Ten Tips for Taking Better Photos Of Your Kids

September 8, 2020


Cassie Jones

Do you resolve every month to take amazing photos of your kids without a fancy camera? If think you need to be a professional, you are wrong! To take better photos of your kids, you just have to know the tricks of the professionals! Just a few tricks, in fact, and you'll be shooting on that iPhone like it's a DSLR in no time. So get ready for ten tips for taking better photos of your kids!

Honestly, you DON'T need your DSLR hanging around all the time. It might even be weighing you down with guilt! Do you think the only way to get amazing images of your kids is to haul it around in your diaper bag? Cause you are wrong! Just to be clear – this is NOT a good idea, you will quickly learn by pulling sticky things off your lenses. Plus, let's be honest, those things are HEAVY! Get the job done in a way that also compliments your chaotic lifestyle chasing kids, and running a business!

Just a few tricks, in fact, and you'll be shooting on that iPhone like it's a DSLR in no time! The results of taking better photos of your kids? Amazingly frame-able photos of your kiddos straight from your phone! Here's some of favorite tips of the professionals for taking better photos of your kiddos!

“The best camera you've got is the one you've got with you.”

-Said every professional photographer who also has kids…

Psst…just a note – these images were all shot on an iPhone X or older. “The best camera you've got is the one you've got with you.” Don't skim over the amount of truth that is in this statement. Like we mentioned earlier, don't shy away from using your phone thinking it isn't good enough. Don't do that. Yes – you!

1. Find Inspiration

Maybe you are wanting some nostalgic photos. Then look to find inspiration in Norman Rockwell's work. Did you know he was actually a photographer as well? He pieced his paintings and illustrations together using original photographs he took himself. So there you go. You are on your way to being the next Norman Rockwell!

2. Don't Rush It

kid jumping into plastic pool

Make it stress free by making sure you're not in a hurry, giving your kids simple cues like “give each other a hug” that are playful and fun. Have low expectations of everyone, including yourself. Instead of “We are going to take great photos!”, approach it with “we're going to take a walk and I'm taking my camera.”

3. Find Beauty in the Everyday

Take a minute to find the beauty in everyday life. Try challenging yourself to document the daily activities you do together. Everything from breakfast to bath time can turn into a beautiful opportunity! Playtime is usually one of the best times to have your camera handy!

4. Understand Composition

little girl in towel after her bath wrapped in a towel

Composition is everything! Often times, parents tend to photograph REALY close to the action. I encourage everyone to take one up close, but then, take a step back to see the whole picture. Using leading lines or ‘the rule of thirds' can add a lot of interest to your images.

5. Let the Light Shine

Good light – the actual secret to finding great light is to look at the faces. Good light is achieved when the face is lit evenly (no bright spots or shadow spots). Pro tip – if they're squinting – it's too bright. Take a look around and find a nice shadow on the ground and place them there. I always look for shade or use a rising or setting sun.

6. What's That Behind You?

kids playing with balloon in park

Find great backgrounds! Great backgrounds are found in so many places! Great backgrounds are simple, free of distractions and easily separate your subject from the background. Walls can be used as great backdrops for photos – however, they can also be challenging. They may make the photo look super flat. If you're using a wall, have your subjects take two to three big steps forward. This helps your subject to not get lost in the wall.

7. Get Down!

Get down on their level! Make sure your lens is even with their eyes. This helps make sure your subjects are photographed at a flattering angle! This goes for getting great photos of your kids, as well as any subject you are photographing.

8. Are You Ready?

kids on counter cooking and eating

Have a camera ready at all times. If you have one, keep a DSLR in your living area as well as your phone with you when you're doing activities around the house. Whichever camera is closest, that's the one to grab!

9. Be a Storyteller

Focus on the story – your photos can tell important stories. A first flight, the relationship between siblings or friends, and with parents! Which leads us to our last tip to taking better photos of your kids…

10. How do You Want to be Remembered?

Get yourself in there! Use mirrors, selfie mode, or have a friend or family member take a photo of you, too! Someday your kids will look back on these images and want to see your face too! Don't worry about looking perfect, or wondering if you are a narcissist for taking selfies. These are memories for your family to treasure forever!

little girl lying down with her dog

Most important tip to taking good pics of your kids

Remember that great memories aren't made up of perfect photographs. Your images don't have to be perfect to hold deep value. So don't worry about chocolate stains on your child's face – or even on yours! But these tips can help you to get closer to photos you're proud to pass down. So, go on now and take better photos of your kids!

If you are looking for more inspiration, check out this Pinterest Board filled with images of kids and families!

And if you are wanting some more photography tips, this is a great article on shooting in bright light! (remember tip 5!)

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Cassie Jones is a wedding photographer located in Romance, Arkansas. She loves peanut butter M&M's, vanilla lattes, rapping in the car, her two children and her husband.