Sunday, August 10, 2014

How Not to Do a Toddler Photo Shoot

I've learned a few things from our last toddler photo shoot:

1. As cute as it seems in your head, if your just-barely-turned-2-yr-old is not a cooperative poser, there's no way he'll hold a picture of his sibling's ultrasound in view of the camera while smiling.

2. If you ignore my advice (like I ignored the little voice in my head, e.g. my husband), and say: "eh, we'll make it work," whatever you do, do not, I repeat, do not take said 2-yr-old to a playground for the photo shoot. A soon as your toddler sees a set of swings or a slide, he will beeline there, and no amount of snacks, bribing, and/or cajoling will  make him interested in getting his picture taken.

3. Letting him play for a bit to "get it out of his system" won't work, either. Because, remember, he's a toddler. And toddlers have infinite tolerance for swinging on the swing and sliding down the slide. Dragging him away from his idea of paradise will only result in toddler fury.

4. If you're thinking "hey, I'll just get a picture of him while he's trapped on the swing," think again. He may cooperate and hold the ultrasound picture in view of the camera, but he's not going to be happy about a motionless swing.

5. After about 90 minutes on the playground, let's say you do manage to pull him away without a tantrum. You won't get that picture anyway because the stream running next to the playground is just too darn interesting.

6. You could try throwing Daddy into the picture, even though he's wearing exercise shorts and a t-shirt that doesn't match, to get a picture of "the boys," but now you have no one to help focus your toddler on your smartphone while you attempt a steady shot. Even if you kind of manage to get a decent picture, when you get home you'll realize it's got some funky lighting.

6. Okay, by now you're desperate, but you've finally managed to get your toddler to forget about the playground and the stream, and he just might be ready to go solo for a few snapshots. He may smile for the camera (it helps if you tell him you're going to Cafe Rio for lunch), but unless you put that ultrasound in a picture frame (which you have not), there's no way anyone's going to be able to tell you're toddler is holding the picture of an ultrasound.

Here he's yelling "Caf-Io!" (Cafe Rio)
 7. It's okay to give up now.