5 Tips for Photographing Children


They make the most adorable models and your camera loves them even more than the hottest of super models. But at the other end of the spectrum, it’s a job that takes an infinite amount of patience and hardly ever goes according to schedule. Photographing children is a challenge that most aspiring lens men shy away from, but if you’re interested in this field, it could be pretty rewarding. While it’s true that we can’t all be Anne Geddes, we sure can try. So here goes, a list of tips and tricks that come in handy when you’re photographing children:

Natural works best: Instead of getting the children to pose and sit still, try shooting them when they’re behaving as they should, like children. Natural pictures capture the essence of childhood like nothing else. Their smiles are natural, their poses are natural, and they photograph really well under such conditions. Best of all, when they don’t know that you’re present, they don’t feel shy or act up in front of the camera.

Chinese New Year

Photo by Yewenyi

Look them in the face: When you’re getting the kids to pose, you must get down to their level if you want the pictures to come out well. A slanting angle does not make for pretty pictures. So hunker down, ensure that the children’s faces are in your frame, and shoot.

Julieta is back!
Photo by DHammza

Settings make a difference: When you’re photographing babies, you have an advantage in that they cannot move, so make the best of this and use settings to enhance your pictures. But no matter how elaborate your props, always remember that it is the baby (child) that must be the focus of your photograph. So while the settings must augment the photograph, they must not take away the appeal of the child being photographed.


Photo by Cuellar

Choose the right time: You cannot choose to photograph children close to their bed or nap time and then expect them to cooperate with you. Instead, you need to work with them when they’re energetic and in a good mood. Talk to their parents to find out which part of the day is suitable – when they’re not hungry or sleepy or otherwise occupied is generally a good time.

Grayson, our granddaughter, eating a Georgia peach and enjoying every bite.

Photo by Bruce Tuten

Be patient: You cannot afford to let frustration get to you when you’re photographing children. You must expect that they’re not going to follow instructions and that you’re going to have to cajole them into sitting for you if you want good photographs. Some kids are naturals, so if there is more than one to photograph, get the ones who are troublesome to follow the lead of the ones who are not. It’s a job that you become more adept at with more experience. So work on your skills and soon you’ll be able to build a reputation as a great child photographer.

This article is written by Kathy Wilson, who writes on the subject of Photography College. She can be reached at her email id: [email protected] .

About Author

Rob is the founder of Light Stalking. His love for photography started as a child with a Kodak Instamatic and pushed him into building this fantastic place all these years later, and you can get to know him better here.
Rob's Gear
Camera: Nikon D810
Lenses: Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

Very good suggestions! I have a photo shoot coming up with 2 children. I rarely interact with children in general these days so simple tips like these are worth their weight in gold. Much appreciated!

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