Today’s post is a subject near and dear to my heart…. photographing toddlers!

Toddlers can be tricky to photograph, but having 3 crazy boys ages 5, 3, and 1, I have learned a few tips and tricks that have helped me along the way.  Super big thanks to Johnny Banana Co for sponsoring this blog post, and be sure to check out all the amazing outfits!  Use our discount code, MILLERNANA, at checkout to save!

Shop the look: Navy and Scarlet Track Suit by Johnny Banana Co.


 Tip One: Turn some music on, and DANCE!

Let’s just start this off with what is my tried and true method – getting fun and silly and just dancing!  My kids just love to be moving and shaking, and it brings out the genuine smiles instead of the “smile-grimace” – so put some music on and dance along with them!  We try to keep things upbeat and fun, so when they hear we are taking some photos they are excited and not dreading it.

Shop the look: Onyx High Low Tee by Johnny Banana Co. Pink Crush Hat by Jax & Ford


Tip Two: Jump, jump, jump

In keeping with the trend of moving and shaking, kids also really love to jump!  Jumping photos can be so much fun, and every time my kiddos jump they always have a big, genuine smile afterwards.  Just remember to up that shutter speed so you get a nice crisp shot (unless you are intentionally going for more of a movement/blur type photo).

Shop the look: Ruby High Low Tee by Johnny Banana Co. Plaid Pants by Posh Kiddos


Tip Three: Run!

Have your kiddo start far away from you and run directly towards you – I’ve never seen such big smiles as when I get Andy to run as fast as he can!  You’ll definitely want a high shutter speed for this one.  I also up my aperture to the 3 – 5 range just to make sure I get him in focus, since it can be tough to perfectly focus on his eyes when he’s racing towards me.

Shop the look: Bright Purple Track Suit by Johnny Banana Co. 


Tip Four: Simon Says

When you tell a toddler to smile, they don’t always listen.  Is it just me?? haha.  So make it into a game instead!  Simon says, tap your belly.  Simon says, put your hands on your hips.  Simon says, stick out your tongue.  And play along with them!  When you make a mistake, it always brings out cute laughs and smiles.  Get silly with it!  Simon says, shake your booty!


Tip Five: Distractions

This works extremely well to get them to look at the camera!  Fart noises, silly sounds, shaking toys – nothing is off limits to get them to glance up at the camera.  The sillier the noises, the bigger the smiles!

Shop the look: Coral Raw Hoodie and Blue Pixel Pants by Johnny Banana Co.

Tip Six: Break out the bribes

Lollipops, gummy bears… enough said!!  Last resort, go for the bribe.  My kids are all smiles when you hand them a lollipop.  Or put some gummy bears in their pocket and they are bound to put their hand in their pocket for a cute picture to fish one out 🙂


Tip Seven: Cut your losses, and cut off their heads (just in the picture :P)

Kiddos aren’t having it today?  But they are all dressed up and looking adorable?  Go for the detail shots!  You can’t tell if you have a grumpy kiddo if you’re taking a closeup pic of the outfit!

Shop the look: Blue Emoji shorts by Johnny Banana Co. Mustard Biker Tee by Posh Kiddos.

I hope these tips were helpful, and enjoy taking all the pics of your little ones!

xo Nikki



About Johnny Banana Co

Johnny Banana Co is a modern clothing brand based in Chicago, IL founded by model and mama of two, Birgit DeVae. My motivation for starting the company was from my inability to find modern and unique clothes for Johnny, my oldest son, when he was a baby. It seemed like everything was covered in cheesy sayings or googly eyes and it was so hard to find simple and fun clothing that fit his joyful, energetic personality. I come from a modeling and fashion background and have known how to sew since I was a kid so decided to create what I was unable to find.
My mission is to design and make clothes that stand out and allow kids (and adults!) to show off their unique and beautiful personalities while also being extremely comfortable and durable. The clothes aim to empower kids to look and feel hip but not be hindered from exploring the world and doing things like rolling around in the dirt if they so choose.
Every item is designed by me and proudly made from the highest quality materials and construction in Chicago, IL USA. I am so pleased to share my heart and soul with you and your precious little ones and hope to bring joy, self expression, and pride to your closet.


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