ones on the go and still deliver beautiful family portraits for my clients?

If you want a happy, smiling, giggly child, you definitely do not want to force them to sit for photographs. You honestly don't want to force them to do anything. Instead, we want to make sure they are happy and having fun!

Here are some tips to help prepare you for a family photo session with toddlers and little kids, so you know what you can expect from your portrait session with me:

  • Chairs, Benches, Fences, or even fake tree stumps (yes, I own a fake tree stump) Some little ones will find these props amusing and entertaining and will voluntarily choose to sit on them. Yay! But we always follow the safety first rule when photographing children. When using any seating that is elevated off the ground, I always keep parents within arm's reach of their child, but just outside of the frame of my camera, to prevent falls and keep their tiny little ones safe from harm.

Creative Charlotte NC Family Portraits

  • Pick them up!
    This is one of the many reasons I love family portrait sessions and including parents in photographs! When children are young, they generally enjoy being held by mom or dad, plus it can give them a sense of security at the start of the session. So we use that to our advantage and I have parents hold or pick up their children for a a snuggle, a quick spin, a toss in the air, or a shared giggle! Plus, I can photograph you with them AND I can also zoom in close and photograph just your child! Would you guess that these first two little ones were being held in Mom's or Dad's arms?

  • Hold their Hands and Walk or RUN!
    Little ones that are just getting started with walking or cruising LOVE to hold their parents hands and take a few steps and the smiles and giggles just naturally appear! It's a perfect time to grab a few portraits! And the bigger ones love to run and almost always starting laughing when Moms and Dads join in their fun!


  • Tickles and Tackles
    Plain and simple - "who wants to tackle Mom? " You can count on Moms and Dads know their little ones' ticklish spots to bring on the big giggles. But I just adore when munchkins run and tackle Mom or Dad.

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  • On the move
    Sometimes, children just want to spin, walk, march or run! And we just want smiles, so during the session we let them do what will make them happiest!

Active North Carolina Child Photography

  • Toys, Bubbles, Leaves or Hats
    When my clients bring toys or props for the kids, I typically leave these for the end of the session, simply because I never want to be the person that needs to take something away from a child during their portraits (because that can bring tears). But bubbles, stuffed animals, or even something as simple as a leaf or a big sister's hat, can provide enough distraction and entertainment to keep them from moving away! And sometimes, they are just SO excited to hold something in their little hands! I can almost hear the squeals in these photographs!

  • Most importantly, just have fun. (And maybe throw some leaves!)
    If my clients simply focus on having fun with their children, you never know the moments that will just happen and that is the BEST part of photographing family portrait sessions! I absolutely adore the moments we create together and look forward to creating beautiful images with your family!