5 Tips For Taking Better Pictures of Your Kids

5 Tips for Taking Better Pictures of Your Kids

Taking pictures of your children, pictures that look a little more put together than a quick snapshot, can seem nearly impossible.  By using a few simple tips and tricks, you can take a painful experience and make photographing your kids fun!

Take Better Pictures of Kids Photography TipsWe’ve all tried to do it.  “You sit here, you sit here and you sit here.  Don’t move.  Smile.  Be still.  Stop doing that.”  You get the picture.  Or maybe you don’t.  Trying to take pictures of your kids can be a seriously stressful, incredibly frustrating experience.  Often, it’s not only the parents who end up frustrated and stressed out, but the kids do too!  I won’t promise miracles, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to help you get better pictures of your kids, without sending anyone over the edge.

Beautiful Park Davidson, NCFind the Right Setting

If you want to get some decent pictures of your kids, the first thing you need to think about is where you want to make the magic happen.  I highly suggest you get outside.  Lush and green or winter gray, you’re going to have more room to move around and less clutter in the background, you’ll have more variety in the shots you walk away with, and no one feels trapped in a space they can’t get out of.  You’ll most likely have better lighting and more colorful pictures too!

Find a local park, head out into your back yard or your kid’s favorite fun spot – anywhere they can be comfortable and you can safely take pictures – is a great place.  We have the lovely local park that has not only play equipment, but a greenway, pond (ducks, geese and turtles!) and lots of room for running.  It’s a great spot for a family picnic followed by a walk along the greenway (and soee picture snapping along the way!)

Get Moving Play with Your KidsGet Up and Get Moving

If you want to take the best pictures of your kids you possibly can, give up on the idea of standing (or sitting) still.  If you make them feel forced, most kids will be done – d.o.n.e. – and quick.  Let them lead the charge, move around, pick where they want to stand.  Use games (like Simon says or Freeze) to manipulate their positions or poses.  Playing Tag is an excellent way to get some giggles going, and giggles make the best shots.  Shooting s moving target isn’t easy, so use breaks in the game to snap pictures rather than trying to catch all the action.  Be excited about suggesting things for the kids to look at or do (“Hey!  Check out that Turtle!”  or “I bet you can’t reach up for that tree branch!”)  You’ll be surprised at the requests they will comply with when you don’t make it about setting up a picture.  Let the poses happen naturally.

Pack The Necessities

There are a few things that will ruin even the cutest pictures… nasty noses, messy mouths and dirty hands.  Bring along a very baby wipes, some tissues, and maybe a hair brush (especially if you have a girl.)  Take the occasional break between games and silliness to check those noses, and if you’ve been eating or playing in the dirt, those hands!  If you’ve got a girl and you’ve been doing some running and craziness, you might want to smooth down any crazy hair too.

Silly Kid PicturesGet the Sillies Out

Give your kids a chance to be goofy, funny and just plain silly.  My girlie loves to “pose” in her own silly way, and I indulge her.  We usually make a deal… let me take a few my way, and we’ll take a few your way.  Sometimes her silly pictures end up being some of my favorites.  Dance around with your kids, be crazy, and forget about who’s watching.  Silly faces are fun for everyone.  If you’re comfortable with your little ones handling your camera, pass it off and turn the tables.  If they feel like they have some control, you’re more likely to get the results you want from them.

Say When

You know the line in that song… “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.”  Yeah, that totally applies.  As a parent, you know how to read your kids.  Don’t push them.  Every photo outing won’t be a huge success, so don’t expect it.  If you start getting a lot of push back or you can tell your kiddo’s attitude is shifting, give it up.  There will be other times for pictures.

If you try to push your kids to take pictures when they don’t want to, you’re setting yourself up for a photo fight every time you pull out the camera.  They have minds like steel traps… they will remember you made them take pictures when they didn’t want to, and I can promise you this: once the attitudes shift, you aren’t going to be happy with any shots you get anyway.  When it’s time to put away the camera, put away the camera.

Promises, Promises

I promise, I really do – If you incorporate these little tips and tricks into your next attempt at taking pictures of your kids, you will be SO much happier than if you take the “sit here, sit there” route.  Once you have shots you love, you can spiffy them up a little using the tips from our Drab to Fab tutorial.

