How to take great photos of your children

I have enjoyed taking photographs for as long as I can remember and over the years have progressed from film, to basic digital cameras and now to a fancy-pants DLSR (Canon Eos 700D if you’re interested!).
Before my daughter was born in 2012 I mostly focused on landscape and wildlife photography, but after her birth I discovered the joy of portrait photography too - my family joke that Ivy is the most photographed baby in the country! However, children don’t always make the easiest photography subjects - especially as they grow older and can move around - so it has been a steep learning curve for me. I firmly believe that you can get great photos whatever camera you own, so here are some top tips for getting better photos of your children:

Turn off the flash
Many cameras have an automatic flash that works every time. Turn it off! The flash will cause red-eye, weird shadows and un-natural skin tones so try shooting in areas with good natural light instead.

Get on their level
As an adult it feels most natural to take a photo from your head height but to get really great photos of children you need to get down to their level. That allows them to make eye contact with the camera and captures them in ‘their world’. It might feel strange to sit, or lie down to take a photo but keep practicing because it will make such a difference to your pictures.

Try different angles
A photo doesn’t always need to be taken face-on to be great. Try different angles like over the shoulder, from above or below or even in a reflective surface.

Focus on the details
Some people make the mistake of thinking you have to include your child’s face, or whole body in every photo. Sometimes the best photos are those that tell a story by focusing on the details – little hands covered in paint or tiny freckles on a new-born’s nose.  Most cameras have a close-up setting so go and experiment with it!

Keep on shooting
The beauty of digital cameras is that it doesn’t matter how many photos you take. When I’m trying to get a particular shot I’ll keep my camera on continuous shooting mode and take picture after picture. For every one photo you see on my blog I probably have twenty dud photos on my computer; keep on trying until you get the shot you want!

Make it into a game
Excellent photos are normally the unplanned candid ones, but if you are trying to get your kids to pose try playing games like Simon says, one-two-three-smile, or simply telling a silly joke to get them to laugh. Don’t forget you’re not going to get great photos if your kids are tired or bored and you’re getting frustrated so don’t push it if it’s just not working!

Don’t stress
If you still aren’t happy with the quality of your photos don’t forget that most of the photos you’ll see from professionals and on the internet have been edited and they’ve had years of practice. Simply try to enjoy the moment with your kids and don’t stress too much about getting the perfect photos – the memory of spending quality time with them is what is important!
If you're serious about developing your photograpy free editing software and tutorials are available online and I'd be happy to answer any of your questions as I am able.
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Linking with Maternity Mondays


  1. Thanks for the advice, I'm forever trying to capture good pictures but struggle, especially with my tear away toddler haha.

    Helen - #maternitymondays

  2. What great advice and what beautiful photos, I am definitely going to try some of these techniques. Thanks for linking up #maternitymondays

  3. Great advice, thanks for sharing! I definitely love having a digital camera and being able to just keep clicking and ending up with a whole story captured. I prefer the candid shots to posed any day. #MaternityMondays

  4. Very useful and informative information as always!!!
    After opening the photo in Photoshop or with this tool http://aurorahdr.com/getstarted/overview-aurora-hdr, I try to analyze what needs to be done. Definitely distracts the background in the picture. In addition, I like to remove some of the shortcomings of the skin and slightly draw the light and shade.
    Usually the final stage for me is color correction.