Toddler Photography (Toddler Lessons: Part Seven)

fotagrafin-263381_1280Welcome to Part Seven of the Toddler Lessons series, where we will be looking at toddler photographic techniques.

1. Subject Matter

When you find a subject that works, such as a knee, stick with it. Take three million identical photos of the knee. Do not mess with a winning formula. The aim should be to create a series of photographs that would work as a flick book. A really dull one. A flick book of a day in the life of a knee.

Controversy sells, and it therefore pays to be as inappropriate as possible with your subject matter. Extreme close ups of family members’ breasts and crotches are ideal.

2. Composition

It is important to have an interesting and unusual viewpoint, as these add intrigue to a photograph. Photographs taken whilst face down on the carpet are perfect examples of this.

Correct placement of the main subject of the photograph is important. Achieving the right balance between different elements can be tricky. The simplest method, as advocated by toddler photographers, is to miss the subject of the photograph out altogether, thus negating the need for balance.

Plain and unobtrusive backgrounds are very important in photography, in order to avoid detracting from the main subject matter. So important are such backgrounds that, should a nice plain piece of wall be located, it should probably be photographed alone. Avoid detracting from the plain and unobtrusive background with any subject matter.

3. Motion

Capturing motion in photographs is a difficult skill. Toddler photographers recommend approaching it with the utmost zeal and commitment to the idea of motion: ensure that the subject, photographer and camera are all moving as much as possible.

4. Flash

The use of flash should be as startling as possible, particularly to the photographer.

5. Focus

This should be either entirely lacking or completely bizarre. Think out of focus family with crystal clear raisin box on coffee table.

6. Filters

Filters placed in front of the camera lens to modify and subtly alter the image are frequently used by toddler photographers. The most popular toddler photographic filter is known as ‘the finger’. ‘The finger’ subtly modifies images so that they display a subtle hint of finger.

7. Special Effects

These should be applied completely randomly, with no thought for aesthetics. A sepia toned radiator gives a vintage look to modern central heating. A bin with artfully blurred edges is always a winning composition.

8. Exhibitions

Every good photographer needs an exhibit. ‘Study in Patch of Beige Carpet’ should do it.

9. Panoramic Photography

Panoramic photography is so last year. Toddler photographers in the know now practice twirloramic photography. Twirloramic photography is a technique involving the spinning of a camera in a circle in order to capture a 360 degree image. The effect is widely admired as ‘dizzying’, ‘vomit-inducing’ and ‘blurry’.

10. Water Drop Photography

Some absurdly clueless adult photographers believe this is taking photographs of drops of water. Toddler photographers smugly mock this ignorance, whilst following the correct technique of dropping the camera in water.


(Please Note: As always, neither I nor toddlers know much about this subject. Please do not drop a camera in water.)

You can see other posts in my Toddler Lessons series here

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  1. Linda Hobden says:

    Reminds me of when my youngest son was 3, ill with chicken pox he got bored. He decided to “borrow” my iPhone to take pictures of his chicken pox spots – face close ups, body pics … you name it. So hilarious but, 6 years later, they are still saved on my phone – sweet memories I can’t bear to erase ?

  2. Eric says:

    I think it’s great fun to hand the phone to the kids and watch them take selfies. They certainly aren’t shy about it! Hilarious tips here!

  3. Alicia Owen says:

    lol So funny! We have let our 3 year old play with an old digital camera and my mom’s phone before. She actually takes some surprisingly good photos! There is the occasional random subject matter, though. πŸ˜‰

  4. Haha yes, brilliant! This gave me a good chuckle. My daughter used to love getting my camera and taking hundreds of close up photos of her face. Some of them were quite sinister looking really!

