7 Children Photography Tips

Photographing children can be challenging: they are restless, they can be cranky, they don’t like to pose and rarely listen to your directions. And it is understandable, after all, adults are usually more interested in a photoshoot than kids. Indeed, we know how important it is to capture all the magical moments of the childhood: time flies, children grow fast, if we don’t save the memories, they can be lost forever. A photo book with kids’ pictures is something that we can always come back to and relive the precious moments again and again. Create a book now or learn how to handle kids and make spectacular photos. 7 easy children photography tips to make your pictures stand out.

1. Get down

Normally we look at kids from the top: a typical adult’s perspective. The shots can still turn out to be interesting but try lowering your camera to their eye-level and see the world from children’s perspective. Get down on your knees or even on your tummy, try different angles. Children also become more playful when they see an adult with a huge camera crawling on the floor.

Happiness to be a Child by Julia Happy on
© Julia Happy


2. Step aside

Let them go, observe them from a distance. Walk away and watch them explore the settings, play, blend in the environment. It’s great when children get completely involved into an activity and don’t pay attention to you at all. Zoom in for close-up shots: very often, the best pictures turn out when kids are not aware that they are being photographed.

Eating with the Wild by Adrian C. Murray on
© Adrian C. Murray


3. Let them run the session

Good children photos are usually much more than just “cheese” at the camera. A really good shot is the one that actually reflects the kids’ personality, revealing their energy and emotions. We are used to unnatural or semi-natural smiles of the adults. If you ask them to smile, they will. Kids, on the other hand, don’t fake their smiles. If they laugh, they laugh, if they cry, they cry. Don’t try to force their facial impressions, instead, let them be. Let them take the lead, follow them down the rabbit hole, and they will introduce you to the magical world of imagination and creativity.

wonder. (child, little girl, and her reflection in the sand. low tide at the beach)
© Bonita


4. Never patronize

Leave imperative sentences for the time when they refuse to eat or sleep (especially, if they are not your kids). Try to make friends with them, goof around, play games, be casual and funny. If you want them to do something specific, do it in a playful manner. Replace “I want you to sit still” with “Let’s find a cloud that looks like an elephant!” Involve children into the process. Show them the pictures you have made, take a couple of shots together. That will make them familiar with the camera which will help them feel more relaxed.



5. Be patient

It can take some time for a kid to warm up and start cooperating. They can be cranky and naughty, they can start behaving like superstars and refuse being photographed. So just relax. First of all, mood swings come and go. Talk to them, try to understand what exactly bothers them. Maybe they are hungry or tired? Try to satisfy their needs. Second, children respond to your state of mind. If you are running around them with a camera, frustrated, trying to make them do something they have no interest in, they can rebel and refuse doing anything at all. Chill and be patient, a good shot is worth waiting for.

cranky kid
© Kelsie Taylor


6. Be always ready, expect the unexpected

Never put your camera down, it’s impossible to guess when the right moment comes. Kids are unpredictable, so shoot, shoot, shoot and shoot some more. Luckily, in the age of digital photography, we can make thousands of photos and in the end, pick just a couple of them. So fill in your memory card, be ready to move fast and learn to anticipate what is going to happen. Kids move a lot, many of your pictures will be blurry, and that’s fine! Among all those images there can be one worth a million.

Mud Puddle Stomp by Mike Bons on
Mike Bons


7. Use props

Your photoshoot will be much more interesting if you spice it up with some additional gear like toys, costumes, accessories, even living props (your cat, for instance). Whether you have a certain idea in your head or not, the inspiration can come along while you are making photos. Also, when kids have toys, especially their favorite ones, they feel more comfortable in front of the camera.
Big Blue by Adrian C. Murray on
Adrian C. Murray


And finally, the most important rule: don’t limit yourself to rules and restrictions. Experiment, try these tips, come up with your own ones, be a child yourself, never stop wondering and discover the world every day! Shoot your kids as much as possible and don’t forget to preserve your memories in a photo book: a possibility to make the childhood last a bit longer.


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