How to Photograph Children

If you happen to have kids, I believe that you have many times tried to take a photo showing your offsprings the way you yourself see them, to make others see how adorable they are. I believe that your computers are loaded with hundreds or maybe even thousands of photos, that you show to any friend who visits you. Nevertheless, looking through our family albums we hardly ever are objective. We think that others will fall in love in our kids just as much as we do only seeing the photos that we show to them. The truth is yet painful, as it’s a rarity that they do. Being bored to death is a more possible ending to the story.

There is a saying that cameras should be taken away from people who have just become parents 🙂

That is why we need to develop our skills in photography if we want to make others interested in our kids’ photos. That is also the very reason why I got involved in the whole photography matter.

Wanting to take good photos of our kids we don’t really need a super-smashing reflex camera or some special equpiment. The rules are fairly simple.

1) You need a lot of patience. Don’t just press the shutter button ten thousand times a minute. Wait. Let the moment come. Observe your children. Cool your heels until your children come to a moment of thinking, don’t call them by their name trying to provoke them to look at you. Sonner or later they will. After all, you’re their parents and they need to keep an eye on you every now and again. Don’t ask them to smile, as your camera won’t lie. It will show the artificiality of that smile. Wouldn’t it be better for the smile to be natural? Besides, who said that only smiling faces are loveable?

2) Develop your knowledge of portraits. There are some basic rules that anyone can master. I’ll try to name some:


a. Make sure that the eyes of your model are somewhere on the level of the one third of the frame (counting from the top 😉 )

b. Aim the focus (a little rectangle that you see when you look into the viewfinder of your camera) at the eyes.

c. Find yourself a comfortable position, try not to move, do not allow your hand (or, even better – handS) holding the camera to tremble. Otherwise your photo will be blurred and the quality of it will fall drastically.

d. (This should be rule number one in my humble opinion) TRY NOT TO USE THE FLASH (!) Instead, use a window as a source of light. This always looks better. If the light falling into your room through the window is not enough you might raise the ISO level (but do not exaggerate with it, it always decreases the quality of a photo). If you have a reflex camera, try opening the aperture and/or extend the time (doing the latter you have to be very careful not to move and have a motionless model 😉 )

e. NEVER EVER chop off your model’s chin (!) Having to face a choice of either placing a forehead or a chin in your frame, always choose the chin. Chopping off the forehead may even be artistic. Chopping off the chin NEVER is 🙂

f. Try not to chop off extremities either…or fingers…or whatever 🙂

g. Remember that taking a portait it is always better to step back and use a telephoto lens than to stand very close to your model using a wide angle lens, as the latter distorts the face of the model, making their noses and foreheads appear bigger.


3) When you photograph your kids keep them clean and neat. Faces smeared with strawberry jam can only be attractive to the parents and almost never are to people who do not have kids.

4) Take your camera everywhere you go 🙂

Below I’ll make you familiarized with the photos of my daughter, Alicja, that were top rated by other photographers. After reading the instructions you will easily see that I did stick to them taking the pictures.

Enjoy 🙂


Alicja, photo by podwiatr


Alicja, photo by podwiatr


Alicja, photo by podwiatr


Alicja, photo by podwiatr


5 thoughts on “How to Photograph Children

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