  5. Bad Dadu says:

    My friend found his phone after his two sons had got hold of it. There were a series of photos taken by one son of his younger brother. The photos work in flickbook style of the child pondering what pose to strike, turning around and then taking his trousers down and pulling a moonie! #KCACOLS

  6. Sarah says:

    I am a particular fan of the toddler selfie, wondering why my phone has no memory only to discover 273 pictures of my child’s nostrils to be the culprit. #KCACOLS

  7. alex says:

    ha ha – hilarious! Especially the twirloramic. My current screen saver on my phone is from when the kids got hold of it and took a selfie, I love it cos it reminds me of their cheeky faces a million times a day (I absolutely definitely do not look at my phone a million times in a day. Ahem) #KCACOLS

  8. Savannah says:

    Hahaha, this is soooo funny! My son hasn’t quite mastered the camera yet, and is still resorting to trying to get my phone to do what he wants by putting it in his mouth and drooling on it. But, we’ll get there eventually πŸ˜› Thanks for the laugh <3 #KCACOLS

  9. We gave our eldest a Frozen camera for her 3rd birthday. She takes it to bed with her and LOVES it. However, she’s got quite good at the point and shoot, and this week took great delight in photographing me NAKED after I’d had a supersonic speedy shower. I didn’t realise for a while then had to gently confiscate it so I could remove all evidence! #KCACOLS

  10. Topfivemum says:

    Love this. My 20m old toddler is a bit too young for our camera yet (big DSLR that is too heavy for even me!) but given that she ends up with it in her face often enough, I think it’s only right I introduce her to world of photography.

    We’ve recently taken to Snapchat together on my phone and she loves that, so I’m going to try and get her involved in taking photos and videos herself. Let’s see what fun pics we end up with. #KCACOLS

  11. Jo Sandelson says:

    Sounds like you’ve looked in our photo album especially the finger ones. We have loads of blurred feet and some cyclops eyes from special effects. Generations to come will wonder what species our family were. Jo #KCACOLS

  12. The Pramshed says:

    I find it so difficult to take a picture of my 11 month old, she know to look away when the camera comes out and not to smile. She’s a diva already, who knows what she’ll be like in years to come. Claire #KCACOLS

  13. This is so true, it was making me giggle. Leave out the subject matter, ha, yes! When my kids were toddlers we had to pay for their bloody awful rolls of camera film to be developed and then open the envelope with intrepidation, only to find 24 blurry photos with no content! Ah memories πŸ™‚ Alison x #KCACOLS

  14. Ah my little girl is only one and already a fan of the selfie and knows how to swipe across…mind-blowing! Very funny post, I find the motion aspect of it the hardest as she literally does not stand still πŸ˜‰ #fabfridaypost

  15. My son is just developing his love of photography, or ‘a cheese!’ as he puts it! He is a big believer in The Finger, and also specialises in particularly unflattering shots up my nose! I look forward to seeing him branch out into more experimental techniques soon πŸ™‚ #KCACOLS

  16. Amanda says:

    An amusing post, thanks for sharing. Especially ‘that beige patch’ that is so interesting to photograph! πŸ˜‰ The kids in my school love the toy camera’s, most don’t have film in. But they also love taking photos with the ipad too.
    Amanda. #kcacols

  17. Ali Duke says:

    This really made me smile. Kids photos are always obscure, maybe they have an artistic eye that we don’t lol. My daughter is 11 and I find selfies of her on my phone all the time, right little diva she is πŸ˜‰

  18. Veronica Lee says:

    When my son was in pre-school, he appointed himself as the official photographer when a vet was to visit the school with some rabbits. He even brought along a tripod for the camera. All the pics of the vet and the rabbits turned out pretty well except that the vet had no head! My son wasn’t tall enough to look through the view finder! LOL!


  19. Loved this so much! The Kid does this with my phone all the darn time! Wether it’s a hundred pictures of half her face or of my toes I always find my phone fall of the most dull (and black and white for some reason) pictures! Anyway fav post love your humour! #KCACOLS

  20. Michelle says:

    My 9 year old has been stealing my phone and taking pictures since he was a toddler. I have to say, they have improved but not by much, lol! Popping over from #anythinggoes

  21. I can not stop laughing, I have tears, oh my gosh how do you do it! You are brilliant, seriously hilarious. I love the ending to they would just drop it in the water! I often find a heap of pics my 6 year old has taken on my phone without me knowing they are always so funny and weird. #Kcacols

  22. wendy says:

    Haha, did our toddlers take the same photography course?!I would add, strange facial expressions are a necessity of the photographer to be able to take the perfect boy always has a grimace look on his face while he’s looking through a camera!xx #anythinggoes

