I love studio sessions. It's partly the constrained environment, partly the control over the lighting, and partly how magical the studio sessions feel to me.
Here's my recipe: take a roll of seamless white paper, add one simple prop -- a red chair, a wooden box, a shoe -- and then add the child. The props aren't important really, but they give the child something to react to. And then watch. Interact. Encourage. Smile. Let the little person be who she is. She will show you. Let it happen. I know some photographers prefer perfectly posed shots. It's not my style. I don't want the child to be what I want her to be -- I want her to be who she is.
I know I've gotten it right when the image opens full screen on the monitor and it takes away my breath. The curls, the eyes, the amazing small hands.
What was the prop? A set of nesting colorful cardboard little gift boxes that were stacked high. I asked her to knock them down. She tentatively did. And then this....
Nikon D810, F7.0, ISO 200, 1/200 shutter speed, 24-70 2.8 lens at 52 mm plus 2 Alien Bee lights (1with soft box and 1with umbrella)