We see so many beautiful artistic and highly styled pregnancy photos online, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s all a bit overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be! Heidi Talic, a Click Love Grow courses grad, prefers more of a lifestyle approach to her maternity sessions, and this one included pictures with a toddler.
So with the help of Heidi and her gorgeous gallery, we came up with 7 easy maternity photoshoot ideas with a toddler! These will provide you with plenty of beautiful, natural moments to capture, and take away the overwhelm…
Heidi says she usually starts on the bed, so the toddler immediately learns she’s a fun camera lady — jumping on the bed, tickles with mum.
Do this only with mum’s permission, and make sure she’s standing close by in case her little one gets a little too close to the edge!
You’ll need a fast shutter speed for this one. We suggest at least 1/800 to freeze that speed of motion.
When shooting maternity pictures with a toddler, things usually get pretty crazy after jumping on the bed, and it’s easy to forget all about the belly. So after you have those shots, move on to some quiet moments being sure to include the belly.
Have them lay down on the bed and get comfortable. Encourage mum to interact with her little one and tell her to ignore the camera. Give these prompts to mom and/or her kid:
Vary your maternity photoshoot with close-ups of laughter, kisses, hands tickling, and wide shots to include that belly. Again, don’t forget the belly!
You can do this anywhere you can find lovely soft light, but the family bed is always a good comfy spot, especially for a tickle fest.
Maternity pictures with kids involve a lot of movement. Show me a toddler who doesn’t like to run, and I’ll show you a sleeping child!
Ask mum to stand at the back so you can capture her (and her belly) in the distance. This also means she can hold her little one until you’re ready to start shooting.
You’ll need a fast shutter speed of around 1/800. You’ll also need to use a continuous focus mode so that your camera will track the movement of your subject, and refocus each time it moves out of your focus point.
If you’re not sure how to use continuous focus mode, we’ve included a mini-tutorial at the end of this post.
Once you’re ready to start shooting, call ready, set, go! This shooting mode can be tricky to nail focus, so be prepared to have a few runs at it. I’m sure the children will love it.
Related: 12 Tips for Photographing Toddlers
Taking photos in the nursery is a cute way to convey the excitement of preparing for the new baby’s arrival.
To vary your wide shots, try shooting around the doorway. It gives a peeking in feel, which is a great way to convey intimacy.
Related: Lifestyle Photo Ideas with a Toddler
For gorgeous maternity pictures with a toddler, you can also introduce a quiet activity such as reading with mum and capturing their connection through those intimate moments. As a bonus, this is an easy way to keep a busy toddler in place.
Vary your frames and perspectives to get loads of variety in your photos without having to move mum at all.
Try these compositions of the same scene:
You can use these variations on every set-up in this tutorial as a means to get a gallery with huge variety whilst being cohesive.
While you’re at it… if you’ve got that bub’s attention, why wouldn’t you grab some classic portraits? Mum will love you forever!
But rather than trying to pose a toddler (I would love to see anyone try!), they respond better when you engage them with games.
I like to sing the wrong words to their favourite songs, this works really well to draw out natural laughter. Also, try silly statements such as “where’s your nose? Is it… in your foot? Is it…in your ear?” This also elicits candid smiles.
Related: 10 Ways to Get Real Smiles from Kids
This shot is beautiful, it’s timeless, it says it all…and it’s a great one to include in your maternity pictures with a toddler. Shoot it at the end when she’s tired and ready for some cuddles.
Get a lot of different pics from this one pose simply by taking multiple frames close up and wide, use negative space, and zoom in on details.
As mentioned, you need a fast shutter speed to freeze motion…but how do you keep your subject in focus if it’s moving positions?
It’s all about your auto focus drive mode! Different drive modes tell our camera how we want it to focus (as opposed to where we want it to focus), relative to the type of scene or subject we’re trying to capture.
For example, when we’re photographing something that doesn’t move, we would use “one shot” focus drive mode — this tells the camera to grab focus where we aim and hold it there. If we have a moving subject, we can use a “continuous focus” drive mode which will refocus when our subject moves out of focus.
You need to be in full manual mode for this function to be available to you.
Related: Getting out of Auto Mode
So assuming you’re shooting in full manual mode, change the drive mode on your camera to continuous focus mode. Then switch to high-speed burst mode so that you can take a lot of shots with one press of the shutter button.
If you don’t know how to change your drive mode, check your camera’s user guide to locate the button that controls it. Note that it might be called something else depending on the camera you’re using — i.e., Canon calls it AI-Servo, and Nikon calls it AS-C.
As long as your chosen focus point covers the spot you want to focus on, the camera will recompose every time your subject moves out of focus.
Related: Take Sharp Photos of Moving Subjects
A BIG thank you to Heidi for her contribution and beautifully organic maternity photos with a toddler! Heidi works in and around the Gold Coast in Australia, and you can check her amazing pictures at Heidi Talic Photography.
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