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Giveaway: Tips To Get Your Tot To Smile + Photography Giveaway!

Pam and I are both currently enjoying family vacations – can we say Hawaii! Ah, I am blogging from paradise right now. In preparation for this trip, we turned to our favorite photographer Nancy of Bug and Bean Photography. We wanted to know – How can we get the best out of our toddlers with the camera just like the pros? These days, it seems like every picture I take, my son turns his back on me or looks down. Being his mother, I think the top of his head is kinda cute but it’s hardly hallway frame worthy.  So while our sweet babies will coo, smile and stay still, we are more determined than ever to snap toddler pics before they head to kindergarten!  Here are some tips from Nancy we’ll be trying out for ourselves this week…Aloha!

“As toddlers begin to develop their speech and motor skills they become busy little explorers and really begin to come into their own. Active toddlers can be a challenge to photograph, but with patience and a little work, the end result will be capturing their sweet faces and ever changing personality on camera. Here are some quick and easy tips for photographing your toddler:

1. Be patient and be prepared for opportune photo moments by always having your camera ready.
2. Let your child guide you and avoid overwhelming your toddler with too many directions – Allow things to unfold naturally.

3. Set the mood with a positive attitude and keep it fun and fluid.
4. Photograph your toddler doing something he or she enjoys. It is sure to be a memory you’ll want to look back on.

5. Be realistic with your expectations and shoot in spurts.
6. No cheese, please. Forcing your child to smile often leads to frustration and awkward expressions. Remember to capture your toddler in all of their moods.

7. Follow their cues to maintain interest and avoid meltdowns.
8. Keep your toddler engaged by playing games or singing songs.
9. Say or do something silly. Placing some random object on my head almost always gets a laugh.

10. Use team work! Let the person behind the camera focus on taking the picture while the other keeps the toddler engaged.
11. Grab their attention by exaggerating your voice and movements but be careful not to overdo it.
12. If your toddler begins to lose interest, try a change of scenery or take a break. Every day is a photo opportunity!
13. Last but not least, remember to jump in on some of the photos. Who doesn’t love seeing baby pictures of themselves with their parents? Learn how to use the timer function on your camera or look into purchasing a wireless remote controller and partake in the family fun without having to run back and forth to reset your timer.”


SF, LA & NYC GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Families living in the San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City areas are eligible to win one Bug and Bean Photography Mini Print Session which includes a 30 minute on location session, (3) 8×10’s and (5) 5×7 prints, a $550 value. Also, any readers that mention Project Nursery and book a Spring mini session in LA March 12+13 and SF March 26+27 will receive an extra 5×7 brag book with their session. Mini session availability is limited.

Enter by commenting with your biggest photography challenge or let us know why you’d like to have Nancy come photograph your family. Contest ends March 11th, 2011 at 11:59 PST.


1. “Like” both Project Nursery and Bug and Bean Photography on Facebook and tell us you did with a comment below.

2. Follow Project Nursery and Bug and Bean Photography on Twitter, tweet about it and tell us you did with a comment below.

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Friday 11th of March 2011

I am a subscriber!


Friday 11th of March 2011

Our biggest challenge has been getting a session set up! We have tried doing our own with a tri-pod/timer....what a mess! We would love to have Nancy do our first "true" family photo session since our little man arrived 16 months ago today!


Friday 11th of March 2011

I subscribed to your newsletter and liked on FB. My currently biggest challenge is that I'm never in the pictures because my husband won't take any! :) I would most like to capture my son's fantastic giggle.

Danielle from A Few of My Favorite Things

Friday 11th of March 2011

I subscribe to your newsletter.

Danielle from A Few of My Favorite Things

Friday 11th of March 2011

I follow you both on Twitter (@AFOMFT).