The secret to photographing toddlers isn’t in a fast shutter speed. It’s not about your ISO or what type of lens you have. The secret to getting the best photos of a wiggly and FAST toddler is to work with them instead of against them.
I learned a long time ago that you cannot make a baby, toddler or child do something they don’t want to do during a photo session. I learned that you must make your idea their idea and run with it. Sometimes this shows up in the form of manipulating the situation. If I see a little one that enjoys pushing the limits, I might tell them…you better not smile at me. Or I’m going to come get you!
And if a toddler just want to move, we MOVE. I will have parents swing them until I count down to a pause so I can take the photo. I will have one parent chase them into the arms of another parent.
Whatever your method, just remember to make all the energy work to your advantage. Making a wiggly toddler sit still is a fool’s errand. Use all that energy to play hide and seek, so you get the biggest most authentic smile when you find them.
And for more fast and furious toddlers, check out this guy’s session at the beach.