Do you have any tips and tricks that you incorporate into your photographic adventures with your kids?  What works for you?  Share your thoughts with us here or on Facebook and good luck on your next memory catching session with your kiddos!

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28 Responses to 5 Tips For Taking Better Pictures of Your Kids

  1. YES! I always bring a bag full of stuff with me when we are doing a photo shoot. Especially snacks. My kids always seem to get hungry RIGHT before their pictures are being taken.

  2. Amber says:

    Great tips!

    I find farting noises always makes my kids eager to smile on camera.

    Happy SITS Day!

  3. Nicki Lewis says:

    These tips are great. They are simple but can be effective. Now can the same just work for husbands lol

    Happy SITS Day!

  4. Julie Moore says:

    Great tips and pictures! :) I know some of my best pictures of my kids happened when I let them be them and not forced them to hold still. So fun and cute! :)

    Happy SITS Day! I hope you have a great one! :)

  5. SOOOO GLAD I found this post!! I’m not a photographer at all, but want to have some fun photos of them.

    Glad I found you at SITS!

  6. Emily says:

    These suggestions are all wonderful. I love taking photos of my son “in action” – they seem to represent him well. It can be tough for him to slow down at times!

  7. Martha says:

    These are such great tips, and great pics, too! Happy SITS day!

  8. Kendra says:

    Great tips! Looks like she is having fun.

  9. These are excellent tips! Love the idea of letting them get their silly out! :) Hope you are having a FABULOUS SITS day! :) Was so happy to see you featured!-The Dose Girls

  10. Deanna Ritz says:

    Oh I love this post! I just got my first canon dslr camera and am having a hard time figuring things out. This tips will help things go a little smoother while trying to take snap shots of the kids.

  11. Stopping by to wish you a Happy SITS Day!

  12. Barb says:

    I have found that the unposed, random snaps can lead to the best photos ever. I love your flip flop gal – great pic! Visiting on your completely awesome SITS Day!

  13. Great tips for getting better pics of the kids. We definitely bring bribes and love being outside too.

  14. AmieJo says:

    I love these tips. I think that things will go much smoother if you make it fun. It is hard to do in the cold winter but I can’t wait to get us moving outside to get better pictures. I do plan on having my family and my best friends family get together so we can take pictures of each others family and I think this will help.

  15. Jennifer says:

    This is a great post and some great tips! I’ve gotten some of the funniest pictures during the “get the sillies out” time :)

    Happy SIT’s Day!!

  16. Visiting from SITS today! You give some great advice. The only problem I have is that my kids are REALLY young (3 and 1) and the youngest isn’t walking yet so trying to get my wild child 3 yr old son to pose anywhere near my 1 yr old daughter is near impossible. I just have to take what I can get at this age, I suppose and focus on at least getting separate pictures of them!

  17. Sarah Ruth says:

    Great tips! I need to use some of these on my husband. LOL! Happy SITS day!

  18. Happy SITS day! I agree with all of these tips. I always get some good shots outside, but I HATE indoor shots. They never turn out well unless I can use natural light without windows – flashes are the worst!

  19. Carly says:

    Love this, bookmarking for when Lydia gets older!

  20. She is darling! Great tips! So much easier to take pics of mine when we are just playing :)

  21. Jamie says:

    Thanks for the tips! I just did a shoot with my daughter and thank good it was painless this time!

  22. Carissa says:

    I love your shots where she is dancing.. I LOVE seeing their personality show through!

  23. Laura says:

    Those pictures are darling! I haven’t done any pictures with kids, but any day, I’m sure it’ll happen. Definitely pinning this for future reference!

  24. Oh how I wish I read this when my boys were young. They are in their 20′s now but I still might try a few tricks, they both don’t like to have their pictures taken. My favorite suggestion was to play games like Simon Says… Brilliant. Thanks for such great tips and happy SITS feature!

  25. Jennifer S. says:

    No kids in my house, but I have kittens and these apply to them too! LOL

  26. I worked as a photographer for Olan Mills for awhile and kids were always the most difficult to take pictures of (but the funnest). I always made sure to take a few extra photos as the beginning so the kids could get use to the camera. :)

  27. Pingback: Blog Photography & Photo Editing Tips - A Dose of Paige

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