Taking Quality Photos of Your Kids at Home

3 Tips for Taking Quality Photos at Home

There are few things in life that bring me more joy than flipping through photos of my kids.

Yes, they’re still young and I’m still deep in the trenches of motherhood (age three is no joke, y’all!), but I love knowing my sleep-deprived brain won’t be able to forget these sweet moments because I can hold on to the photos. Also, real talk: pictures of my kids don’t make noise, and I kind of love that right now.

My husband first introduced me to photography when we started dating 14 years ago, but it wasn’t until we had kids that I really got serious about learning to take the best photos I could to capture our kids at each age and stage. My oldest child is incredibly shy, so he’s never been a fan of even preschool photos, and my youngest is basically a blur of motion. Taking photos at home captures the real moments that I want to hold on to.

Whether you’re using a professional-grade Nikon or the camera on your smartphone, there are plenty of little things you can do at home to take beautiful pictures of your kids in action.

Here are a few tips to up your game when taking photos of your kids at home.

Find the Right Light

More than just about anything else, lighting is the key to good photography. Ever wonder why professional photographers suggest morning and evening hours for outdoor sessions? The soft light complements skin tones and is easier to work with. When you can, take photos of your kids outside just after sunrise or just before sunset to take advantage of the pretty “golden hour” light.

If you find yourself outside at midday and want to snap a quick photo of your kiddo’s cute antics, look for some light shade to diffuse the light and avoid harsh shadows. Try to avoid areas where the light is dappled, like underneath trees with sparse leaves, and instead opt for uniformly shaded areas.

When you take photos inside, use whatever natural light you can. When my kids were babies, I moved our playmat into the entryway to take advantage of the morning light that shone in through the extra windows. And unless it’s nighttime and you’re truly desperate, skip the flash – it’s not going to flatter anyone.

Compose your Photo

Kids move fast! Not every picture you take is going to be, well, picture-perfect, and that’s ok! To set yourself up for success, try these three things:

  1. Get down on your kid’s level to take the photo. When I do back-to-back sessions with families with young kids, my quads are sore by the end of the day (while this doesn’t say much about my physical fitness, you get the idea: lots of bending down and squatting. Plenty of lying flat on the ground, too).

3 Tips for Taking Quality Photos at Home

Admittedly, one of my kids’ favorite moves is to make a big goofy face straight up at the camera. And these make up some of my favorite photos. But to really capture your kiddo at the moment, get eye-level with them.

  1. Give the rule of thirds a try. Instead of placing your kiddo smack dab in the middle of the viewfinder, position them off to the side to create a little more visual interest. 3 Tips for Taking Quality Photos at Home
  2. Don’t be afraid to get in nice and close. You want to take a picture of your kiddo, not the background, so give your child a heads-up, and get in there.

Be in the Moment

For me, the best way to get good photos is just to have my camera nearby. In our house, mine sits on the countertop. It’s a great reminder to pick it up and capture the moment, whether or not everything is just perfect. Equally important (and sometimes challenging) is knowing when to put the camera down and just enjoy what’s happening. Don’t force it, sometimes it just isn’t meant to be.Phots at Home: Tips for Photographing Your Kids

On holidays and birthdays especially (when I’m extra tempted to take all the pictures) I try to intentionally snap a few photos and then set my camera (and the camera on my phone) aside to just soak it all in.

Do you take photos at home? Let us know if you have any additional tips in the comments.

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Jill is an adventure-loving, iced coffee-drinking, recovering perfectionist and mom of two. After a number of years and adventures in Washington, D.C., she moved back home to Georgia and settled in Woodstock. Jill lives with her husband, two sweet littles—a thoughtful, loquacious 5-year-old and a fearless 3-year-old ready to take on (over?) the world—and her fur-st born hound, Apollo. Jill is a part-time photographer, writer, digital marketer, and a full-time mom (aren’t we all?).


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