HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY TAKE PICTURES WITH A TODDLER

Okay, so, the title of this blog post was clearly click bait, lol, figured I might as well confess and keep it honest from the jump. Let’s be real, there is no right way to take a pic with a toddler and there is no successful way to take pics with a toddler. For toddlers, it’s a whole new world for them. For Charlee, she just started walking on her birthday and she’s been on the move ever since. She wants to see the world, touch things, taste things, look at everything and do it all over again the next day. She’s curious, she’s energetic, and persistent; I’m sure some of these adjectives fall in line with many toddlers out there.

Look, I have no magical secrets to getting content with my little one, but here are 6 tips for getting what I would consider to be decent, instagramable shots. I’ll be the first to say, I’m no expert, I’m learning as I go, but so far I think things are working and though I’d do a dedicated post sharing some tips and tricks to make pics with your little just a bit easier .

KEEP SNACKS ON HAND

Kiddos, are still growing, which means when they are hungry, they need to eat right away. In Charlee’s case, she eats every few hours. What this means is that when they are hungry your photoshoot is not important, period. I like to make sure Charlee is fed prior to a shoot or has had a hardy meal an hour or so before a shoot and I always keep snacks on deck just in case. In fact, for this shoot, she scarfed down a half a PB&J right before and was happy as a clam and ready to party afterwards.

NAPS ARE ESSENTIAL

Plan your content days with the little one around their nap time. When they are fully rested, you’re more than likely to get better pictures and a kiddo who is more cooperative, full of energy and ready to take some pics. This can be hard sometimes with all of life’s other demands, but a full rested kid will make for a much easier shoot day.

IT’S ALL ABOUT LOCATION

Some little one’s don’t like to be in the car seat a long period of time, so try to plan shoot locations well in advance or shoot closer to where you live. Additionally, pick locations that couple as a fun place for kids to explore and entertain themselves. Those candid shots of them taking in this big new world make for perfect content and it’s even better when it’s a location that is specifically for kids.

KEEP IT CANDID

Sometimes, the best shots are the ones you catch off guard. This polka dot shoot was mostly a liter of candid shots, because Charlee just started walking, she looks down at her feet most of the time. I just embrace that and try to capture pictures of her enjoying this new found skill of hers. Most of the time, Charlee has no clue what’s going on when we are shooting, she just wants to explore the new location and the shots we often capture of her enjoying the new space are always the most enjoyable for me to edit and share with family and friends.

DON’T FORCE IT

Kids are more intuitive than we think. If they see you stressing, they’ll stress too. Just be natural, smile, laugh, play with your kiddo, enjoy the space and help them and join in on exploring the location with them. They want to be free to wander, but they also want you to share in the adventure too. Most of the photoshoots I have with Charlee involve me helping her discover all our shoot locations have to offer. When it’s natural and you’re just spending time with your kiddo, you’ll forget the camera is there and that’s when the real magic happens and you truly get authentic shots I think your audience will enjoy. When you force it, it really will show in the pictures. Have patience with your little one and remember that not every shot will be perfect, but when you’re being yourself and letting your kiddo be themselves, every shot will always be you!

PLAN OUTFITS AHEAD OF TIME

Getting a toddler ready takes a bit of time, getting a toddler ready for a content day takes even more time. I like to get my outfit(s) and Charlee’s outfit(s) out a day or so before the scheduled shoot and I always bring an extra outfit or pieces that can mix and match with what she is wearing just in case she spills food or has an accident. There is nothing worse than having a cute outfit for your little one and then it gets ruined right before it’s time to shoot so with a backup, you’ll always be prepared.

So there is no right answer for how to take perfect pics with your toddler, but I hope my tips are a great way to at least avoid a complete photoshoot disaster. Just remember, no shoot with a little one will be perfect, in fact, it might flop, I’ve had a few of those if I’m being honest, but just know, your kid is learning, growing and exploring and what better way to reimagine the world by learning and growing with them. I always look at content days as an adventure, it’s so rewarding to see Charlee grow and smile and learn about all the new things around her. Shoots are different these days because of it and it only makes motherhood that much more enjoyable. 😃

P.S. big shoutout to Chris Dalton the lovely muralist responsible for this lovely colorful polka dotted walk located in downtown Sanford, NC. Thanks for making Sanford so colorful! 🙂

Till next time.

Sincerely,


Deidra Marie


COLOR ME CHARLEE

There were a lot of first happening this past weekend. Our sweet Charlee turned 1 on Saturday and she started walking! Can you believe it because I’m still in shock that I’ve been momming for 1 year and to put the icing on the cake Charlee is officially walking now! She’s been taking small steps here and there for the past month, but started full blown walking at her birthday celebration. These milestones never get old. My little mom heart is completely full at this point. I don’t think I have room for anymore, LOL 😂.

We threw a big colorful Color Me Charlee birthday bash for her first birthday on Saturday as well, Keep scrolling for a few pics, I’m lying, keep scrolling for 5,000 pics of the big day.

