Tips + Tricks

7 Tips for Wrangling Toddlers – Boston Family Photographer

I'm Molly!

Welcome to the blog! I'm a boy mama and creative who believes in celebrating all moments of motherhood. Follow along for session highlights, helpful photography tips and reading about all things *twin* mom life!

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HELLO, fellow photographers and toddler mamas!

First things first…let’s give ourselves a reality check: kiddos shouldn’t be expected to stay completely still or smile on command during a photography session! Embrace the chaos and meet your toddlers exactly where they are at 🙂

Sit back, relax and trust that your photographer will capture some gorgeous photos for you no matter what mood your toddler is in!

Here are my top tips for helping little ones enjoy your session:

1. Bring Non-Messy Snacks & a Drink

Bonus points if those snacks are a treat for them – bribery works wonders! Non-messy snacks mean your kiddos don’t have to change out of their photoshoot outfit to eat them. Avoid things like yogurts, strawberries, things that could melt on their fingers etc!

2. Bring Different Toys

Pack a few different toys that they love, and stagger the order that you get them out to keep them newly entertained! Usually, photographers will have toys and books they can play with at the studio.

3. Bring An iPad

It’s great to have their favorite show to entertain them, but only plan to give this to them AFTER they’ve finished having their photos taken, as it’s hard to take this away once it’s out! I advise pre-downloading any movies or shows to keep things easy.

4. Get Them Dressed First

As soon as you get there, if they will let you, get your little one(s) changed into their photoshoot outfit so they can relax, get used to the space and play with the toys. You might want to bring a spare outfit for them too, just in case!

5. Don’t set expectations

You might have seen a gorgeous photo on Instagram that you’d love to recreate, but in all honesty when it comes to toddlers it’s best to go with the flow. Kids will be kids! I know you might feel like they are supposed to be on their best behavior and super well-behaved, but we photograph young families for a living, and that’s not always reality.

6. Leave them to your photographer

Sometimes it can be very overwhelming for a child to be told what to do by three people at once! Often, children are more likely to listen to their photog’s instructions than their parents. We have lots of tricks up our sleeves to get even the most uncooperative children involved! I encourage you to take a step back and let us communicate with them – we’ll be best friends by the end!

7. Try not to get frustrated

It’s absolutely normal to feel anxious when it doesn’t seem like your little one is cooperating. I know it’s hard to go with the flow and not get frustrated in these moments (believe me, I’ve been there!) Please don’t apologize if your kids refuse to get in the photos or throw a tantrum. We do this all the time and this behavior is normal! We will take their lead and find other ways to get them involved.

I hope these tips are helpful! If you’re interested in learning more about what a session with Molly Katherine Photography looks like, let’s chat 🙂

We are currently booking for Spring and Summer 2022 – feel free to reach out:

Instagram | @mollykatherinephoto Email |

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  1. […] Overwhelmed by the thought of prepping your toddler(s)? I have a full blog post where I share all of the ways we ‘go with the flow’ when it comes to toddlers- check it out here! […]

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Hi, I'm Molly.
Mom, Wife + Portrait Photographer.

I'm so happy you're here! I'm a mom of two (identical twin boys!) and have been married to my husband for 5 years. I believe iced coffee should be enjoyed year-round and I will die *well-caffeinated* on this hill.

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