Photographing the “Terrible Twos”
What do you do when the terrible twos strike in the middle of your photo session? You make do, that’s what you do.
I had the opportunity to photograph a beautiful family. Mama and Daddy are so easy to photograph and their smiles could light a room. Their son, age two, is really a cutie pie, but he’s two. What does this mean?
It means he wants to go right when you want him to go left.
He wants to cry when you say smile.
He won’t look at you when mama and daddy are ready, but the minute mama or daddy looks at away, he looks at you, but still a smile is very rare.
When you want him to sit, he stands, when you want him still, he runs away.
This is nothing new with a child of two, but trying to get a photo, together, when the terrible twos are in full swing, is a challenge. So what do you do as a photographer?
You bring props, and if necessary, sugar and bribery are always a good thing. In this photo shoot, I brought a little pumpkin I thought he could hold which he kept returning to me,
a light saber that he ended up throwing,
a small truck which also became a missile,
and a punch balloon which popped.
All out of props, I reached in my pocket and pulled out my TicTacs. Oh, they worked. We popped one in his mouth, then threw them so he’d chase the box and find it. Mama and daddy were faster and would get into position. If things worked, they would turn around and “snap” I’d get a photo.
But there was more running to do.
That’s when we saw the bench in the field. We moved it under a tree and were lucky to get a few nice, quick shot in. I made him smile by tossing the TicTacs in the air. Silly, I know, but ya got to be to get their attention. It helps that I think the terrible twos were getting very sleepy.
One more quick location, and a plane flew by… oohs and ahs and “snap” it worked. He didn’t smile here, but it’s really a touching moment.
So there you go; plan to bring props, candy and just roll with the flow. I started out trying to use off camera flash but he wouldn’t stay still long enough to use it on the beach so I positioned the family in the sun. By the time we got to the field, I knew off camera just wasn’t going to work, so I put my falsh directly on the camera. I was using a 70-200 lens and set the flash range for about mid way. I used a diffuser but pointed the light directly at them. Luckily, his energy started to wane, and I was able to do the bench and fence photos with the off camera flash.
All in all, I was able to get a few very nice photos, you just have to have patience and go with what the two year old directs.