Children Photography Tips For Photographing Your Kids – [UPDATED 2024]

Children Photography Tips 101

Parents with young kids, you are not alone.

There is a lot to learn about photographing our own children. But it can be done! This article about Children Photography Tips was first published in 2014 and fast forward to 2024, I’ve just managed to have time to do a minor update. I hope this article help you parents who would like to try and capture memories of your kids.

So What Are The Main Challenges With Photographing Children?

We all know that children at the age of 0 to 5 years old are super cute and irresistible. However, it is not an easy task to capture photographs of them.

Firstly, you will need a lot of patience when photographing infants and capture images of your kids in different ways.

1. Behaviour Of Child 

Each child is unique and the more we can understand the children, the easiest to get the real emotion from the child.

For example, a strong-willed child usually like to be challenged, so challenging them will work wonders on them. However, on the other hand, a very shy child usually need a lot time to build the rapport and gain their trust. So different strokes for different kids.

2. Manage Our Own Expectations

As parents, you want to remember every moment of your child’s life. But it can be hard to take pictures that capture the essence of your child when they are constantly in motion.

Here are four tips to help you take pictures of your children that will help you capture their personality and their memories:

1. Don’t expect perfection – no one is perfect, especially children. Don’t sweat over drool on the shirt. It’s ok.

2. Just relax and have fun – if you’re having fun, your child will too.

3. Let them be themselves – don’t try to make them pose or do things they don’t want to do.

4. Take lots of pictures – the more pictures you take, the better chance you have to get that perfect picture. It also allows you to have some self discovery on the type of pictures, angles etc that you like.

Know what you are looking to capture as memories. For example, if I am looking to preserve memories of my child at a particular stage, I will look for the “milestone” type of image, such as taking the first steps. I’d focus the shoot on the child toddle/walking with their hands balancing their centre of gravity etc.

Children Photography Tips for Different Scenarios

My idea of photography is simple, capture the memories for the child as you interpret it as their parents. Allow them to be who they are and add or remove elements that you want to be in or out of those memories so we can remember them.

When Kids Are Sleeping

When child is sleeping, they really don’t mind what you do as a parents. Use smaller and un-intrusive camera would work well in this setting. Child’s room tend to be dark, use of small flash light bouncing away from the child should give the right illumination that needed to get the images.

When Kids Are Playing / Doing Sports

If they are playing in the house, don’t interrupt them, let them do what they do and capture those moments as they will grow out of it in not so distant away. If they are playing sport soutside the house, try to use longer tele-photo lens (something like 70-200mm works the best) to capture them without interrupting their activity.

When On Vacation & You Want To Include The Background Scenic Location Too

Vacation is the best time to do the shoot as you tend to be relaxed and there are a lot of things going on during the vacation. Bring a small camera and bring one zoom lens instead of a lot of them. Spend time capturing what you want to remember of them. Forget about bringing tripod, find somewhere to lean on and stabilise the camera by pulling the strap down and pull the camera up gives you the stability on the go. In short, keep it simple and focus on what you want to include as part of their memories

When Doing Portraits

Control of lighting is crucial hence, usually off camera flash works better to control the shadow or find somewhere that has a big window. Use bed sheet as backdrop. Remember portrait is about the subject, set your camera and forget about it. Talk to the subject and find out the interesting expression of your child. You will be surprised you see a lot of genuine expression when you talk to them like a little friend.  Don’t criticise them and keep the session short.

In Water Or Pool

Waterproofed your camera!
Those plastic enclosure works really well and go in the pool with them. Give kids directions on where to swim towards so you can control the overall image. Be patient! It takes a bit of time to focus in the water. Children usually like to do things repeatedly so just ask them to repeat them until you get the shots. That said, keep it short on each repetition.

When You Have A Group Of Them

In the group, you need to find the “leader” of the pack if they are older than 4 years old. Guide the leader and the rest will follow.

For kids younger than 4, just give them something that will make them sit down together… whatever… food, drawing, activities… etc.

General Children Photography Tips – Technical &  Communication

Soft lighting usually works better for children. So, bounce the light if you have something to bounce, a big white towel makes a perfect bounce surface. I tend to shoot with manual mode as I can control the light and other variables the way I want it. However, aperture is more commonly used as you just need to worry about 1 variable. Keep things simple really.

Understanding your child is crucial, never push what you want into them. If you want them to smile, make them smile, don’t ask them to smile.

If you want them to be happily jumping around, do that with them. They are a reflection of you. Remember, the less you ask and the more you do things with them, will give you more things to shoot.

Last but not least, you need to always remember the idea behind why you want to take a photograph of your child? It is all about them and you are just an observer…

Here are some images I took of my kiddos during our vacation in 2014.

That said, if you have tried photographing your kids for a while now and is on the verge of throwing in the towel before they grow any further, or you now need to be in front of the camera this time. My forte in children’s photography is catching their raw emotions, mannerisms, who they are. Simple, Natural & Beautiful portraits of your kids and family. 

“Those are the expressions we see but never managed to capture in a photo 🤭. Thanks to Hart for making us feel so comfortable, and more importantly, the photos are awesome! Thank you once again ☺️ plus the amazing efficiency in giving us the photos👏 👏👏” – Jun Chong

Need more convincing, head over to Tomato Photo Reviews to learn more; or simply get in touch with us for more info!


Tomato Photo is a busy multi-award winning family portrait photo shoot studio that offer busy parents an avenue to capture and preserve memories of their family to make it into tangible products that they can appreciate for years to come.

We make the session fun, a lot of laughter by guiding you through the whole session so you always feel confident with the results that you are getting.

We will make the whole process simple and easy for you and your family. It is fully backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are not happy with the experience and results, we are happy to refund you, no question asked.

Our Awards  is the testament to our commitment to deliver the very best to our clients.

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