7 Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your Kids

multicolor whimsical background with picture of baby feet and little girl with
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Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could just have a professional photographer following you around all day documenting every little precious moment as your babies grow?

Not only is that impossible, but every time you changed duty stations or moved, you would have to hunt down a new family photographer. Lots of memories can be missed in the process.

With that in mind, here are my top 7 tips for taking better photos of your everyday life. 

1- Catchlights

a small girl smiling at the cameraCatchlights are the little sparkle you see in a person’s eyes. They can really bring a photo to life!

When photographing your kids, try to get a light reflection of some sort in their eyes. It doesn’t matter what shape or size they are, just make sure there is some sparkle! Windows, lamps, or even a mirror can all make great catchlights.

Make sure you aren’t between your subject and the light source, and it will be great. 

2- Move Back

baby on bed with dad taking a picture over it

It is our natural tendency to want to fill the frame when taking a photo. However, there are important details of the story that can be captured by moving back (the special blanket grandma crocheted or the artwork from Aunt Sue on the wall). Don’t forget to include these details that will tell more of the story than just the look on their face.

Sometimes you may want to take a photo of the environment without any subject in it at all! When you move frequently, it’s nice for kids to be able to look back on past homes, parks, neighborhoods, etc. 

3- Get Close

baby feet

I know, I just said move back. But variety is the spice of life! Getting a variety of far away and close in shots really helps tell the story.

Sometimes there is one special feature you want to focus on. Get in close to grab shots of their tiny toes, little hands, delicate lips, and other features that change all too quickly as they grow. Show off a favorite toy, outfit, hair bow, or anything else that is special to your child.

Pro tip: This is a great way to not have to keep all that stuff during your next PCS as well. 

4- Focus on Relationships

soldier holding a small childMore often than not, the most precious images are the real life and unscripted moments that show the relationships between your kids and others in their life.

Maybe it’s a special handshake with their best friend, a wistful look at the neighborhood cutie, or a tickle fight with dad. Make sure you capture those little moments that will make the best stories in years to come. We lose so many people through moves; it’s important to keep those memories alive. 

5- Use Different Angles

small red-haired girl on a playgroundGet up high to show how small your child is. Get down low to show the world from their perspective. Move to the side to capture a profile image.

Don’t take all your pictures of a scene from the same spot. Move your feet, and try to capture the entire story from a variety of angles. You never know where you’re going to find that magic spot that perfectly captures the mood, lighting, and moment.

In the world of digital photography, you don’t have to worry about saving film. Take a million shots, then only keep the best ones. 

6- Shoot Through the Moment

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve put my camera down only to have something totally photo worthy happen 10 seconds later.

If you are capturing a specific moment or interaction, wait a few seconds after you think you have the shot and be prepared to take a few more images. Often, my favorite shots are the ones I get AFTER I think I have the perfect image of the moment.

Take these photos, for example. I never would have captured all these and the sweet one under the Tip #4 if I had stopped shooting after dad stopped spinning her around. I had no clue such a cute snuggle would happen because she was sad he stopped. 

7- A Good Camera

father and kids at the aquariumWhile a high quality DSLR camera is going to get you the most creative control and beautiful shots, it doesn’t do any good if you never pull it out because it’s packed away in a bag to keep it safe.

The best camera is the one you have with you.

Don’t shy away from using your phone if that’s the camera that’s handy. The technology in phone cameras just keeps getting better and better!  A great compromise option is to get a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. I personally have been using the Sony A6000 for years now. It’s a great compact size that is easy to throw in my purse or leave out on a shelf for quick shots at home, and gives me all the same control as a more bulky DSLR. I also use my phone on a regular basis since it’s always in my pocket. 

Want Even More Tips?

I learned almost everything I know about photography from Creative Live. Every day, different classes are streaming and are 100% FREE to watch! If you love a class, you can purchase it for unlimited viewing and downloading.

Some of my favorite teachers are Tamara Lackey, Julia Kelleher (I was in studio for her Creative Newborn Class if you want to see me hugely pregnant lol), Lindsay Adler, Sue Bryce, Kelly Brown, and Kirsten Lewis

I’d love to see your photos of your family using these tips! Share them on Instagram and tag @themuchnessmama and @militarymomcollective so we can tell you how adorable your babies all are!