Baby and Toddler Photography 101

Babies and toddlers are so so cute! But, if you have one (or have ever spent a little time with one), you know that they are really hard to keep happy and in one spot for more than a few seconds! Which is a big problem if you are trying to take pictures and capture all that cuteness.

They want to explore! So, you've got to give them something to keep them in place and occupied while you work your magic with the camera. That's where this list comes in! I've gathered the best looking toys and props that will actually look good in photos!

If you're a professional photographer, you'll want to keep at least a few of these items on hand! And if you're a parent trying to get your own cute pics, these work just as well at home.

I'll post some more tips for baby and toddler photography below, so be sure to scroll to the bottom once you are done checking out my recommendations!

Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't remind you to always use these products with supervision. Obviously don't put a baby or toddler in a prop/stool/etc and walk away. Stay close and always clean any items between use.

(This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a small commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you).

Quick Link- Click here to directly access the full page of baby and toddler photography goodies!

Click any of the images below for more info. They are all very affordable and from that means you'll get them quickly!

As Promised, My Best Tips For Toddler Photography!

Tip #1: Prep mom (or whoever is bringing baby) ahead of time. Clearly communicate with her that you will use every trick in the book to get baby to smile and be happy during the shoot but some babies just aren't! Many babies at this age have stranger danger or simply want to crawl or walk away. So, it's your job to manage her expectations. Do not make any promises on what specific photos you can get. You may do everything just right but ultimately, the baby/toddler is the boss, and if they don't want to cooperate, they won't! Also, tell mom that she may get sweaty! I'm not joking. She will probably be moving baby back and forth and doing all kinds of things to get her child to look and smile.

Tip #2: Work fast! Babies will likely be most alert and interested in you at the start of the shoot. So, if you are doing outfit changes, start with the favorite first. After about 15-20 minutes, baby will lose interest in looking at the camera and lose patience with any further outfit changes.

Tip #3: Use cute highchairs, crates, and buckets, (like the ones listed above) to keep the mobile babies and toddlers in place for as long as possible. Again, close supervision is key here!

He moved fast but sitting him in a large vintage bowl helped slow him down.

Tip #4: Be safe! As mentioned above, do not walk away from a baby while photographing them, especially if they aren't a sturdy enough sitter. You don't want a baby toppling over, especially while near or on a stool or bench. Also, babies put things in their mouth nonstop. So, make sure there are no loose or small parts before giving anything to baby. Finally, make sure to clean and disinfect anything they slobbered on/put in their mouth between each use!

Tip #5: Have mom bring a few things that will help if baby gets fussy. Also, don't schedule the photos close to nap time.

~ An easy snack (like puffs, Cheerios, etc)

~A sippy cup or bottle

~A pacifier if they use them

~Babies favorite blankie or stuffed animal. (It's particularly good if it's an item that would be acceptable in a photograph)

Tip #6: Be prepared to look and sound silly. I always talk in a really high voice, do fake sneezes, play peekaboo, and sometimes sing. Having something that makes noise, like little bells you can ring or a tiny toy music player- (this one is my favorite), are key to getting baby to look at you.

Tip #7: Use the toys that are listed above! I'd recommend having at least a few of these on hand at all times. If nothing else, at least the wooden blocks and rattle. You could even consider getting multiple rattles and letting baby take one home as a little gift after the session.

Tip #8: Vintage finds make great props. If you have flea markets or garage sales in your area, look for old wagon, tricycles, crates, etc. Just be sure to clean them first and make sure baby can't get splinters from anything wooden. If you can't find a vintage wagon, Amazon has new ones that look pretty darn similar!

Tiny wooden bike I found at a flea market that toddlers love!

This red wagon is from a flea market as well. It's great for siblings and can even be used for newborns.

Thanks for reading!