PhotographyPhotography Tips and Tricks

A Beginner’s Guide To Photographing Children

Photographing a child can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. However, it may turn out to be stressful and exhausting if not done right. Indeed, the type of experience and success you gain by photographing children is on you. Here are a few tips that can help make children photography a worthwhile adventure.

Turn Your Child Into a Blogger

Babies are cute, and everyone loves them. Why not turn your child into a celebrity? You should make a  spectacular landing page on your child’s website with an adorable picture of them, or maybe better; go for a video. Who knows? You might turn your blog into a business.

There are some great photography blogs out there. If you’re lucky and so is your child, your business can boom with your child as a baby influencer. You can also make videos of them and hope they go viral. To blog or not to blog is the question in this age and time.

Kids need demonstration

People all over the world communicate in different ways, but one form of universal communication is body language. If you need to direct a child to stand, sit, or face a certain way, don’t just say it with verbal cues, instead show them using your gestures and body language.

Humans tend to mimic,especially younger children, so if you do a particular pose, the child will unconsciously mimic you. If you demonstrate what you need, your message will go across effectively much faster than verbal cues. 

Start from Home

Your home is always better than any professional studio, especially when it comes to children, as that is a place where they feel comfortable. So, how to make sure that your home is perfect for clicking a picture?

First, try to free quite an ample space for the shoot, and then move for a more natural environment. To create a natural background, you can set a grey seamless paper roll that is in a stand. Also, you can use an empty wall for the background.

As you know that light is a significant factor for your shoot, so make use of the natural light that comes from your windows.  But remember that too many changes will look odd, so try to keep the environment as natural as possible.

How To Calm Kids

Make sure that you have created or chosen the perfect setup first before bringing in the kids. You need to treat them in a way that differs from older clients. Kids are impatient by nature, so they’ll quickly lose their patience with you if you’re not ready and you make them wait. Keeping a toddler still while taking a picture is the hardest job a child photographer can do.


Use faster, longer lenses to make sure that they defocus the background – preferably a fast 85mm lens is great to be used for portraits, but the long end of the standard zoom that came along with your interchangeable lens camera is also good.

Make sure that you position your subjects at least 6 feet in front of the background, to make sure that it can defocus the background and to drop shadows behind them.

Make Use of Flash

As children tend to move a lot, use a flashgun to spot and capture their precious moments. Photographers all over the world recommend using a flashgun to help freeze children’s movements.

Bounce the flash off the ceiling to increase the lighting in the sweet spot – so setting the shutter speed to 1/25th sec and the aperture to f/4 is a good starting point.

While buying your flashgun, make sure you invest in one that can be tilted towards both walls and ceilings. However,to use a flashgun, you need to be a little careful as too much flash ruins the pictures

Continuous mode is your BFF

With the kids running around, you could end up with way too many bodged photos! If your camera has an option of rapid fire (also known as ‘continuous’ mode), make sure that you use that for children photography.

Instead of thinking of  ‘spray and pray,’ focus on maximizing your chances of getting that one good shot! Even if it means losing 20 bad ones.

Unlike old times, digital photos are virtually free, so don’t feel afraid to take loads of them if you’re trying to get that one special moment; just the way you want. As kids are unpredictable and move fast, make sure that you are shooting lots of photos at once can. It will help increase your odds of getting good shots.

Lights, Camera. Action

This tip is quite broad and applies to all types of photographers for improving all facets of photography. However, with children photography, we have a simple rule to use natural light as much as possible.

Getting the child near a window for taking pictures in natural light, and turning out all unnatural sources of light are both great ideas.

However, if you’re in an attempt to shoot your children candidly, then that won’t always be next to a window in perfect light. For those odd shots where you have some time on your hands, ask the kid to stand in the right place before you click the shutter button. That can create a much more pleasing image than one taken in a bad light.

Be vary of any harsh light, particularly of the midday sun as that is very strong and directly overhead. You should be able to take the photos of the children loitering in the sun if it’s happening. However, to get the best photos, instruct them to go and run around under a shady tree. This way, the light on the children’s faces will be softer looking and will create great images.

Don't Ask Kids to Fake It

Stop saying “Cheese,” – it makes professional photographers cringe.

It’s alright if your child isn’t smiling when you are about to take the photo. Do not stop and wait for them to smile;  snap the picture anyway. Show the children how sad they look. Try to get them to laugh so you can take a quick picture. Show them their smile and tell them how beautiful it is, so they feel like smiling naturally.

Talk about their favorite color, animal, food, movie, place or tell a joke, or smile at them, so they smile back. Don’t let this go, if you want a smiling shot. Make sure that the smile that you reap has come naturally.

Get the Child Used to the Camera

Even though we are all fully grown adults, having a camera point at us can get us to act in a fake and sophisticated manner. Honestly,  it’s no wonder that the kids start acting unnaturally when you point a camera in their faces.

Remember, while photographing children, you need to be persistent and patient,  also lifting the camera often enough that the kids get used to it.

After some hours of following children around with a camera, you are bound to melt into the surroundings. When once they forget you’re there, you will be able to click those candid, natural shots that always look the best

  • To be able to always have your camera on you;
  • Be sure to keep your photography gear light and minimal
  • Put away your travel tripods and spare lenses.
  • Concentrate on using the bare minimum accessories.

Stoop Low

Remember, to understand kids; you need to be like them. Stoop down to their level and make them feel like you are one of them. If you’re taking a photo of another person’s child, try to get mum or dad to stand or crouch behind you and have them call them by their name.

If the parents are not available make sure that someone else from the family is saying something funny, making some noises – whatever it takes to get your desired reaction.

Photography is an art that involves not only the artist but also the subject. The perfect harmony of the artist (photographer)  and the subject is balanced meticulously and the loss of one of these results in the loss of the picture;’s true essence.

Calm, calm, calm, there are the three words that you should focus upon when you go off with a camera to photograph children


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