12 TIPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING CHILDREN 2 One of my passions is photographing my children. I love getting the camera out and snapping away. One of the biggest thrills I get is going back through the shots and seeing a cracker. Getting shots of your kids can be challenging as they are fast and unpredictable. I have put together 12 tips for photographing children for you. I hope these will inspire you to get the camera out and start snapping away.

1. Be patient – When it comes to anything to do with kids, the trick is, be patient. Don’t force them to do anything they don’t want to or the whole thing will end before it begins. The best way to get natural and beautiful photos of your kids it to be patient and just be with them. The moment to capture will come.

E in cot - tips for photographing children H next to cot - tips for photographing children 2. Be ready & fast – Having said be patient and wait you need to be ready to go when the moment strikes. If you are not confident with total manual mode (sometimes I am not if I know I really need/want to capture something) then aperture priority mode is good to use. Having it set to f/5 or bigger will allow for some lovely background blur which is lovely in portraits. If the kids are running around and you want to capture them sharply without any motion blur then maybe switch to sports mode. If you’re unsure about aperture priority mode then don’t be afraid to use your portrait mode on the camera as well.

E going down the slide Underwater 10 Zenith Beach 7 - 10 on 10 3. Shoot in burst mode – As kids move so quickly and at times unpredictably I always shoot in burst mode. This gives me more work in the culling process but I would prefer to have more to choose from than none at all. Shooting in burst mode means you have more chance of capturing the moment. You may not get it the first go and it would be a shame to miss it because you weren’t in burst mode.

Burst mode - Tips for photographing children 4. Use Natural Light – I try to avoid using a flash as much as possible. I only have the on camera flash at this stage so I try to use Natural Light. If the light is too bad and I really want to capture the moment then I use the flash. In this instance however when you are purposefully having a photo session with the kids then use as much natural light as you can. If indoors, head to the room in your house that has the most natural light. Get as close to a window as possible and when capturing their face have them facing the light. When outdoors, try and avoid the harsh light of the middle of the day and go for early morning or late afternoon light. The light is more flattering, easier to work with and not as harsh.

Natural light - tips for photographing children Natural light 2 - tips for photographing children Afternoon light - tips for photographing children 5. Get down on their level – This is a great tip and one I use a lot. If the kids are on the beach and playing in the sand get down on their level with them. If they are sitting, you sit too and get eye to eye with them. This is less intimidating to the kids. When shooting them from above they can looks smaller. Shooting them on their level provides a more intimate feel as you’re in the moment with them as opposed to looking down from above or afar (of course if that’s what you’re trying to portray then go with it)

Get on their level 2 - tips for photographing children Get on their level - tips for photographing children Have fun 2 - tips for photographing children 6. Use different perspectives – After saying get down on their level sometimes you can get a fun shot by changing your perspective and taking a shot from above them or below them. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what you enjoy.

Eyes - tips for photographing children looking up 2 - tips for photograhing children Looking Up - tips for photographing children 7. Set them up with an activity – by setting them up with an activity like drawing or playing in the playground you are occupying the kids. This gives yourself time to create moments to capture. It helps keep them captive so you have the time to capture them. You can always call their attention to get them to look up at you throughout the shoot.

Set up activity - tips for photograhing children 8. Shoot the little details – They are little for such a short time. Be sure to capture the little details like little hands, a dirty knee, drawing pictures, eyelashes, little feet and little shoes. These little details help tell a story of a day or a moment in time.

Toes - Tips for photographing children Eating sand - tips for photographing children Blueberry - Tips for photographing children Details 3 - tips on photographing children 9. Focus on their eyes – When shooting a portrait be sure to focus on the eyes. Focussing on the eyes helps create a crisper looking portrait.  When you look at a portrait you are immediately drawn to the eyes. They say the eyes are the window to the soul.

Natural light - tips for photographing children Focus on eyes - tips for photographing children eyes 2 - tips for photographing  children E's eyes - tips on photographing children 10. Neutral background – If you can, have your background as neutral as possible as this will create less competition for the eye when viewing the subject. Larger apertures also help to create background blur so if your background might be a little distracting use this to your advantage.

Neutral background 2 - tips for photographing children neutral background - tips for photographing children On their level - tips for photographing children 11. Include other people – If your partner is willing, get them in on the action too. Some of my favourite photos of the kids are them interacting with their Dad or Grandparents. They are precious moments and memories and it’s wonderful to have them.

Involve others - tips for photographing children Get others involved - tips for photographing children An afternoon at the beach 9 Fishing in the rain 8 12. Have fun – Above all, have fun! let the kids have fun. Run, jump, play, draw, sing and dance. When you’re all having fun together I guarantee that’s when the best photos will be captured. Some of my favourite photos ever are taken in the moment and capture a moment of pure joy.

Have fun 3 - tips for photograhing children Have fun - tips for photographing children Have fun 3 - tips for photographing children Children are little for such a short time. I hope you’ll get out and about and snap away. If you don’t have kids but still have lots of little people in your life, I don’t know a single parent that wouldn’t love a wonderful portrait or moment captured in time of their little ones.

What’s your favourite activity to do with your kids? Do you love photographing your kids, nieces or nephews? Feeling inspired to get the camera out?


