when you're photographing a toddler, in this case a new 3 year old, it's important to follow several steps to ensure adorable portraits.
step 1) make sure your subject is well rested. preferably a nap an hour or two prior to the shoot, that way you don't end up with this scene on your way to the location:
step 2) include your subject in the selection of what to wear, props, etc. in this case, I steered Avery toward a new dress Grandma gave her for her birthday. then I let her pick out coordinating balloons and candy!
step 3) be aware of your subjects mood and strike while the iron is hot. here, we came out of Cracker Barrel with a happy girl. i popped her up on this barrel and took some shots hoping the good mood lasted until we made it to downtown.
step 4) keep it fun! even if your subject isn't feelin' it. here, Avery wasn't so sure we were having fun. but i kept jumping around like a mad woman having a party all to herself.
slowly, but surely, she decided i was funny and decided to give me smile!
step 5) have a backup plan. i was pretty sure the balloons wouldn't make it through our whole shoot. Avery refused to let me tie them to her wrist, and inevitably they escaped.
with a little more crazy dancing and singing, i was able to convince little A, that balloons were meant to be free.
that's when we introduced the lollipop!
step 6) document the age. i love holding fingers up, but have also used wood, or paper numbers. it's always nice to have the child proudly show how old they are!
step 7) know when to quit. by the time we rounded the corner to location 2, i knew Avery was done. i snapped off a few more smiley shots and then told her she was done. i think that's when the real smiles started. we went out to a nice mother/daughter dinner, and a memory was made.
step 8) don't forget all those cute little details!
following these steps is a surefire way to keep a toddler looking adorable during a portrait session!