Big shoutout to Kelly Jean Photography for the lovely images. You can find her and all her lovely work on Instagram: @kellyjeanphotographyllc or check her website out at: kellyjeanphotographyllc.com

Stay tuned for some fun upcoming blogpost! Talking about some of my fave Vera Bradley finds and summer to fall transition style tips this September. 😊

Till next time.

Sincerely,

Deidra Marie

Charlee with her strawberry whipped cream churro cake. Yummy 🤤

POSTPARTUM HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Last week was fitness week on my Instagram page, and as promised on a few of my feed post, I’m sharing what’s happening with my postpartum fitness journey and the changes I’ve been making for my own personal health and wellness.

The journey to a healthy, happier me is has been long and I feel like after having a baby, that journey has shifted and changed exponentially. One big reality I’ve had to deal with over the past 8 months has been that I cannot spend as much time as I use to on workouts, additionally, meal prep includes meal prepping for 3 people now that Charlee is eating solids pretty regularly. Lastly, with COVID, I’ve really been making an effort to prioritize mental health above all else. So below is detailed list of things I’m doing that have been slowly transforming my health and wellness journey postpartum also, some truth that I’m still just trying to figure things out.

Current 2021 Postpartum Plan

Workouts Postpartum

I try to workout a minimum of 3 days a week. Workouts are usually 30 minutes long and consists of high intensity interval training (HIIT) and if time allows, 30-40 minutes of high intensity cardio (Running, Biking, Power Walking, Kickboxing, Thai Kickboxing). I alternate between these cardio activities so I don’t get bored.

On days where I have no time to workout, I just make sure to move a lot throughout the day, alternating between sitting and standing at home. Since I work from home, I’ve made an effort to leave my computer every hour on the hour to walk on my home treadmill for 15 minutes and sometimes, I schedule virtual walking meetings. My motto these days is just to keep moving.

Nutrition Postpartum

I’ve always been pretty conscious about what I eat. I’ve been on a pescatarian lifestyle for over a decade, only reverting back to poultry for the latter part of my pregnancy and transitioning back to a pescatarian lifestyle at around 3 months postpartum. For the most part, my diet consists of lots of leafy greens, fish or shellfish 2-3 times a week, low carb intake, coffee and water (mostly water because coffee drys you out) and small portions of fruit. I’m working on incorporating more protein and fiber into my diet and have increased my intake of beans, legumes and lentils and want to add a bit more variety to my vegetables during the week. So far, this has worked for me, but with a few minor adjustments and more consistency, I think I will start seeing more results on the outside, but on the inside, my digestive health has been amazing and my skin is not drying out as fast like it use to. I don’t really do restrictions, I eat what I want when I want, but have a conscious attitude about what I’m eating. All that said, if I want a cookie, I eat a cookie, if I want fast food, I eat fast food. I don’t calorie count or worry about gaining weight. I want to maintain a healthy relationship with food, and the best way I know to do that is to lay off the restrictions and eat certain foods in moderation. This approach has worked for me and my mental health. I just want to feel good and not have to worry about food and weight gain, that’s really it.

Mental Health Postpartum

I’ve been shopping for a therapists. There are a lot things that I have spent a lifetime avoiding, trauma from childhood, behaviors that stem from that and unhealthy coping mechanisms that I’m not to proud to say I’ve picked up over my lifetime and it’s time I start taking responsibility for my actions and begin the healing process. I don’t want to just do this for myself, I owe it to my daughter to heal. I think motherhood has allowed me to see areas where I personally need to heal and improve, and if I want to be the best mom I can be, I need to begin to address issues that I’ve put band aids on for so long.

On the flip side of things, I’ve been taking short breaks throughout the day practicing my breathing. Mindfulness is critical to health and well being. Taking these mini breaks has helped me to collect my thoughts, rest my mind and reboot. I’ve realized I’m not a machine and I need recharging and my brain needs consistent breaks throughout the day to function at full capacity so these shorts breaks have been so helpful and have changed the way I approach work and even blogging.

So one thing I need to work on is sleep. My sleep has always been pretty poor. I have insomnia and it’s been like this since college. To be honest, I don’t really have a plan on how to fix this as of yet, but I’m dancing around with the idea of sleep medication. I will try a few things before I consider medication as an option. So far I’ve set a bedtime for myself, I keep the lights dim when it’s time for bed, and have eliminated television and audiobooks after a certain time. I think the last thing I’ll more than likely begin implementing is making my last meal before 7:30PM. Lastly, I’ve been pretty good about having no caffeine past 2PM. Not sure what will come of this plan as all of this is forever evolving to be conducive with my current lifestyle, but I’m trying things until something works. This is really how I’ve always approached a lot of things in life and while it may not be ideal for most, it’s been working for me and I’m doing my best, so there you have it.

So happy to have finally shared this update with you.

I hope you’ve found it helpful. I’m sure everything health and wellness wise will change 10 months or even 1 year postpartum, but for now, this is where I’m at. There is most certainly room for improvement and growth, but the journey to a healthy, happier me is so rewarding.

Till next time friends.

Sincerely,

Deidra Marie