mum holding toddler in flower field having family photos taken in adelaide sunflower field.

Shimmering Pines Farm: The Secret To Magical Photos of Toddlers

5 tips for preparing your toddler for family portrait session

So you love sunflowers, and you want to book a family portrait session with a fabulous photographer at Shimmering Pines Farm (I hope that’s me!) and now you are wondering what next? Here is my portrait guide with some tips to planning and getting awesome family photos during the photo session for your family.

Mummy & me session in a dreamy sunflower farm

1. location, location, location!

Planning the perfect location for your family portraits can feel daunting.  I usually suggest to my clients to pick a location that has some meaning to them. I have a set of locations I shoot at because I know those locations have amazing light, and we will not get in trouble for shooting there. Shimmering Pines Farm’s owner Jane has given Hikari Lifestyle Photography exclusive permission to shoot on her farm during the sunflower festival.

Shimmering Pines Farm Sunflowers: perfect family portrait location

adorable 1 year old holding a sunflower having family photos taken in adelaide sunflower farm

You may not realise a lot of public places are not suitable for photography as they can be private land or there are council rules in place. When you come on a family photoshoot with me you will never be expected to scout – I will endeavour to find the best location for you. Beach, flower field, medieval castles… you name it!

2. wardrobe selection

It may seem obvious, but dressing appropriately for the weather/ season is so important when it comes to family sessions. If you kiddo is too cold or too hot – they will be unhappy. If they are made to wear uncomfortable shoes, they will be unhappy. When kids’ basic needs are not met, they get cranky. These things are easily avoidable with a bit of planning ahead of our session.

When you book with me, I will guide you on what outfits to wear, and what compliments the sunflowers and my photography best. With my style guide: ‘6 Simple Steps to Picture-Perfect Family Photos’ – you are never going to feel like you are alone in planning this, because I am here to guide you through every step along the way. I always suggest planning your family’s outfits well in advance of your session.  You do not want to feel stressed in the days leading up to your portraits because you don’t know what you are going to wear.

Don’t match, coordinate!

I suggest coordinating your outfits instead of matching entirely.  You can mix solids with pattern for example but try and stick to similar colour families.  Think neutral tones, pastels.  Whatever you select, make sure you feel comfortable in it and you won’t be worried about things like your blouse being too low cut or your dress/skirt being too short. 

Bring a spare outfit for kiddo in case it gets dirty during our session.

It’s also good to think about what you plan to do with your images.  Will you be displaying them on a wall in your house? Perhaps then you’d like to compliment the colour palette in your home.  

Cute one year old toddler playing ring around rosie with mum in sunflower farm SA.

3. Plan your time well

I recommend giving toddlers time to nap before our session. Napping is so important because a sleepy toddler is a cranky toddler. Try and make sure their day isn’t super jam packed with activities on the day of photoshoot.

Make sure to leave extra time for yourself in the day if you plan on getting hair and makeup done.  Schedule time for everyone to get dressed.  The less rushed you are the more relaxed you will feel coming to your session.

Because I shoot during sunset hours only, being late for your session unfortunately means less shooting time and less photos.

4. Feed everyone, bring snacks

Let’s face it, snacks are so handy when it comes to little kids. Some snacks are better than others. Try and select snacks that aren’t messy or sticky such as: crackers, plain biscuits, cheese cubes, fruits such as blueberries, grapes. Leave the lollipops, chocolate and anything that takes a long time to eat until after your session. Like I’ve said, meeting kids’ basic needs is sometimes all it is to happy smiley faces. People overlook small things like this

5. Play with them

Mum & Dad, you have only one job when it comes to family photographs: Make your kiddo laugh!

Tip them upside down, fly them in the air, swing them around — incorporating motion into the session is how we get candid, happy emotions from toddlers. That is all – this is my secret sauce.

I always ask parents to show me how they play on a Sunday afternoon for instance. I sometimes also play music during the session to get a boogie dance from toddlers or we sing together. Family photoshoots are meant to be FUN. At least with me it is!

Blue eyed blonde toddler having family pictures taken at shimmering pines sunflower festival in adelaide.

Ready for your sunflower family session at Shimmering Pines Farm this year?

Get the first dibs on the tickets by visiting their website!

I will only be doing this over ONE weekend in summer and there will only be a handful of spots available. Get in touch with me NOW to book so you don’t miss out!



Girl in white flowy dress having portraits taken amongst the sunflowers in Shimmering Pines Adelaide.

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