How to take better photos of your kids

     I am not a professional photographer by any means, however once I had Amelia, learning to improve my photography skills became very important to me.  I wanted to be able to capture all the our everyday moments and big milestones, and do it well.  Here are some tips that have helped me.  I am constantly learning more but these are super helpful basics everyone can use!

Catch them in the act.
Instead of trying to coax them into something, just wait and sneak your camera out while they are doing their thing.  Here I caught Amelia looking out the window and grabbed my camera and was able to get a bunch of cute pictures!  These pictures will not only show their personality but what they like to do.

Make it Fun.  
Kids do not enjoy standing in a certain spot and smiling for the camera (well most kids don't).  This is going to get you very forced smiles that don't really portray their personality.  Plan an activity they will love, or ask what they want to do.  Making it laid back and fun will probably get you farther and then you and your kids won't be stressed and mad by the end.  When they are playing you can make silly noises or say something funny to get them to look your way and/or smile.  That seems to work much better than saying "SMILE!"

Just say NO (to flash)!
If it is at all possible, turn your flash off!  If you are indoors try finding the room with the most light (this changes throughout the day so experiment).  Outdoors you are normally fine without a flash.  If you have a DSLR, keeping a wider aperture will let more light in.  There are times however when a flash can't be avoided.  If you have a DSLR I would definitely recommend looking into a cheap speed light.  This will enable you to bounce your flash or use a diffuser to create softer light.

Blinded by the flash.

When photographing inside your house try to keep clutter out of the background.  Now some people might take them time to clean and organize all the toys but I usually just put everything out of the way quickly.

Distracting clutter in the background.

Ahhhh clean background!

Keep clicking.  
Snap as many pictures as you can.  Don't worry they won't all be masterpieces but you may catch some gems you would have otherwise missed!  Plus the more you practice, you will find what is working and improve!

She was coming for my camera!

Sometimes bribery works.
When Amelia was 3-6 months old as long as she had a prop to chew on and examine she was a happy camper.  Once she could move it got a little tougher.  For her one year pictures I put her on a blanket in the grass (she hated grass, like cried and wouldn't walk on it at the beginning of the summer) and to make her happy I scattered yogurt bites on her skirt.  She loves yogurt bites and this took her attention off the grass and kept her happy.  Now that she runs around always, it is a bit more difficult and I can't always bribe her with something.

What you can't see are the yogurt bites hanging out in her skirt.

Try new angles.
Don't be afraid to get down on the ground or move around while photographing your kids!  Try from above, the sides, eye level, or ground level.  You can also try changing your focus.  Try focusing on their little hands, next time on the toy with them in the background, or of course their cute faces!  The more you try, the better variety of photos you will have (plus you can always delete what doesn't work).

Invest in photo editing software.
I highly recommend having some kind of editing software and learn to use it. It doesn't have to be super expensive or fancy but some editing can make a world of difference.  I have Photoshop Elements 11 and I LOVE it!  It wasn't super spendy and it has different levels to help you learn (beginner, guided, and expert mode) plus there are lots of free tutorials for it!  You could also look into getting some free software and see how that help too.


After some minor retouching.

Get your camera out!
Say this out loud, it is the MOST important one!  All the tips in the world will not help you if you don't get your camera out.  I am sure you have seen my photography 365 project if you are a regular at my blog, but that is another great way to get some photos!  I don't do it everyday but instead make it a weekly thing to fit better into my life.  You don't have to do a project but I would suggest setting some goals for taking your camera out.  After all you won't have any pictures at all if you don't get that camera out!

         I hope some of these tips help you.  If at any time I get stressed or frustrated because I am not getting what I wanted, I put my camera down.  Nobody is going to have fun if you are stressed so it is best to stop and come back later.  Do you have any tips you would like share?  Please leave a comment, I would love to hear from you!



  1. These are really fantastic ideas, and easy to implement! Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~ Valerie

  2. Very nice! I do a lot of these things, but one thing I haven't done is declutter the background. I like that!

  3. Nice tips Amanda. I love to click lots of photographs too. And I love your post processing. It is really neat. Gr8 work :)

  4. These are great tips! I wish I have a better camera though ... mine is old, and some parts are being held together by tape. But I can't get myself to get a new one until it absolutely cannot take pictures anymore.

  5. Love these tips! Taking photos of my kids can be a quite a challenge!

  6. Love the picture of her with a cake. I should definitely invest in some editing software. Great tips.

  7. Hi Amanda! I found you through this month's blog hobnob. I love your ideas! I love taking pictures of my kids, but I don't always edit them. I need to make time to do that!

  8. Shared your post on Pinterst and Twitter and followed you on Google+ and Bloglovin! (Fellow IBA member :)

  9. Those are all way better than saying "No! You can't see the picture! I didn't have TIME to take the picture because you ran over here to see it before I could click!!!!" I'm also guilty of repeating "FREEZE like an ice cube! No no! Like an ice cube!" mostly while said ice cube is running over to check out the camera display...

  10. aw your daughter is so cute! I have 2 daughters (one is only 10 months old) and I have taken them thousand of photos! recently purchased a dslr and trying to take better pictures! all these tips help! thank you! sharing this article at g+ and Fb! found you at "IBA promote your post"!