  23. Haa Haa! #nailed it on 2 accounts..
    1- toddler nailed it as abstract photographer
    2- Mum nailed it with spot on analysis of art loving toddler photography technique!
    Brilliant! #picknmix

  24. Emma says:

    my photos never look pinterest perfect -they typically involve most of the above haha! instead of the finger, I typically get the random photo where the camera has still been on and I’ve accidentally clicked away. we’ve had pram wheels, the potty, shoes and whatnot #KCACOLS

  25. Laura says:

    Brilliant! Love “the finger.” I often wonder why my phone memory is full only to find 500 pictures of the back of a bus seat etc X #kcacols

  26. Davina says:

    This is so true! My MIL is daft enough to let O play with her phone quite a lot and, as a result, has about 3 million photographs of his stuffed rabbit, Bab Bab. Bab Bab on the floor. Bab Bab on the sofa. Bab Bab’s paw sticking out from under the table. EXTREME CLOSE-UP OF BAB BAB’S FACE. You get the idea. I bet Bab Bab reckons he’s a model. #KCACOLS

  27. I like the idea of Twirloramic photography. I think I will try spinning my camera around within out me involving the β€˜dizzying’, β€˜vomit-inducing’ and β€˜blurry’ techniques though – that would be too much to bare. lol! Thank you so much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost x

  28. Ooo I haven’t let my son loose with a camera yet! I like the incredibly boring flip-book…to be fair I think I achieve that sometimes! And the adding intrigue with composition is really funny. All those pesky subject matters disturbing the balance! #KCACOLS (psst…nominated, good luck!!)

  29. Very accurate and in-depth description of toddler photography! My toddler is working on an occasional and ongoing series of photos called “Study in black”. Unfortunately for her, I delete them from the iPad whenever I come across them!

  30. Oh your posts truly make me laugh! My 5 year old takes pictures of things and when we come to look back on them she has no idea what it is lol! My 11 year old went on a school residential and took a disposable camera, the first few where of the coach floor because she couldn’t work out how to use it! #KCACOLS

  31. I love this viewpoint, I also love it when my kids go into meltdown if I try and take the camera away from them and they stomp of banging it on the doorframe as they go…nice!

    mainy – myrealfairy


  32. Tammymum says:

    Yes I do believe my toddler has been to the same school of photography as yours have. Genius artistic shots eh, door frames are a particular specialty for my little one! #KCACOLS

  33. Love this – Study in Patch of Beige Carpet describes Jessica’s favourite photography subject beautifully, closely followed by endless photos of the TV. We have a few funny filters on her camera so most photos end up becoming faces for strange disco dancing cartoon people. Very abstract! Glad to hear that the Toddler is showing a similar talent for abstract photography! πŸ™‚

  34. Kerry says:

    This made me chuckle, my 4yo daughter loves to take a selfie on my phone, so much so she toke over 50 yesterday of her and her brother ? #KCACOLS

  35. Kerry Norris says:

    Haha this is brilliant. My daughter loves taking photos. We bought her a little camera when her sister was born x

  36. Oh this is just brilliant! I often open my gallery to find a billion photos of ‘Left Nostril’ and in our house a popular lens effect seems to be ‘greasy blur’ from a finger swipe across the back of my phone. Nice!

  37. Haha! This is brilliant! I particularly like the important lesson regarding the the flash πŸ™‚
    My 6 year old is getting more interested in photography, and recent results included her foot and my chin (not in the same pic I should add). They were perfectly in focus though…. Thanks for a great post! Kathy xx #KCACOLS

  38. Oh my gosh, yes! My toddler is forever taking a gazillion photos of the same thing! Although, I have to say, she managed to comandeer my iPhone earlier in the week and actually took photos of lots of different things. Usually I am treated to 100 close ups of her face, or more accurately, a part of her face so this was quite a treat πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing this on #MarvMondays. Emily

  39. Ellen says:

    Ahaha brilliant. I think most of these could also apply to my parents though, especially the finger! My son is still at the attempting to hit the phone/camera stage currently. #bigpinklink

  40. My phone is currently filled with around 712 pictures of my daughter’s left nostril. She is clearly a genius in the making… Love it! Number 3 and then number 4 made my cheeks hurt! πŸ˜‰ x

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