Chances are if you have a toddler you know how hard it can be to get your whole family in a photo, let alone happily existing together in a photo! 😜 This is where Flytographer comes in: our amazing team of professional photographers knows their way around toddler adventures, so finding a photographer that is a just-right fit for your crew can make family pictures a breeze, and maybe even make them a highlight of your trip! 👏 We’ll give you family photo ideas with toddlers that will be the best match for your family, and hopefully exceed your goals. 📸
Although most everyone books a family photo session with the goal of nailing stunning family portraits (especially for that elusive holiday card!), it’s important to remember that this season of toddlerhood means constant movement and short attention spans. The trick with toddlers during your family photoshoot is to match their energy! Capturing candid moments, adjusting expectations of perfection, and embracing this season in life are critical tools that lead to a successful family photoshoot. Freezing moments of real-life will provide images you’ll look back on and smile at for years to come. Especially when it comes to travel photography, candid shots can’t be beaten, and beautiful family portraits (including those amazing candid photos) are possible, so we’re going to help by sharing some pose ideas to make for a successful shoot. 💕
Are your little ones actually babies still or already kids and teenagers? We made guides for them too! 👼🏼
Photo: Natalie in Honolulu for Flytographer. Coreeliza and family capture their unforgettable family trip in Honolulu at Kualoa Beach with a family photoshoot.
Pose Idea #1: Monkey in the Middle
One of the best ways to capture an energetic toddler is to make them the centre of attention! Oftentimes toddlers are comfortable in front of the camera, but sometimes they are not. 🙈 Surrounding your toddler with family members makes them feel at ease and will lead to more natural interactions, and in turn, more natural images! This “monkey in the middle” pose also works whether you’re sitting, standing, running, swinging, or jumping (more on some of these below), so put that toddler front and centre! Get in close for a family cuddle, and add a tickle or two for some of those silly candid shots with big toddler grins. Just like those baby years that flew by, these fickle toddler years will too, so enjoy this time to be together celebrating all your moments together as a family thus-far.
Photo: Vito in Venice for Flytographer. Lisette and family capture their trip to Venice with a family photoshoot.
Pose Idea #2: Leapfrog
There isn’t a toddler we’ve met that doesn’t love this classic leapfrog move! 🐸 You know the one: grown-ups on the outside, little one in the middle, bouncing and/or swinging from one step to the next. It’s a literal fact that grown-ups tire out on this pose long before toddlers do! Leapfrog is a great one for crosswalks, steps, and more, especially when you’re trying to capture the incredible architecture behind you. It’s easy to do both from a distance or close-up and is a sure-fire way to get beautiful, natural smiles for all parties involved. Get your strong arms ready!💪
Photo: Camilla in Florence for Flytographer. Shameem and family celebrate their trip to Florence with a family photoshoot.
Pose Idea #3: Jump for Joy
In need of a little wiggle break? Jump for joy! 🤸🏽♀️ Jumping is an awesome activity for restless toddlers and older siblings alike. If you have a large family or are part of a bigger group, we recommend adults standing on the outside and doing a few non-jumping shots while the rest of the crew jumps away, just to make sure the photos are flattering for everyone. Jumping with a large group can be a hysterical event in and of itself (#timing), so if it’s feeling too overwhelming to get everyone in the air at the same time, leave the jumps to the kids with endless energy (who also happen to not be wearing heels, possibly like some of the grown-ups)!
Photography tip: the best jumping photos of people with longer hair are almost always on the up-jump, so keep that in mind when you’re bouncing! Hair and dresses will fly around! Everyone can jump in place or utilize a small step or ledge to step/jump off. Another tip for the best family photo ideas with toddlers is to place them on the step and have grown-ups hold on to their hands to help them make that little jump down feel not so epic, and to avoid falls that lead to tears! If you have multiple little kids, make sure they’re not holding hands when they jump because it often leads to spills (and spills lead to tears … you see where we’re going with this 😬).
Photo: Nadine in Amsterdam for Flytographer. Rebecca and family capture their fun memories in Amsterdam with a family photoshoot.
Pose Idea #4: Animal Race
The animal race is a favourite with young children — for some reason, running usually seems off-limits, but in this case, it’s a perfect surprise for energy-filled toddlers! (There has rarely been a time a photographer has announced, “Who wants to race!?” and the kids involved didn’t erupt in cheers of joy.) It’s also another great way to frame iconic backdrops. It’s important for this one to embody the identity of the perfect animal: for bigger kids, go with a slower animal like a turtle. 🐢 For littler kids, you can go with something speedy like a cheetah! 🐆 Your Flytographer will position themselves a bit in front of the group and when they say, “Go!” everyone will make their way towards the camera. (Don’t worry, you can do a few takes for this one, and roll through your silly animal categories for even more laughs. Letting kids choose their animals is another fun way to make them feel special. And fast!) Take turns racing with your hands held or separated (being mindful of older siblings who may run with more gusto than smaller siblings). If kids are particularly fast, or if you have a large family, don’t forget to have parents stay still and hold hands in the background! They’ll appreciate the break anyway.😉
Photo: Monica in Cancun for Flytographer. Angel and family enjoy their fun in the sun on their trip to Cancun with a family photoshoot.
