This is Neyssa Lee, Confidence Workshop teacher from Seattle’s Eastside! I’ve put together five photo tips for capturing adventures with toddlers! Having toddlers can make any outing feel like an adventure (for better or worse, right?!). Let’s talk about how you can capture this fleeting time in their lives!
On a recent adventure with my family, we took our kids (son, Milo, age 2.5, and daughter, Sawyer, age 16 months) to the golf course. Even though my photos are for a golfing adventure, you can use these five photo tips for capturing adventures with toddlers for anywhere.
1. Pretend like you’re shooting a roll of film. The great thing about digital is that you can see if you captured a moment right away. It’s easy to do a “do-over” right then. It’s also easy to take 400 pictures of a 1 hour outing. Although we want to tell the story of our excursion, we don’t want it to be a flip book. By pretending that I only have a roll of 24 shots, I am forced to slow down and think if the shot is the same thing I just took or is adding to my story.
2. Look for Dynamics You Love Most
What dynamics do you love most about your toddlers? The answer to this is what I always want to capture. The photo may not mean as much to anyone else, but to this mama, it means EVERY THING. In the image below, Milo was going over the top of a big hill. Of course, Sawyer wanted to be just like him and climb up there too. I don’t know how long this stage will last where Sawyer idolizes her big brother, but I know it won’t be forever! Although this moment has nothing to do with the adventure we were taking, it has everything to do with the story of my kids right now.
3. Who, What, & Where. Do you remember in school when you had to tell who, what, where, when, and why in your writing? When you’re capturing an outing, I think along similar lines. The difference, is that I only have images to tell my who, what, & where. So how can I do that in as few photos as possible? While many “who” shots are close up of everyone’s faces, standing in front of where you are, I wanted to tell my story differently. I saw this beautiful sunlight as my kids were standing watching my husband about to tee off. I couldn’t help but snap this shot for my “who” (my family) and “what” (playing golf) photo. The light glows around them while the contrast of their tall shadows add drama to my image. Compare the image below to the image in the first tip (pretend you’re shooting a roll of film). For the image above, I filtered the light through the trees to add interest to my photo without the light overpowering my little boy. Yet, in this image, I loved how the light just floods my image. By turning it black and white, you’re able to see the contrast and light better.
4. Give them space to run. If you’re at a location where they can stretch their legs, let them, even if it’s just walking a few steps ahead of you. It is a great time to capture the explorer in them. Milo loved racing up and down the hills around the course. On the second hole we came to the biggest hill yet! He climbed all the way to the top and was so proud (never mind the fact that I had to carry him back down)! I crouched down low and shot up at him to accentuate his small size versus the steep hill. I love how his proud stance against the blue sky also makes him to stand out!
5. Capture the details. This is my favorite of the photo tips for capturing adventures with toddlers. Details add to the story of your adventure, they tell you more then just the who, what, where part. They tell you what happened, what was important, they make the story interesting! During our golfing adventure, Milo discovered daddy’s range finder. He carried it all over the corse looking for daddy’s ball. My favorite part was how he carried it to protect it, tucked up under his arm. Once he spotted the ball, Milo would tuck the range finder back under his arm and then do a little excited dance. By choosing to crop out Milo’s upper body, I let the focus be on his little hands wrapped around his toy and his feet stamping up and down.
Capturing little ones while out with the family can be quite the challenge. These five photo tips for telling the story of your adventure with toddlers will help give you direction no matter what type of excursion you’re taking.
Me Ra has invited me to share a handful of toddler adventures and photo tips with all of you! I’m so excited, and I would love to hear from you! Do you have toddlers? Do you have an idea of some place you’d love (or need) photo tips for capturing? Leave me a comment below, and I’ll pack up my two toddlers and make it happen so I can share it with you!
Cheers to Toddler Craziness!
Neyssa Lee is a family and infant photographer based in Washington State, passionate about capturing the details of each child’s life to tell their story. She is known for the way she works with children and families to capture their true personalities. She also loves empowering moms with their cameras as a certified Me Ra Koh CONFIDENCE Teacher.
Knowing how to use your camera will make capturing everyday moments and adventures with your family that much easier. Instead of thinking about the settings of your camera, you can focus on what is unfolding in front of you. Join Neyssa in May for the Budding Confidence Workshop or the Growing Confidence Workshop in Snoqualmie, WA.
I LOVE it!! Beautiful photos and great tips, Neyssa!
Great article! My biggest challenge is photographing toddlers indoors (low light) when they are moving fast (at the “jumpy-jumpy” place, for instance). So tips on that would be fabulous.