How to take pictures with little kids

Family photos! Kids portraits! We hear these phrases and the first thing people think of is how scary that can be! Photographing little kids can be daunting! They run all over the place, cry when you ask them to smile and run away when you want them to look at the camera. Yep! I hear you Mamma! It’s scary! No one wants to pay a bunch of money for photos and then get the back of a screaming kiddos head as a result. The alternative is to try and snap photos at home, which usually ends up with clutter in the background, or low quality photos. My goal here is to help you with both, at home photos and preparing for a professional children’s portrait session. In this blog post you will learn how to take pictures with little kids!

You are not alone!

First of all every mother out there has a million horrible photos on their phone of their kiddos! BUT, there are some tricks to getting better images and I am here to help you!

  • First of all, its 100% OK to use props and toys in your photos. In fact I love it! It makes them more interesting. How many photos do you want of your kiddo just looking at the camera. Engage with your child or have someone else help you with it. Someone they know and trust. Again props are your very best friend here! Here are a few suggestions but just go crazy with it!

Red wagon or vintage wooden cars, bubbles, shawls and hats, baskets, favorite stuffy (neutral tones no neon pink bunnies!!) balls, small wooden chair or apple crate, metal milk pale, yummy fruit…. and the list goes on, be creative and most of all have fun with it! Your child’s authenticity will show in the photos.

  • Get in the photos with your kiddo. This helps again to have someone around who can snap pictures quickly when the moment is authentic. Give lots of snuggles. Try not to focus on the camera but focus on your little one. Try rubbing noses or stroking their hair, hum a tune they love together with them, or tell them a story about how much you loved them when before they came into the world or what you thought the first time you held them. Again going for authentic emotion and not forced smiles. If you have more than one little kid have them play games together. Ring around the rosie, or peekaboo, hold hands and spin, hide fun little things all over the lawn and let them collect them in a rustic old basket. Try to capture the moment when they see the surprises they are finding. If its a candy of some sort make sure its not colored and will stain your kiddos mouth!! Wrap several kids up in one of Mom’s shawls and get pictures of them snuggling. If you have a kid who won’t hold still than try to get your helper to run after them like a tickle monster, chasing them towards you, so you can quickly snap pictures of their glee as they run towards you.
Kendra Evans Children's Portrait photography, Grass Valley, Nevada City, Nevada County, CA How to take pictures with little kids
  • Children’s photos with your iPhone Most of the time you can get amazing photos with your Smart phone, so I am going to go over some tips here too. New iPhone have a Camera RAW option which you can access through your camera settings. This will give you much higher resolution for blowing them up and also so that if you decide to edit them you won’t lose your photos integrity. Low resolution photos do not edit well and end up looking grainy, especially if you have to crop them. I am pretty sure most smartphones have this option, I know Samsung does, although this is a newer option within the last two years.
  • Keep in mind that your little ones are a LOT lower to the ground than you are! Make sure to get down low. The lower the better, you will often see me on my belly when I photograph kids or babies, especially if they are sitting on the grass.
  • Try to keep some of their favorite treats on hand (again nothing that stains and no gum nothing is worse than a smacking mouth full of gum) Or a fun noise maker you can use to get their attention and have the person using it stand behind you.

Taking kids photos can be the most fulfilling thing ever! Try to capture their sincere innocents. Avoid forcing them into a pose they don’t love. If they don’t love it it will not look good. And most of all have fun with them!!! And remember that you can always try again another day when they are in a better mood if all else fails.

If you are interested in professional children’s portraits please check out my website I specialize in Family photography and Children’s photography in Grass Valley and Nevada City, CA and submit a contact form. I would love to work with you!

Kendra Evans is a Family and Children's photographer located in Grass Valley, Nevada City, CA How to take pictures with little kids