To save this for future reference Pin this image below…  12 TIPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING CHILDREN PINTEREST


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  1. says

    How cute are your kids, I know I say that all the time but they are seriously gorgeous. Thanks for some great tips. I don’t own a camera, just my phone but some of those tips still apply when using the phone. X Pinned for later.

    • Jess - A Little Part of the World says

      Thanks lovely. These tips absolutely work for a phone too. Thanks for pinning. Jx

  2. says

    These photos make my ovaries hurt and the last three are my favourite. I love taking photos so these tips are useful to me even if I am yet to be a mother! Kate, Wondrous x

    • Jess - A Little Part of the World says

      Thank you so much Kate. Enjoy these tips and I agree these can be used for all photography. Jx

  3. says

    This is so super helpful and I love seeing your photography. It’s really natural and the real characters of your little humans really comes out! Getting down on their level and just letting them do what they do is the best tip. For every 100 bad ones you take you’re going to get a few crackers like you have above!

    Megan || http://www.ohheyblog.com

    • Jess - A Little Part of the World says

      Thanks Megan. Natural is what I aim for with my photography. They are full of character my two. Jx

  4. says

    Awesome post Jess! I have saved and pinned. 🙂 I just want to squeeze your little princesses cheeks! Too cute. Your photos distracted me from the learning so definitely had to keep for later. I am so lazy on auto.

    • Jess - A Little Part of the World says

      Thanks lovely. Just wait ’till your little princess is 22 months and full of cheek and attitude. Jx

  5. says

    Great pics my dear! You have 2 gorgeous little models! I find it really tricky to shoot my kids. I think B&W helps to get good soft pictures. I recently tried to use AF on AI servo mode. Did you use this one? Could you tell us what material is in your photo bag? Did you rent that lense that you wanted? I’m so wanting a wild angle! haha xx cathy

    • Jess - A Little Part of the World says

      Thanks Cathy. I haven’t used that. I will do a post shortly showing you what I shoot with. I haven’t rented the lens yet. I was only thinking today that I must do that. Jx

  6. says

    Thanks for these tips Jess, the photos are gorgeous and you are clearly very talented! I would love to become better with photography, I don’t get my proper camera out enough but after reading this it will be out first thing in the morning x

    • Jess - A Little Part of the World says

      Thank you so much Laney. I really appreciate your lovely comment. I would love to know… did you get your camera out? Jx

  7. says

    Great post! We always have our camera out on the high end of the bench, ready to capture any special moments. Some weeks it gets more action than others, but having thousands of images to look back on, to choose from when creating special gifts for Grandparents, or just to flick through the folders with the kids & remembering when this happened, or that happened – it’s priceless.
    Thank you for joining me at #TIK

    • Jess - A Little Part of the World says

      Thanks Haley. I find my kids.. especially my eldest LOVES looking back at old photos. Jx

  8. says

    Jess – these are great tips! i love them all…and I think most of them are applicable to pet photography…which is where I will get to use them lol! I’m sure that friends will allow us to borrow their children for a photo shoot, though, so I can practice there too 😉

    Thank you for joining us this week!

    • Jess - A Little Part of the World says

      Thanks Jen. I think they are very applicable to pet photography. I’m sure your friends would love photos of their cherubs from you. Jx

  9. says

    Great tips, I always feel like shooting my youngest is a little like photographing wildlife, so easy to ruin the moment with interference but if you’re both patient and prepared (as you said) you’ll capture some beautiful moments.

    • Jess - A Little Part of the World says

      That ‘money shot’ is worth the wait. Memories forever. I hope you find them helpful. Jx

  10. says

    Oh so great tips!! Thank you:) Your photography is lovely. I’m currently taking an online course and am finally seeing an improvement but best of all it means I’m taking lots more photos of my children:)

  11. says

    Great tips Jess. Thanks for sharing. My partner bought me a Canon DSLR camera for Christmas and ever since I have been loving taking photos of my kids in all different angles and places. I have started shooting in burst mode because my son has started walking and it’s really hard to keep up with him. Have pinned this post for future reference. Have a great weekend.

    • Jess - A Little Part of the World says

      I’m so pleased you found this useful Charlene. That’s terrific you are loving your camera. Burst mode is great isn’t it! Have a great weekend too. Jx

    • Jess - A Little Part of the World says

      I always have my Canon close handy just in case the moment strikes. Never underestimate the ability of your phone though. Some of my favourite photos of the kids are taken with the phone. Jx

  12. says

    Your children are divine Jess and you will have such beautiful memories of them captured like this. I’m going to take these tips on board and use them as at the moment my 6 year old strikes a pirate pose in every photo (which she will regret when she is 21) so I need to catch her unawares.

    • Jess - A Little Part of the World says

      Thanks Vicki. I think they’re pretty special. 😉 I love getting the candid shots. Good luck capturing your 6 year old. I would love to see the results. Jx

  13. says

    You take absolutely stunning pictures! Breathtaking actually and you’ve included some brilliant tips here. I have recently started The 52 Week Project so it has really encouraged me to get my camera out and take more photos of the kidlets because you’re right, they’re only little for such a short time.

    • Jess - A Little Part of the World says

      THANK YOU so much Vicki. No one has called my work breathtaking before so your wonderful comment means the world to me. I hope you’re enjoying your 52 weeks project. Jx

    • Jess - A Little Part of the World says

      Crank up that shutter speed and get shooting!! 😉 Thanks lovely. I hope you capture him soon. He’s too gorgeous not too. Jx


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