Pose Idea #5: “I Spy with My Little Eye!”
After all that escaped energy, it’s critical to get some shots with down time. Family photo ideas with toddlers are all about fun and distraction, so don’t forget to change it up! Sometimes the best way to get everyone to slow down and focus on the present is with a game of “I Spy.” 👀 This can be played standing or sitting, and works really well once your Flytographer gets everyone into a cozy, cute pose (great time for that classic family portrait shot!). “I spy with my little eye…” can be used to spot anything big or small, and is incredibly adaptable for toddlers, big siblings, parents, grandparents, and more. It helps take the focus off the camera and on to the surroundings for a bit, resetting and recalibrating the whole family.
Photography tip: you can use your Flytographer as the subject for “I spy!” Utilize something your photographer may be wearing, holding, etc., to get all eyeballs on the camera and all smiles on faces as everyone tries to guess! 🎉
Photo: Coo and Yurika in Tokyo for Flytographer. Emil and family capture their trip to Tokyo with a family photoshoot.
Best Time of Day
Most people want iconic golden hour photos, but remember, remember, remember: you know your kids best! We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we know who is boss on photoshoots, and it’s not us. Toddlers are happiest when they’re rested 🥱 and fed 🍽 so keep that in mind when it comes to your shoot start time. Consult with your Flytographer to choose a route that flatters the time of day when your crew is happiest, because no matter how beautiful the sunrise may be, happy toddlers (and in turn, happy parents) always make for a better experience.😊 Natural light and happy kids are a delightful duo that always leads to really great photos.
Photography tip: For all of these best family photo ideas with toddlers – mornings are most often cooler than later in the day, so if you’re in a colder climate or colder season, it’s usually best not to schedule shoots with toddlers or kids early in the day when this can negatively impact their mood (also leading to an increase in snotty noses!). In warmer climates, mornings can be more pleasant than the heat of the day/evening.
Maybe the best tip for family pictures with a toddler: try and relax. Chances are, there may be some tears, and that’s ok! Don’t let a possible meltdown fluster you. Take a moment to regroup, reset, and try to have fun. If your little one needs a rest break, let them! It’s a great opportunity for parents to get some photos together with each other (or with other siblings), and most often, being ignored for a bit makes toddlers curious to get back in the action. The best way to ensure natural smiles and reactions is to enjoy the moment. So relax and have fun! 😎
Photo: Olga in Paris for Flytographer. Katherine and family enjoy a stroll as they capture memories in Paris at the Trocadéro with a family photoshoot.
How to Use the Photos
Aside from the awesomeness that is sharing your images on social media, don’t forget that photos can be used in so many other ways off the screen! Flytographer shoots make ideal souvenirs (and are maybe the only souviniers that don’t elicit stress when you’re packing for your return flight home!). Photos are perfect keepsakes, whether they are printed in the form of photo books, prints, and holiday or Christmas cards. We’re all about multitasking, so take advantage of the many uses for your pics post-shoot.
Photo: Mary in Destin for Flytographer. Elizabeth and family capture their family trip to Destin with a family photoshoot.
Location & Activity Ideas
Use our professional photographers’ expertise to make your life easier! They know the areas and local circumstances best, and are familiar with situations and settings for the best family photo ideas with toddlers. The more photos are an experience to enjoy while you’re on vacation, the less they’ll feel like a challenge, and the more everyone will want to repeat the process for future trips! 😅
Photography tip: Not sure what to wear? Some helpful outfit ideas and recommendations for photos with your toddler are to keep in mind the environment and activity level of your toddler. Wearing flat/comfortable shoes helps you keep up, and choosing forgiving styles and colour schemes in case you get down on the (dirty) ground will help you feel a little more at ease with whatever comes your way. Anticipate movement, and be prepared.
Photo: Silvia in Amsterdam for Flytographer. Atiqah and family adventure around Amsterdam on their family photoshoot.
Family photo ideas with toddlers
Parenting through toddler years can be an immersive, all-encompassing experience. Raising kiddos is no joke and travelling with toddlers is a feat in and of itself, but the memories created and experiences shared are cherished forever. After the laundry is done and the jet lag is cured, photos of your travels together will tell tales of the adventures braved with your toddler.
Remember to save these tricks and photography tips for your next shoot, and keep following along for more posing and family photoshoot ideas! 👍
Don’t forget to check out our ultimate guide for your family photoshoot! 📸
“Jenn was fabulous! I knew that trying to capture family photos with a 2.5 year old and an 11 month old wasn’t going to be easy, but Jenn was so patient, kind and a true professional. She even arrived with some bubbles and little toys to keep our toddler engaged! We loved the evening playing in the sand and splashing in the waves and the photos are fabulous.”
“I booked Ramon & Sonia for a family photo shoot. This was our first vacation with our 7 month old and I wanted to get actual family photos that weren’t selfies. Both Ramon and Sonia were so nice and helpful the entire hour we spent with them. I cannot say enough great things about the entire experience. Thank you so so much for capturing such a great memories for my family!”
“Karen was amazing! She was also very sweet and patient with my 2 & 4 year old. She scoped out great areas around our rental property and really captured exactly what I was looking for.”