How to Take Amazing Photos Of Your Kids: 9 Top Tips

While owning the right equipment, and knowing how to use that equipment successfully, can help anyone take good quality photographs, more important is the knowledge of how to take a good shot. Some people are naturally gifted with an eye for angle, lighting, and the right moment to press the shutter button, but the rest of us have to take heed of photography tips and tricks from those in the know.

Taking digital photos of people is an especially tricky task, and kids are perhaps the most challenging subject matter of all. Thankfully, there are several top tips that, once employed, give everyone the essential tools to take amazing digital photos of their offspring all the way through childhood and beyond.

1. To Pose Or Not to Pose?

It’s easy to assume you should never get your kids to pose for photographs. But that would be an incorrect assumption. Firstly, you’d lose shots like the one above, which shows a level of facial detail that you’d never be able to capture with a natural snap. Secondly, posing is the instinct of most children when a camera is around.

By taking a few posed shots, you’re likely to make them feel as though they’ve fulfilled their duties, at which point they will embark on another activity enabling you to catch them in their natural, non-posed environment. A mixture of posed and non-posed photos will give you the best chance of capturing some fantastic images.

2. Open Up the Aperture


Whether you choose to pose or let your child run wild, aim to keep the aperture between f/2.8 and f/5.6 to get your child’s face in focus while having a beautiful bokeh in the background. Of course, you can adjust the aperture settings on your smartphone too.

Shooting with a closed aperture will give you a deep depth of field, where everything in the background will be in focus. Unfortunately, this can make the scene cluttered and move the interest away from your child. You can learn all about depth of field in another of our articles.

3. A Different Perspective


One aspect often overlooked when taking photographs of any kind is the angle of attack. That is to say, most of us stand stock still and shoot from head height. While this usually offers good results, it’s easy to experiment. And the results can be surprising. This is a strategy that’s especially important to remember when taking photos of kids because they are much closer to the ground than adults.

A straightforward technique is to get down on their level, so physically kneel down to shoot at their eye level. Alternatively, you can take the opposite approach and climb higher than ever in order to shoot down on the action. This technique exaggerates the size difference between adults and children while also allowing you to capture more in each shot.

4. Take Multiple Pictures


Unless you’re a fan of old-school cameras and refuse to move to digital equipment, there is no reason not to take as many photographs as possible every time you have your camera in hand. Any that don’t come out as planned can be deleted or stored for a time when you may better appreciate them.

The advantage of taking multiple pictures is that you’re much more likely to capture the perfect image—if such a thing exists. It’s certainly much easier to keep clicking continuously than to wait for the perfect opportunity to present itself. You’ll probably be surprised by which photos capture the mood of the day best when it comes to sorting the wheat from the chaff.

We recommend shooting with shutter priority, burst, or sports mode on your camera so that you won’t miss any of the action.

5. Plan Strategically


Although you have the option to shoot as many photos as you want with your digital camera, it is a good idea to plan ahead. Golden and blue hours are the best times for photography, but your toddler may not be ready to wake up before sunrise or stay late. So, look at other times when the light is great. Cloudy and rainy days provide a natural diffuser and give you even, beautiful lighting.

If you’re out on a sunny day, look for shady areas or green cover to shoot the photos. It is also important to have snacks and drinks at hand to avoid tantrums and meltdowns.Also, ensure that your child is well-rested before th shoot. If you have a newborn baby, here are our tips to take cute photos of your newborn.

6. Capture The Mood


The image above demonstrates this tip better than any combination of words can. In that one shot, the photographer captured much more than just the child featured playing in a fountain in a park on a hot day. You can feel the mood of the day and the kid’s exuberance at that moment.

In a practical sense, this involves a mixture of luck and judgment. Luck is being in the right place at the right time, camera in hand. Judgment is knowing where to position yourself and just when to squeeze the shutter button to best capture the mood. It’s important to note that happiness is but one mood, and there are others, some negative, that can make for amazing photographs.

7. Keep It In Context


As cute as your kids may be, sifting through endless close-ups of them in later life won’t conjure up many memories—showing the wider world beyond is key. To achieve this, you need to allow a little background to show itself in most shots, letting the wider setting seep into the photographs to put them in context.

This may seem like a bit of obvious advice, but if other family members have to ask where you have taken the shot, then you’re failing to tell the story behind that photograph. Showcasing the narrative behind the photo is the ultimate aim. It is especially important with digital images as you don’t have the opportunity to write a reminder of the scene like you would on the back of a printed photo.

8. Every Moment Holds Potential


This goes hand-in-hand with the advice to shoot liberally. Before you even get the chance to take more photos than you think you’ll need, you have to remember to have a camera to hand. While you’ll always take one on vacation or to special one-off events, you may not think to slide it in your pocket for a walk in the country, for their weekly soccer practice, or a trip to the local fast-food chain.

The fact is that every moment holds the potential for a beautiful photograph. The random shots taken in unlikely places may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but they may prove to be important in another way. The trick is to have a camera on hand but only to use it some of the time. It’s a tough balancing act between being a good photographer and being the parent who watches their kids growing up through a viewfinder.

9. Showcase Their Personality


Don’t forget to include your child’s personality in your mission to capture the best shot. You can dress your child to your heart’s content and take as many pictures as you have in your vision. But, take a moment to really see who they are and portray it.

Let your child do their favorite activity, engage with their siblings, or play with their pets. This is the time you will see their true nature shine, and you can capture it all candidly.

Capture the Little Moments to Make Memories

The above list is by no means a complete list of the techniques you can apply to take amazing digital photos of your kids, but it’s a start. These top tips should give you the basic knowledge to improve your game when dealing with such an energetic and unpredictable subject.

You should now have no reason not to capture some great shots whether you’re using a top-of-the-range DSLR camera or a smartphone camera.

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