From the perspective of the photographer: When I meet with my clients I explain about how long the shoot will last and what the process will be. The last time I had a shoot with little ones, it was a set of siblings, one 2 years old, one 4 years old. They were precious. Before I booked the appointment I asked the mom when nap-time was for both of them and we scheduled right after they would usually wake up. This guaranteed rested children who would be more patient and had a smaller chance of being grumpy.
It is also important to have well fed children in your studio.
The above mentioned are little things that can have a big impact on how well the session will go. In my last shoot I also explained that I would be using dress-up props and the mom prepared the children for that particular 'fun' aspect. They came over excited and ready to play. The session proofed to be a success.
As a photographer of little ones, it is also important to be ready for anything. Tempers can flare, good moods can swing very quickly even if all of the above mentioned has been done; the key is to be patient. I am also ready to end the session as soon as the children involved are tired. I start as soon as the little ones are settled in and get the best shots in the time I have. Sometimes I get a lot of them, sometimes there are fewer. Some children, as some adults, do better in front of a camera, and those are the easy ones, but I never know how it will go. Photographing children is rewarding, but a lot more stressful than photographing adults.
This little one reminded me a bit of Shirley Temple, it's the cherubic cheeks, I think:)
Little Tinkerbell, this was toward the end of the shoot.
Shot at the little one's home, always a good idea!